New Family Blog!!
Momma started a blog. It''s still a baby blog, but it''s gonna grow up and be a big blog soon. Hope you follow us on over!
For such a short month, February sure was PACKED with stuff! So, sit back because this is a LONG update!
Lots of snow and lots of visitors. After Nana V left toward the end of January, Aunt Deanne came up for a week and a half and left on the 10th. Lito and Lita arrived on the 11th and stayed until the 23rd, and Tia Juana and Tio Ed came for a long weekend from the 12th until the 15th.
I had such a great time getting to know Aunt D better! She was so silly and her puppy, Karma, was just my size, but she was a little bit more wiggly than my dogs. Aunt D always seems to teach me something when I see her (last time it was to stick out my tongue) and this time she taught me to cover my mouth when I laugh. All of the grown-ups think it''s pretty cute.
The first weekend that Lito/Lita and Tia Juana/Tio Ed were here, we went to Lynchburg and had lunch at Miss Mary Bobo''s Boarding House. I was a PILL!!! I didn''t take a nap on the way out there like Momma had hoped, so by the time the lunch bell rang at Bobo''s I was DONE! So, Daddy and Momma took turns eating while the other one walked around with me. I liked exploring that place (inside and out), but Momma and I missed singing “Happy Birthday” to Lita when they served dessert. :( After lunch, I got to kick back and relax in my stroller while the grown-ups walked around the little square in downtown Lynchburg. I was BEYOND sleepy by the time everyone was ready to go over and take the tour of the Jack Daniel''s Distillery. Daddy and I dropped everyone off at the distillery and then he drove me around the block and I passed out. Then Daddy parked and we both napped while Momma, Lito, Lita, Joanie, and Eddie took the tour. I was in a MUCH better mood when they came back to the car!
The next weekend the weather teased us with a little taste of what Spring may have to offer in a few weeks. We went to The Country Music Hall of Fame and had lunch at Demos'' one day and the next day we had a picnic at Henry Horton State Park by the Duck River.
I''ll be 21 months old on Monday (March 1st)! Today, I weigh 20lbs 3oz and I''m 2'' 5” tall. I get to say “tall” instead of “long” because I am DEFINITELY a vertical human now. I have LOTS of teeth now! I''m cutting all four of my first year molars right now. They make me pretty fussy at times and have been waking me up at night some. Poor me! Good thing I LOVE taking Tylenol!
On Thursday, I had my appointment with audiology. No one was really concerned about my ability to hear, but this has been something that we''ve been doing since my stay in the NICU. They checked my hearing while I was in the NICU after I was born and it was fine, but the doctors at the Down syndrome Clinic wanted to run a more extensive hearing screen as protocol for children with Ds. I was about 2 months old when we went for the first time to the Bill Wilkerson Center to be tested. At the time, I was still so little that they were only able to get one of the two portions of the test completed. So I went back 6 months later. This time was similar to the first. They got one reading, but (as an 8 month old) I wasn''t really too cooperative for the behavioral portion (turning my head toward sounds). SO, I had to go back six months later. This time I was 14 months old and I was able to do the behavioral portion of the test, but I WOULD NOT let them put the little things in my ears to get the other portion of the test done. When I say “would not”, I mean screaming, fighting, thrashing, and twisting. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, we had to go back six months later (yesterday). This time I was 20 months old. I ROCKED the behavioral portion of the test and, while I didn''t LOVE the part where they put that thingie in my ear, I was easily distracted with bubbles and books so I rocked THAT portion of the test too! WHOO HOO!! My hearing is perfect and they don''t need to see me for another year!
Today (Friday) I had an appointment with Endocrinology. Remember back in December when I told you that I stopped taking my thyroid meds and my pediatrician did a blood draw and my labs looked great without any synthroid in my system? Wellll.... I still needed to see the Endocrinologist who apparently never got the lab results from back in December (even though Momma called the pediatrician''s office on Tuesday to make sure they were sent over). It didn''t really matter, she wanted to draw labs again today anyway (ACK!!). She said that if my labs look good, then I won''t need to go back for another year. We''ll probably get the results on Monday or so.
So, what else is new?
Ummm.. lets see.... I HAVE SAID MY FIRST WORD!!!!!!!!
Two weeks ago I was having morning snuggle time in bed with Momma and Daddy and when I got wiggly, Daddy put me down on the floor. Momma and Daddy both leaned over the bed and said “bye bye” and then I poked my little hand up, waved it, and said “bye bye”. Momma looked at Daddy and said, “did that just happen?!?!” Well, it turns out it DID happen and I keep doing it! I don''t always do it when prompted, but I DO use it appropriately. When I leave someplace or when someone leaves a room, I will (sometimes) wave and say “bye bye”
THEN, yesterday when Momma got me out of my highchair after lunch, she signed and said “all done” like she does every time she gets me out of the highchair. When she put me on the floor she said and signed it again and I REPEATED her!! I signed AND SAID, “All Done”!!!!
We have video of me saying these words, the “bye bye” videos are better than the “all done” ones, but you''ll get the idea!
I walk and walk and walk. In fact, I''m trying to run. I mean, I think I''m running REALLY fast, but.. well... you know...
I throw balls to people with some aim and sometimes kick them. My PT, Mrs. Sandra, is very happy with my progress. In fact, if she re-tested me, I probably wouldn''t qualify for PT at all right now. So, I go once a month to show off and she gives Momma homework for the month. Right now, I''m supposed to be practicing stepping OVER things, reaching up for things (let me tell you, this is NO problem now. Momma and Daddy have had to start making sure they stop placing things on the edge of the counters) and walking on uneven surfaces (like grass, or mulch).
My OT, Mrs. Shelby, swears that I am stacking blocks, but Momma has yet to see this at home. I am putting things ON other things though and that is the general concept. I also like to put things IN. IN buckets or baskets, IN the tub, IN the toilet! Haha... Daddy made Momma fish those toys out even though I did it on HIS watch! OUT is kinda a big deal too. Mostly, it''s throwing my toys OUT of the tub. I''m beginning to enjoy making my own masterpieces with crayons and markers. Markers are a little easier to use because they don''t require much pressure to make the mark. I like to try to do things after watching someone else do it. Like, trying to dip the bubble wand into the bottle of bubbles or trying to brush my own teeth or trying to use a fork to feed myself. Which, by the way, I can do. I''m just not allowed to do it much because I will ALWAYS throw the fork on the floor after I take the bite and then the fork is dirty. **sigh**
As you saw earlier, I have started saying a couple of words! I also wanted to mention that everyone is starting to see a huge leap in my receptive language skills. I''m beginning to understand what people are telling me or directing me to do!! I LOVE books! I love looking at books and having books read to me. I will walk over to you, hand you a book and then sit in your lap so you can read to me.
I have become a little picky lately. Ferris LOVES that I''ve become fickle and Momma loves that Ferris helps clean up the floor after I throw food. One of my (new) favorite foods is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. MMMmmm.... Also, since those molars are starting to cut through, I''ve started chewing better which means I can eat foods that are a little tougher and a little crunchier.
We''re all looking forward to a big play date tomorrow with some of my friends (who also happen to have Ds). Then, we''re all looking forward to having NOTHING planned for the rest of the weekend!
Are you still here? That was LONG! I''ll try not to let so much time pass before my next update!
We were seriously snowed/iced in this weekend! We don''t get much snow around here. Usually it is just one or two inches of snow each season and it almost always melts off the next day. It all started Friday around 10:30am when the snow began POURING from the sky. Silly Daddy went to work about 9:00, even though the weather people told him it was going to snow a lot. He wasn''t at work long! Around 11:30, he caled Momma and told her he was on his way. It took Daddy longer to get home than expected, but he made it in one piece. He said that the roads were already pretty slick and that the car behind him on the interstate lost control and spun off the road (no serious injury involved). As the day went on, the snow kept falling. By the time I woke up from my nap and had a snack, there was a nice thick layer of snow on the ground (about 2ish inches at the time).
Momma got me all bundled up and Daddy got out his old sled and we went outside to play in the snow. There is a video of my reaction. It was really hard to walk in the snow and I tripped easily. Whenever I fell down, I wasn''t sure how to get back up, so I just kind of stayed there until someone rescued me. Daddy sat me on his sled and I stayed there. So, he pulled and I LOVED it!!! There was nothing holding me on the sled (straps/buckles), I just sat there like a big girl as Daddy pulled me all around the neighborhood. We didn''t stay out for too long because it was COLD and the fluffy snow that was falling from the sky was changing over to sleet.
We heard on the news that night that there were A LOT of car accidents and many of the roads had to be shut down because of slick conditions and because of accidents. Good thing Momma and I went to the grocery store on Thursday! We didn''t need to get out of the house for anything!
The next morning (Saturday), we woke to a winter wonderland. It was SO pretty! Except, when we went outside to play in the fluffy snow, we found out that there was a layer of ice sitting on top of it! It was SUPER slick and I''m so light that I was able to crawl/walk on it without breaking through. Momma was dissapointed that this meant no snowman and no snow angels... but I was able to go for another sled ride! Daddy loved pulling me and I loved going along for the ride! Daddy took me out twice yesterday. Once in the morning and again after my nap. In the afternoon, after I came back inside to warm up, Daddy had fun sledding down the (iced over) street. A few of our neighbors even joined him.
Today, the suns rays started melting some of the ice/snow. I was able to go for one last sled ride this morning with Daddy. Then, Daddy attempted to shovel some of the snow (ice) from our driveway. It proved to be a very difficult task and he gave up. There is still A LOT of snow and ice out on the grass and streets. All of the ice that melted today, will re-freeze tonight making the morning commute tough or impossible for some. Daddy is planning on going in to work a little late tomorrow so that the ice will have a chance to melt a little. My therapy has been cancelled because it''s pretty early and the roads will still be frozen. When we feel that the roads are safe enough, Grandmomma is going to come down and play with me tomorrow so that Momma can go to Birmingham to pick up Aunt Deanne!! I''m really excited about seeing her tomorrow!
Sorry I''ve been a slacker lately! Momma had a big boo boo so I had been spending a lot of time with my Nana V and my Grandmomma over the last few weeks. It was fun getting to know them better! Nana V came up on January 3rd and stayed with us all the way until this last Tuesday (the 19th) and then my Grandmomma came over Tues, Wed, and Thurs to play with me and help Momma out for the rest of the week. Momma is feeling SO much better now! She can pick me up and even snuggle me some (as long as I''m not too wiggly). She is so thankful for all of the love and support (and flowers and dinners) from all of our family and friends!
My physical development has BOOMED! I am walking all the time now (very rarely will I crawl)! I can stand myself up (without needing to pull-up on something). I am squatting and picking up toys and standing straight up from that crouch position. I can throw a ball, though my aim is a little off ;) and Momma SWEARS she heard me say "ball" twice this week.
I can point out your nose and your mouth and I''m really close to being able to point out your eye. I am giving kisses, but they are usually on your leg or arm. I will kiss Daddy on his cheek, but am stingy with cheek kisses for Momma. :(
I make specific sounds to get attention and Momma can usually tell what my little noises mean. I am signing "more" more often and will sign "all done" when I''m frustrated. I have started making the SADDEST looking pout face when my feelings are hurt or when I am actually hurt (like when I stuck my hand on the space heater for half a second last week- I was fine, but I sure did make the SADDEST pout).
Momma and Grandmomma took me to a playdate on Tuesday at my friend Delaney''s house. A LOT of my friends were there and I had a ton of fun playing with the little toy guitar and climbing all over the the plastic cube thingie that had a slide on it. I also managed to pull some hair while we were there. No playdate would be complete without a *little* hair tug from me ;)
I am looking forward to having Aunt Deanne come visit for a bunch of days in early February and then Lito and Lita are coming on the 11th and staying for LOTS of days, AND Tia Juanita and Tio Ed are coming on the 12th and staying for that weekend. Momma''s gonna be busy washing the guest bed sheets, but it will be SO worth it! I can''t wait for all of my visitors!
On a sad note, sort of, Momma got an email a couple of weeks ago from the aboutmybaby website that said that they are shutting down in a couple of months!! GAH!!! Momma''s doing some research and looking around for a new place to host our family website. So, keep an eye out for a new website announcement in the near future!
We''re on our way back to Tennessee, in fact, we''ve just passed the big rocket ship at the Alabama welcome center/rest area, not too far from home now! I''m playing with the guitar that Granny and Pop gave me for Christmas, Momma is sitting back here with me trying to keep me happy and eating some Starburst candy, Daddy is drinking lots of caffeine and eating lots of sugar and being a champ driving us all the way home, and Cassie and Ferris are just hanging out in the back. Ferris is napping, but Cassie (who is always nervous) is just panting and having a hard time relaxing (as usual). Oh, we just crossed the state line! Welcome to Tennessee! We''re SO close now!
So, I had a great time at Nana V and Grandfather''s house in Alabama! I sure have a lot of family. There was never a dull moment and I was always happy about bedtime. We arrived Tuesday night, and since I had slept for the last half of the way, I was awake and playing with Nana V and Grandfather for a good two hours after we arrived. The next day, Momma and Daddy and I went up to the hospital where Nana V works and I got to see her office and play with Megan and Gina. Then, we went to lunch at one of Momma''s favorite places, Mama Rosa''s (Daddy likes it too, but Momma grew up on this stuff!). Grandfather also met us for lunch. It was a treat to see both of them in the middle of a work day! One of Momma''s favorite moments of the trip happened while we were at lunch. The waitress (who has worked there for as long as Momma can remember- at least 11 or 12 years) was ooohing and aaahing over me and how cute I am. Then she went one table over to wait on them. While she was over there, Nana V said that she liked my ponytail (it IS cute!) and as the waitress was walking back past our table she said “I like her face”. Hmm.. maybe it was funnier in person? Haha. Anyway, after lunch Nana V and Grandfather had to go back to work and Momma and Daddy and I ran a couple of errands and headed back to the house. We hung around the house for the rest of the day. My Uncle Adam came over with my cousins Whit and Kessler. I got to play with my cousins a lot on this trip! They were really sweet to me. Whit would pat me on the head and call me “baby Etta” and Kessie kissed me a few times.
The next day was Christmas Eve. Daddy woke up with my cold that morning. Ick! He made sure to nap when I napped! Whit and Kess came over in the late morning and played with us and helped Grandfather cook food for our big dinner that night. Whit was “Jello Boy” and Kessie was “Vegetable Girl”. They were big helpers and I had fun watching them stir the bowls and pots. In the afternoon, Momma and Nana V went out to the mall to wrap gifts for charity (like they do every year) and Aunt Kimi met them out there when she got into town. While they were out wrapping presents, Aunt Deanne and Uncle Todd arrived. They were So excited to see me! There was a lot of activity as everyone arrived that day. I was in bed a few minutes before 7:00 that night (!!!). So, I missed the arrival of my Nana May and my Great Aunts Tammie and Jeanne and my cousin Nick. That night, while I was sleeping, the grown-ups had their big Christmas dinner and then they did the first annual Dirty Santa gift exchange. The rules stated that the items must be wrapped in a brown paper grocery sac in honor of the way my Great-Grandfather (“Papa”) use to wrap gifts. They had a lot of fun with this game and Momma was surprised that all of the roaring laughter didn''t wake me up!
The next day was Christmas! Daddy got up with me that morning and since I was the only kid in the house and I''m still pretty little, there wasn''t a rush to wake everyone up at 6:00am to unwrap presents. Momma even slept in until about 10:00! In fact, we ate brunch and I took a nap before we even did the gifts! This explains why I''m not in my cute Christmas pj''s and I''m dressed for the day in all of the photos! When we finally did get to open presents I had a good time tearing paper! I got A LOT of stuff! I LOVED the big red wagon that Nana V & Grandfather gave me and I loved Peppy the Penguin and I loved the Winnie the Pooh telephone that Lito and Lita sent me. I wasn''t too sure about that whinnying/flipping horse they sent.... but Kessie really liked playing with it! I have lots of other toys that I can''t wait to get into one we get back home!
We''re home now! We pulled in our driveway just after 4:00. I''m happy to be in my house with my stuff! Daddy''s giving me my bath now......
So, back to my (long) story!
Christmas day and Saturday and Sunday were really great, easy, laid-back days! I loved going for rides in my new wagon and I loved visiting with everyone! About half of the people there were in some stage of a cold, including me. So, there was a lot of nap taking going on!
Aunt Deanne taught me to stick my tongue out when she stuck hers out. It got to a point where I would stick my tongue out at her as soon as I saw her, I also started making a new Donald Duck sound while we were there. “swqaa swqaaa swqaa”. Momma will try to get video....
I was sad to leave today, but I''m glad I''m home. Looking forward to this weekend when Nana V will come stay with us for a couple of weeks!
I''m sick again. ICK! Momma caught a cold last week and it took me about 6 days to catch it. Just in time for the holidays.
On Sunday, Daddy, Momma and I went to Grandmomma and Granddaddy''s house to celebrate Christmas with them and Granny and Pop and Aunt Jessi and Mike. I wasn''t feeling great (about 2 days into the cold), but I still enjoyed my new toys and visiting with everyone. At lunch I got to sit in the (antique) highchair that first belonged to my Great Uncle Stanley. Lots of people in my family have used that chair and Momma thought that was really neat. I liked watching the Titans game and climbing on everything while we were there. I was very entertaining! We only stayed for about three hours because I wasn''t feeling well, but I got to go back the next day!
Momma had a Dr. appointment in Nashville on Monday morning so I went and played with Grandmomma while Momma ran up to Baptist. I really enjoyed the extra special time with my GMM, but like I said, I was sick and when Momma came back for me around 11:30, I was pretty snotty and I felt like I had a low grade fever. I passed out in the car before we even got out of their neighborhood! Grandmomma sent some blueberry muffins home with us and I have had two of them so far and I LOVE them!
Tuesday afternoon we loaded up the car and took a road trip. We landed at Nana V and Grandfather''s house in Alabama that night. It was pretty late when we got there, around 9:30- WAY past my bedtime. Momma and Daddy timed the trip this way somewhat purposefully so that I would sleep for the last half of the way (which I did). I also got to use my new DVD player! Momma got a great “doorbuster” deal on a system that mounts to the headrest on the day after Thanksgiving and we were all SO thankful that she did!! Baby Einstein kept me entertained for much of the first half of the trip! I''m still sick, but I seem to be over the worst of it (fingers crossed). I sure hope I feel better soon because I''m so excited to see everyone in the next few days!
Also, a quick update on just me in general...
I can stand up now! Unassisted! I just decide to stand up and I do it, without using something to pull-up on! Video has been taken and is on its way!
Also, I LOVE to clap and I love to tell people they should clap too! I''ll put my hands over your hands and push them together, Then, if you just leave them together, I start clapping to show you what I want you to do. :)
18 Month Well-Baby Visit
Momma and I went to see Dr Hood on Friday for my 18 month check-up. I''ve gained a few ounces and grown a little less than an inch since my last weigh-in a couple months ago. I now weigh 18lbs and 1/2 an ounce (Hey! I need all the fraction of ounces I can get!) and I''m 28 1/2 inches tall! This still has me in about the 20-25% on the Down syndrome growth chart, which tells you that I''m pretty small. I''m in about the 5th percentile on a typical growth chart (this means that I''m smaller than 95% of 18 month old girls). It''s okay though, I''m cute (and Momma likes that I''m still light enough to carry/wear for quick trips into a store)! Dr. Hood isn''t too concerned. I''ve always been pretty little and I look healthy and I eat well. That being said, we''re still keeping me on a pretty high-fat diet and supplementing with PediaSure. Also, Momma fed me peanut butter for the very first time while we were in the parking lot before the appointment (incase I had an allergic reaction). Good news! I''m not allergic to peanut butter and it tastes yummy AND it is full of good fat! Momma and Daddy are excited about finally being able to introduce peanut butter into my diet!
Momma and Dr. Hood reviewed all of the medicines I am currently taking and when we got to the thyroid medicine Momma had to admit that she had stopped giving it to me about 6-8 weeks ago. Dr. Hood didn''t look too pleased, but Momma just REALLY felt like I shouldn''t be taking it. The last couple of times that I had my levels checked (over the last 6 months) they kept coming back HYPERactive (over active). Well, I''m on this medicine because my thyroid is Hypoactive (underactive). This means that the medicine is causing my levels to be high. The Endocrinologost just kept lowering my dosage until I was prescribed half of the smallest available dose. We never just took me off the drug to see if my system was okay without it. Besides, when your thyroid is hyperactive, you have trouble with WEIGHT GAIN and trouble SLEEPING, among other symptoms. These are two things I''ve had issues with. So, since I had been off the Syntroid for more than 6 weeks, Dr. Hood had the lab draw to check my levels. Turns out that Momma''s intuition was DEAD ON and my thyroid levels are PERFECT! My iron levels are also better than perfect, by the way! I didn''t like having my blood drawn OR the one shot I had to get, but I was happy to hear that I am done with immunizations until I''m 4!!
While we were there, I showed off my new walking skills and Dr. Hood was very impressed. I also showed her that I don''t like having my ears messed with! LOL!
Momma got a cute video of me playing with my reflection in a mirror while I was naked waiting for the fun to begin! She''ll post it soon!
okay, so, I''m walking all over the place now. I''m about 50/50 with the walking to crawling ratio. If I can just figure out how to stand back up (without holding on to something) after I fall, I''ll be SET!
Momma and Daddy and I went to Vanderbilt Children''s this afternoon for the DSAMT (down syndrome association of middle tenn) Holiday Party. We got there kinda late because I was taking such a good nap that Momma didn''t want to wake me. So, when we finally arrived, a lot of my friends had either already left or were about to leave. I did get to meet a couple of new friends, though I was more interested in walking around the room. I was a real show-off today!
Soon after we arrived, Momma made me sit on Santa''s lap. At first I just stared at this guy in red. Then, I decided that I wasn''t a fan and I started twisting and arching and fussing until The Man In Red finally put me down. Later, The Red Man tried again to hold me. This time he came around to where we were sitting. Daddy got a great picture of me clutching Momma''s shirt with all of my might as she passed me off to Mr. White Beard. Eventually, Momma just held me and stood next to The Man In Red while Daddy took a picture. I made sure to keep a good eye on that guy for the rest of the afternoon. Good thing I did, because next he tried to give me a loli-pop. This time I ran to Daddy and CLUNG to his leg and REFUSED to have anything to do with The Man In Red. I told Daddy that his beard was the wrong color! I don''t know it yet, but Momma still plans to take me to visit White Bearded Man at the mall one day soon...
I also wanted to report that I took a big girl nap ALLLL week!! It started on Sunday when Momma MADE me stay awake until noon. She fed me lunch and put me down for a nap around 12:15 and then i SLEPT for nearly two hours!! Now, incase you didn''t know, I use to take two naps a day and they were both pretty short (never more than about 35-45 minutes). So, all week, Momma pushed my nap and put me down after lunch and all week I slept for about two hours!!! I''m SUCH a big girl!! "So Big!"
Big week for me!!
Remember how last Friday Momma saw me take two tentative steps toward her? Well, I did it a couple more times over this last week. One step here and two steps there. Then, on Thursday night, I took four steps! Momma kept encouraging me and I repeated it a few times. Taking six steps one time and even crouching to steady myself at one point. In the last three days I have become more and more confidant. Momma and Daddy even catch me walking without an apparent destination (USUALLY I''m walking toward Momma or Daddy or toward the couch or toward the coffee table). I haven''t figured out how to just stand up in the middle of the room yet. I have to pull up somewhere to stand myself up and then take off from there. I don''t like it when someone tries to stand me up (like if Daddy was holding me and he tries to put me down, I won''t bear weight on my feet). It has to be MY idea! Momma and Daddy know that I LOVE to make sure all the doors are closed, but I recently figured out that the DRAWERS need to ALWAYS be closed too. In order to close the drawers, I have to stand up and reach. So, this has turned into the method to make me stand up! Someone will "accidentally" leave a drawer open (OOPS!), and I go over and close it. While I''m still standing up, I am encouraged to just go ahead and walk over to open arms. I get SO excited about this! It''s really a fun new game. So, watch out, because it won''t be long before I''m walking all over the place!
Today, I got to meet my new friend Addison Kate. Momma and Daddy are friends with her Momma and Daddy, Jen and Troy Lamastus. I was at their wedding last October and I was excited to finally meet little Addi Kate who was born two months ago. She was so cute. I just know we''ll be friends for life! While we were there I showed off some of my stepping skills, but I REALLY liked showing Troy and Jen ALL of the babyproofing they will need to take care of here pretty soon! ;)
Tomorrow we''re heading up to Nashville to have lunch and spend some time with Grandmomma and Granddaddy. I''m looking forward to visiting with them!
Don''t forget to visit the Angel Tree at Reece''s Rainbow! http://www.reecesrainbow.com/newsite/angeltree2009sponsorpage.html
Angel Tree 2009
Please see the bottom of my last post for an explanation of Reece''s Rainbow! I forgot to mention that all donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!
Wow! I''ve really been a slacker lately! Time for a new update...
I''m 17 months old now!
I did a lot of fun things last month!
Remember how I finally made peace with riding in a stroller?!? Well, Momma and Daddy took me for a long ride when we did Race for the Cure! It was a really overcast morning, but I was happy all snuggled in my stroller with a blanket. I was so comfy, I took a nap!
The next weekend, Nana V and Grandfather came up to stay with us and to walk with me for my Buddy Walk! I had a good sized entourage this year which included: Momma, Daddy, Grandmomma, Granddaddy, Nana V, Grandfather, "Aunt" Becky, Jillian, Paul, and Hilary. "Uncle" David was an honorary walker. While we were walking over at Centennial Park, he was at Centennial Hospital walking laps around his hospial unit. It was a very very very cold day, but I had so much fun! Last year I was still so litte and I didn''t know anyone yet, but this year, I got to see a bunch of my friends! Momma thinks we''re SO lucky to have such a wonderful new community to belong to. I have been making friends that I know will be friends for LIFE! After the Buddy Walk that day, we went to Gentry''s Farm to take some photos and pick out our pumpkins. We didn''t stay long because we were all pretty tired and like I said, it was COLD!
The weekend after the Buddy Walk, Daddy and Momma took me on my very first camping trip!! We only went for one night, but I had a good time out in the woods. I was so cute all snuggled up in between Momma and Daddy in our sleeing bag. One of Momma and Daddy''s favorite pictures from that trip was taken JUST as I woke up with my bed head and a look on my face like I really didn''t know what was going on!
The weekend after the camping trip was Halloween!! I was a bee this year and I looked SO cute! Momma and Daddy took me to downtown Franklin on Halloween day for their annual "Pumpkinfest". There really weren''t very many pumpkins at Pumpkinfest which was disappointing to Momma, but there were a lot of fun activities for older kids, so we''ll probably go again when I''m bigger. That night, I got to go to a few of our neighbors'' houses and trick-or-treat for the first time! After Trick-or-Treating, I came home and had supper and then helped Momma and Daddy answer the door and give out candy. Everytime the door opened, I tried to make a run for it! I got pretty mad when I had to go back inside.
Then, last Saturday, I had a playdate at a park in Nashville with some of my friends who also have Down syndrome. It was a BEAUTIFUL day!! Sunny and in the low 70''s. Hard to believe that it was November. Daddy didn''t get to go because he wasn''t feeling well. Momma and I took a VERY long nap when we got home that afternoon. When we woke up from the nap, I had a fever! ICK! So, I ran a fever from Saturday night until Monday morning. I never really had any other symptoms besides a fever. My nose was a little congested, but never runny. I seem to be feeling much better today, so maybe I''ll get to go to therapy tomorrow.
So... what else...?
I have six teeth now! Four on top all in a row and my two bottom ones in the front.
I have my new braces now for my feet. They should help teach me to walk properly (not on the edges of my feet and not curling my toes). On Friday, I took two steps toward Momma. I was barefoot at the time, but Momma thinks the braces are helping to make me more confidant. We had an issue at first when they gave me shoes that were WAY too big for me! A new pair of shoes come with the braces and my shoe size without the brace is a size 3.5, but they put me in a size 5 extra wide shoe. I was tripping over my own feet and it seemed a little counter-productive. So, when Momma met with my new physical therapist, Ms. Sandra, she told us that she thought we could put my foot (with brace) into a size 4 or 4.5. We had to wait a few days, but then we got the size 4''s and they fit! I am so much more comfortable in these shoes. It''s still a little harder to walk in them, but I''m not tripping over my own feet and causing bruises on my forehead anymore!!!
I still have therapy all the time and I''m still on the waiting list to get into school at High Hopes.
I''ve started feeding myself... sorta. If it''s something little like a cheerio it will sometimes get lost in my little hand. I''ve figured out that I need to open my hand to put it in my mouth, but then many times it falls out of my hand. We''re working on a pincer grasp so that it''s right there between my thumb and forefinger. Momma and Daddy are still mostly feeding me because my food gets very messy and will get squished in my fist or thrown on the floor. They realize that this is just what toddlers do, but I also need to have SOME food hit my mouth and make its way to my tummy! I''ve learned to hold my straw cup, but Momma and Daddy''s hands are never far away because when I''m done with my sip, it gets tossed (usually onto the floor). I still take milk from a bottle, because the liquid is too thin in my straw and I drink it too fast and it makes a mess/makes me choke and cough on it. We''re still working on this. Momma really wants to get me off of the bottle! She was trying to skip the sippie cup completely, but we may have to use it for milk...
I''m looking forward to Thanksgiving in a few weeks! I can''t wait to get my teeth on some turkey!
I wanted to also mention a cause that is very close to my heart! Reece''s Rainbow is a program that promotes the international adoption of children with Down syndrome. By raising money to offer adoption grants on waiting children, they are able to give adoptive families the extra financial help they need to bring a child with Down syndrome home from a miserable existence in overseas orphanages. Most of the children were born in countires that find it socially unacceptable to raise a child with Ds. Many are just abandoned at the hospital after birth. They are placed in "baby homes" and adoptable until they turn 4 or 5. Then, when their typical peers are graduated into different housing, they are sent to INSTITUTIONS, tied to beds, and left to die. Many don''t make it past the first year. It breaks my heart to know that these children are living on borrowed time. So, please, PLEASE consider sponsoring one of these children this holiday season. Money will go directly into their grant fund that will aid in the cost of their adoption. You can find more information at www.reecesrainbow.com
I''m 16 months old now!!
And I''m a busy busy busy girl!
A regualr week''s schedule looks like this:
Monday- OT at 1:45
Tuesday- EI Teacher at 9:30
Wednesday- OT at 9:00
Thursday- Speech at 11:30
Friday- Momma tries to keep this day free
Those are just the set events every week. Most weeks there are additional activities added to the schedule (like PT, and playdates, and grocery store trips, and drugstore drive-bys, and checking out consignment sales...).
Most of my therapy takes place at a clinic called High Hopes. High Hopes is ALSO an inclusive pre-school. Momma and Daddy put me on the waiting list for a Tuesday/Thursday slot so that I can get some social interaction but mostly because it will be easier for me to get therapy. Momma can just drop me off at school and my therapists will come get me and take me over to the clinic or they''ll come into the classroom to do my therapy right there.
Last week my feet/legs were casted for corrective braces. They will be little plastic inserts that go into my shoes that will help correct the way I hold my feet when I walk. The little insert only goes up to my ankle. My PT hopes that it will help me decide to walk and do it properly. They are being manufactured right now and should be here in a couple of weeks.
I''ve never liked being put in things. Like shopping carts, unfamiliar high chairs, swings, and strollers. This is most likely because Momma has always "worn" me everywhere in a sling. She loves how portable it makes me and loves the closeness of babywearing. The problem with this is, I''m getting bigger and heavier and now I don''t like NOT being worn. It''s still okay for trips to Publix and such, but Momma and Daddy are plannning to walk a little over 3 miles this weekend in the Komen Race for the Cure. So, Momma bought me a new (used) pink Jeep umbrella stroller yesterday at a consignment sale and (after scrubbing it down) started "stroller training". I think it''s more like "stroller torture"! She straps me in and I twist and cry (very large tears) and we walk up the street and back. I never calmed down. Momma hasn''t told me yet, but she plans to do it again this afternoon. She''s pretty sure that she and Daddy will be taking turns carrying me while they walk this weekend.
We''re amping up for my Buddy Walk in a week and a half! The team shirts have been ordered and should arrive in a week and Momma''s going tonight to buy posterboards to make team signs!! If you would like to sponsor us and/or join our team, please visit, www.firstgiving.com/ettamay
***UPDATE!*** Momma took me out for some more "stroller torture" this afternoon. I twisted and cried and fussed for about five houses down the street. Then, suddenly, I just faced forward, relaxed, and enjoyed the view and the breeze in my hair! Momma was beside herself with disbelief!!! She didn''t have her camera or even her cell phone to document this since she assumed it would be a short walk. We ended up going down the street and then doubling back, passing our house to go up the street a bit further. WOOT A TOOT! We may try to go back out this evening to show Daddy! :D
I''ve been a very busy girl lately!
I''ve seen Dr. Hunley my Nephrologist who was happy because I didn''t have any protien in my urine, but after my bloodwork had to let Momma know that my creatnine levels are still a little above normal. He believes my kidneys are functioning at about 2/3 of normal. He said this wasn''t a HUGE deal and still only wanted to see me again in a year. He said that I''m not allowed to ever have motrin, but besides that there were no diet restrictions.
The same day that they drew blood for nephrology, they went ahead and took a little extra to check my TSH and free T4 levels (thyroid). They were a little high back in June and my Endocrinologist wanted to leave my meds the same and redraw in August. So, big surprise, they were high again. Endo adjusted my meds to half the current dose. Maybe I won''t need to take these for the rest of my life!
I have also had a couple of therapy evaluations in the last couple of weeks. I met with Speech and with Occupational Therapy. We don''t have the official results of the evaluation but both of the therapists believe they will want to see me twice a week.
Just yesterday, I had my 15-month well-baby visit with my pediatrician, Dr. Hood. She''s happy with my progress. I''ve put on a little over a pound since my my visit back in June, but no one is too concerned about it. I look pretty healthy. I had to get two shots and that wasn''t fun, but I got over them fairly quickly. As a result of the immunizations, I ran a low-grade fever last night and today, but I''m still in pretty good spirits. Momma''s pretty tired today, though because I was up for a couple of hours last night. I just WOKE UP and Momma let me play in my playroom at 2:30 in the morning.
*I have three teeth now! One on top and both of my front bottoms. I like to grind them together every once in a while and it''s like nails on a chalkboard.
*I''m actually crawling now. On all fours with my belly up off the ground! I still sometimes do that "swim crawl" but it''s rare.
*I''m officially sleeping in my pretty crib in my own room. Still only nap for about 30 minutes at a time ("snaps") and I still wake up at least three nights a week and weasel my way into Momma and Daddy''s bed, but I''m mostly in my own room! Daddy wanted to know if he and Momma could have a sleep-over in MY room that first night.
*I love Baby Einstein videos. Other TV is mostly "meh" to me, but put on a Baby Einstein and I''m entranced! You can also get me with a video of myself!
*I''m really all over the place now. Not that I wasn''t before, I''m just quicker and more efficient in my movements. Momma and Daddy have had to put child locks on the cabinets because I love opening the doors and getting into trouble.
*I''m not proud to admit, but I''m a hair puller. I take my job as a hair puller very seriously and Momma rarely wears her hair down these days.
*I''m also a glasses grabber. I''m pretty Quick Draw McGraw with it!
*Oh! Did I mention that I have teeth? I sometimes bite. It''s not malicious (YET) but it sure hurts like the dickens. I know because I bit myself on the arm one day.
*I LOVE LOVE LOVE to dance! It''s really pretty cute! I dance when my toys make music, I dance when theres a good commercial on tv, I dance when Momma''s watching "Glee", I dance when someone sings to me, I dance dance dance!
*When I''m fussy, just hand me a cell phone/Blackberry. This will entertain me to no end!
*I like to crawl up into your lap and turn myself around so I''m sitting in it. It''s the cutest thing! Usually someone reads a book to me when this happens.
I''m sure there are many more things I will think of later. I can always add another post. ;)
Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!
I have a cold!
*cough* *cough* *sniffle* *sniffle*
Everything was just fine until about two hours after I went to bed when I started sniffling. Then, about 30 minutes after Momma fell asleep, I woke up fussing and sniffling and coughing a little. I was having a hard time sleeping because I couldn''t really breathe through my nose. So, Momma sat up a little in bed and let me sleep on her chest, propped up so I could breathe better. I was very restless last night and I woke up a bunch and Momma wasn''t exactly comfortable. About halfway through the night, Momma and I went out to sleep on the couch so we wouldn''t disturb Daddy with my wiggling and occasional fussing.
As you can imagine, we are both pretty tired today. Good thing we don''t have anything scheduled today and good thing Daddy will be home tomorrow to help Momma get some rest, because she''s pretty sure she''s caught my cold too.
My First Tooth!
I was pretty fussy for the last half of the day Thursday, but Momma attributed that to me not liking having my eyes dialated. Friday morning, she stuck her fingers in my mouth (as she seems to do quite often) and noticed that my gums felt a little different. So, she took a peek and it looked like a tooth was trying to pop through on the top! I''ve spent all weekend fussing at that tooth and it seems to have broken through finally. Momma can actually feel it now! Stay tuned for photos! :)
I have set up my fundraising page for this year''s Buddy Walk. Mark the date on your calendar (October, 17) so you can be sure to join us that day!
You can sponsor me by visiting this website:
I LEARNED HOW TO CLAP!!!!!
This was SO exciting for Momma when I did it for the first time yesterday. Ms. Amy and Ms. Yolanda were both here to witness it. yay! *clap* *clap* *clap* Then, I showed Daddy when he got home from work and it made him happy too!
Still trying to get a good video of it!
Yesterday, Momma took me to a consignment sale and I got a BUNCH of new toys for fairly cheap! Ms. Amy was also there so she helped Momma pick out a few toys that were developmentally appropriate.
Today I had an appointment with Dr. Morrison, my opthamologist. I was in a pretty rotten mood after they dialated my eyes, but I guess I held still long enough for Dr. Morrison to get a good look. He happily reported that I am less far sighted now and that I may "grow out" of it! So, he wrote me a new prescription that isn''t as strong. Momma also asked him about my nystagmus (eye quiver) because the last time we were there he indicated that he might like to order an MRI to make sure that there wasn''t anything neurological going on. He said that at this point he felt comfortable NOT ordering the MRI. Momma was happy to hear this. She did NOT like the idea of sedating me for an MRI. He didn''t think the nystagmus was any better, but he also thought that it wasn''t any worse. He thinks I tip my head back to look up at people because I have found a "null point" where my vision is clearer/less shakey. I''ll go back to see him in February.
When we left Dr. Morrison''s office, we went up to Vanderbilt to drop off my glasses at the optical center so they can put my new prescription lenses in my frames. Momma was quite happy to hear that it had (just barely) been less than six months since we got the glasses so the new lenses will be free! The glasses should come back in 7-10 business days. I hope I don''t have to be retrained to keep them on.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, A day-late Happy Birthday to my Lito and my Grandmomma who celebrated their birthdays yesterday. I gave Lito his card and gift while we were in Panama and I''ll get to see Grandmomma when we all get together on Sunday to celebrate her birthday and Daddy''s birthday at Granny and Pop''s house.
Daddy took the day off work today so he could spend it with me and Momma. We had planned to maybe go swimming, but it was a rainy day. So, after Daddy got back from renewing his driver''s lisence the three of us went to Logan''s for lunch. I thought the yeast rolls were made of yum!
After lunch, we went to GiGi''s to pick out a couple of fancy birthday cupcakes and then we went home so I could take a nap. Well, before I took my nap Daddy opened his presents. We gave Daddy some T-Shirts from Panama, a couple of CD''s, a new watch (that was exactly the same watch he already had), and we gave him a toaster oven. After my nap, I had a snack and then we all went upstairs to my playroom. Momma and Daddy watched a movie and I played with my toys and took another nap. When the movie was over, Momma and I sang "Happy Birhday" to Daddy and he blew out the candle in his giant cupcake. I wonder what he wished for...
Today I went to the Atlantic (Caribbean) side of Panama! Momma and I went with Lito and Lita and some of their friends to a little island called "Isla Grande". The Atlantic side is a lot different than the Pacific! The water is clearer and calmer and things just seemed more laid back there (like things can get much more laid back in Panama).
It took us about two hours to get there this morning with the last half of the trip being windy and kinda bumpy (though we hear it use to be MUCH worse). I slept some of the way and the rest of the way, I entertained everyone with my babbling and motorboat noises. After the car ride, we all piled into a boat and took about a five minute trip over to Isla Grande. We rented a tiny little hotel room for the day so we could have a place to potty and change our clothes and so I would have a place to take a nap, which I did shortly after we arrived. When I woke up from my nap, Momma took me to play in the water. It was an overcast day today which I liked because it was less bright out and I didn''t have to wear sunscreen, but it also meant that the water was kinda cool. But I only half cared! I love water and I LOVE splashing! I splashed for about 15 minutes before I got out and put on some dry clothes. After everyone else got out of the water, we all took a walk down to the end of the island and back. It started to rain on the way back a little and since it looked like it was going to just get worse, we decided it was time to pack up and motor back over to the mainland. Then, another 2 hour car ride and we were home! I played for a bit with some tupperware before I had a bath and went to bed.
Tomorrow we plan to go to our beach house (on the Pacific side) for the night.
So far, I''m doing a pretty good job of going with the flow and staying in mostly good spirits! We''ll see how I feel after two more days of the beach. ;)
Momma and I have made it to Panama. It took us two full days to get here, but we''ve made it! We were supposed to arrive on Tuesday night at 8:30, but our flight out of Nashville was delayed and made us miss our connection to Panama in Atlanta by about 15 minutes. So, I got to visit with my friends Natalie and Alyssa again!! They live in a suburb north of Atlanta and Ms. Lori came to the rescue! I went to bed pretty late, but it was fun the next day to get to play with my friends again! Ms. Lori and Natalie escorted us back to the airport yesterday about two hours before our flight was supposed to start boarding (Momma didn''t want Ms. Lori stuck in rush hour traffic, so we were okay with that little wait). Well, of course, our flight was delayed out of Atanta. The flight that was supposed to take off at 5:30 didn''t take off until about 7:30, putting us in Panama a little after 10pm and after getting off the plane (we were in the second to last row), getting my diaper changed, going through imigration, getting our luggage, and going through customs, I finally got to see my Lito and Lita. I was too tired/fussy to let them hold me and I cried and cried when I got stuck in the carseat. So, we finally got to the house around 11:40 and to bed around 12:15 or so. This is WAY past the hour I turn into a pumpkin!
So, I slept in till 9:00 this morning and I''ve been out of sorts all day!
BIG news in my physical development.... I climbed a flight of stairs today!! GO ME! Video is on its way! :)
This week was a lot of fun!! My friends Natalie and Alyssa and their Mommy, Ms. Lori, came to visit us!! They got here Monday evening and stayed all the way until Friday morning. We had a lot of fun all week and I learned a few things while trying to keep up with the other girls. Alyssa taught me how to open cupboards and Natalie taught me where the very fun door stopper is (BOING!). We also played up in my playroom a lot and we had a dance party in the breakfast nook. On Thursday, we took a walk that lead us to a creek and Natalie and Alyssa had too much fun playing in the water. I thought the water was too cold to play in, though. So, while Momma played with Natalie and ALyssa, Mrs. Lori took some cute pictures of me!
After they left on Friday, the house was too quiet. I had to get use to playing by myself (and with just Momma) again. I can''t wait until our next visit! I guess it will be our turn to go there next.... :)
By the way, the videos DO work, just click on them...
Happy Father''s Day to Daddy and to all of my Grandfathers (Lito, Granddaddy, and Grandfather)!!!
We''ve had a really fun day so far! Daddy took me and Momma to Henry Horton State Park and they had a hotdog picnic and then Daddy and I swam in the Duck River. I got kinda sleepy around this time, so Momma let me nap in her lap while Daddy went swimming some more in the Duck. After I woke up, Daddy tried to put me back in my duck bathtub that was doubling as a raft, but I didn''t want to have anything to do with that!
So, we came home. I enjoyed the scenic drive through the country and I just had a little snack, I''m not sure what else I get to do today, but I know I will be happy with whatever it is if it involes my Daddy!!! :)
I''m dancing now. It really cute and Momma is trying to get a cute video of it. I like to bounce my booty up and down when I''m playing with my musical activity tables (especially my calypso monkey) and if you''re holding me and you start to sing a ditty I jop up and down.
Also, I''ve started this really funny fake laugh. I mean, I''m happy when I make the sound, but it''s not a true laugh. Once again, we''re waiting for video of this...
So, I''m ONE now! How did THAT happen?
On my actual birthday, Daddy took the day off work and the three of us spent the day together. We went to the park, but I was sleepy and didn''t really enjoy it. After a good nap, I played in the baby pool in the backyard and LOVED splashing around in there. Then, after another nap, Momma and Daddy sang "Happy Birthday" to me and gave me a zebra cake with one candle in it. I liked the way the sweet cake tasted!
Later in the week (Wednesday), I had a visit with the NICU Follow-up Clinic. Nothing major happens at these visits. Momma thinks they''re more for Vanderbilt than for us. The most significant thing about this visit was my weigh-in. This was the first time I had been weighed in a couple of months and I had not gained ANY weight in that time. Momma talked briefly about this with the Doctor at the NICU Clinic, but saved the more lengthy conversation for my pediatrician, Dr. Hood.
I had Physical Therapy on Thursday. Once again, I impressed Ms. Shannon with my progress and my strength. She suggested I get a pair of Stride Rite shoes to give my feet a wider base for balance. She also gave Momma some ho,e exercises for the next month. After PT, Momma and I went home. I took a nap and soon after I woke up, Nana May and Nana V got here. I was happy to see them!
On Friday Momma, and my Nana''s and I spent the day out and about. We wore ourselves out that day! That night (after I was in bed) Momma and Nana V went to the airport to pick up Grandfather.
On Saturday, we had my big birthday celebration at my house. There were A LOT of people here (29 including the three of us) and by the time everyone had arrived and we were able to start opening gifts, I was about ready to take another nap. So, guess who was pretty fussy and overwhelmed with the attention!... ME! I did smash my "smash cake", well, sort of. I put my paw in it once and IMMEDIATELY pulled it back and started crying! I don''t think I liked the way the squishy icing felt. Momma was able to give me a taste of the cake and I liked it, but I only took a couple of bites before I started fussing again. Momma put me straight in my bed. Icing still in my hair and all! By the time my nap was over, half of the attendees had left. My mood was a little better after my short nap, but my eyes were still pretty red, giving away my exhaustion. I was happy when I finally got to have a bath and go to bed that night!
On Sunday, Nana May and Grandfather went back to Alabama and Nana V stayed behind for a few extra days because she had a conference in Nashville for work. I spent some time with Daddy that afternoon. He set up my pool again and I did some splashin! While I hung out with Daddy, Momma and Nana V went for pedicures and then Momma took Nana V to her conference in Nashville.
Monday was Momma''s birthday!! Happy Birthday, Momma! I had an appointment with Dr. Hood that day. We talked about my lack of weight gain and decided that it may be that my activity level had increased. I don''t look underweight, so she told us to just keep an eye on it and come back in if we become concerned before my next appointment in September. I had to get three shots and that was the worst part of Momma''s birthday! Later that night, after I was already in bed, Momma, Daddy, and Nana V celebrated Momma''s birthday with Mexican food for dinner and fancy cupcakes from GiGi''s.
Nana V went back to Alabama on Tuesday, On Wednesday, Ms. Amy (my teacher) and Ms. Yolanda (my service coordinator) came for a little bit, and on Thursday (today), I went to the Down syndrome Clinic at Vanderbilt Children''s Hospital. Momma and I had to get going MUCH earlier than either of us were use to. We got to Clinic around 8:30. I met with ALL the therapists (physical, occupational, speech), the nutritionist, the nurse practitioner, and the doctor. There was some more concerned expressed over my lack of weight gain. The nutritionist suggested I start drinking some Pediasure each day to add calories and Dr. McGregor ordered some lab work to rule out Celiac Disease (it''s an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed when one eats gluten). We''ll get the results of that lab work back in about a week.
So, that brings us up to date. WHEW!
Sunday, Momma and I are headed to Alabama to help Nana V out while she recovers from surgery. I hear that I''m going to get to see Aunt Kimi and Aunt D while I''m there.
The day I was born, Momma woke up concerned about me. She had not felt me move in her belly very much (which is why she was able to sleep all the way until 10:00 that morning) and that was unusual for me. I was regularly quite active! So, after she got up, she drank a glass of strawberry (organic) milk hoping that the added sugar would perk me up. It didn''t. So, she had more sugar. She ate a Zebra Cake (a Little Debbie snack cake) and drank a Mountain Dew, and later some ramen noodles. I still didn''t really move. Momma didn’t eat like this throughout her pregnancy! She *mostly* ate VERY healthy, but she was starting to get desperate. Momma was able to find my heartbeat with her Doppler, but she and Daddy were still pretty concerned.
So, around 2:00, they called the doctor who told them to go to the hospital so they could check me out. After making sure they had their "just incase bag" packed and got showered/dressed (and Daddy ate a hamburger), they arrived at the hospital a little before 4:00pm. After Momma was admitted, a nurse came down from Labor and Delivery to wheel her upstairs. That nurse asked her what she had eaten that day and she answered “A Zebra Cake”. That nurse thought Momma had LOST her mind!!! She actually treated Momma like she was not being a good Momma! She was CERTAIN that the reason I wasn’t moving around was because of Momma’s poor nutrition and possible dehydration. This made Momma feel very sad and mad at the nurse. The (yucky) nurse strapped monitors to her belly and started watching my heart rhythm. It wasn’t quite “normal”. So, she made her drink LOTS AND LOTS of apple juice and fed her. Did they feed her something super healthy? NOPE! They brought her FRIED chicken fingers, FRIED french fries, and a big slice of chocolate pie (which Daddy ate).
After eating a lot and drinking a lot (and peeing a lot), I was still the same. So, around 7:30, Dr. Bell came in the room with an ultrasound machine. As she performed an ultrasound, she was watching for me to do certain activities and I would get points in a 30 minute time frame. I needed to get 10 points. I only got 4, two of which were because I had the hiccups. Before the 30 minutes were even up, Dr. Bell was calling for the OR to be prepped for a C-Section. She said I was in distress and I needed to come out of Momma’s tummy. This was 18 days before I was due!!! So, around 8:00, Daddy was making the calls to family to tell them I was on my way and at 9:00pm on Sunday, June 1st, I was born! I weighed 5 lbs and 14 oz and I was 18 inches long. My tiny little cry sounded like a kitten to Momma.
We still don’t know why I was in distress, but after I was born, the on-call pediatrician *thought* he found a problem with my bowels that would require surgery. Momma and Daddy were sad that I had to go to a different hospital, but they knew I would be in good hands over there. The surgery for my tummy wound up cancelled when they discovered my bowels were fine, but I did need to stay in the NICU because my kidneys had gone into failure (this was caused by a drug called Gentamicin – an antibiotic given to me when I was admitted to the hospital). Then, as my kidney’s FINALLY started getting better, my Pulmonary Hypertension was discovered. I stayed in the NICU at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for 18 days and came home on June 19th- ONE day after I was due!
Last weekend I helped Momma have a garage sale! She didn''t get rid of as much stuff as she had hoped, but it was stormy for the first half of the morning. She managed to make $72 though! That evening Momma and Daddy and I went to the Luna''s Crawfish Boil for about an hour before I had to go home and go to bed.
Sunday, I went and spent the day with Grandmomma and Granddaddy while Momma and Daddy went canoeing. Momma and Daddy had a good time, but it was unseasonably cool that day and after their canoe tipped halfway through, Momma was FREEEEZING! I also had a good time at Grandmomma and Granddaddy''s. I took a nice long nap and I also got to visit with Granny and Pop and my Aunt Jessica while I was there. As the day wore on, I got a little fussy. It may have been a tummy ache, but I was probably sleepy again. Daddy and Momma came to get me and decided to stay for an early dinner. I enjoyed eating with them! I had a brussel sprout, some mushed potato, and a few little bites of pork. MMmmm... I liked the brussel sprout (!?!)
I also had a couple of playdates this week! Thursday, Momma and I met Ms. Tara and Sofia (4 yrs) and Stella (9.5 Months) at Crockett Park for a visit. Sofia was really sweet with me, but I didn''t see much of her because she kept running off to play. I did get to visit with Stella a bunch. She was interested in my pig tails and I liked watching her crawl around.
Today Ms. Erin and little Liam came over for a quickie playdate. I had fun showing him my activity tables. Liam was really cute "jamming" on the musical toys.
This weekend is a long one. I''m looking forward to spending extra time with Daddy!! Hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day!
People have asked me what I would like for my birthday. The answer is.... I would LOVE to add to my library with some children''s books! I love sitting in Momma or Daddy''s lap while they read to me. Board books would be great because they are sturdier and should last longer than regular picture books (but picture books are great too!!). I also like books that are "touch and feel".
I already have a bazillion toys and I can''t think of anything else I need/want in that department.
Momma''s working on the official invitations, but if you are reading this, you can assume that you are invited to my first birthday party on June 6th!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
I''m 11 MONTHS OLD today!!!!! The countdown to my first birthday has begun!
We will be having a birthday celebration at my house on Saturday, June 6. Details to be determined!
I''m doing A LOT these days and rarely sit still!
I can pull-up to stand and will step forward if I''m not close enough.
I know how to plop myself back onto my bottom when I''m tired of standing.
I can sit myself up and get back down to my belly when I want.
I can close my pop-up toy and I can push big plastic coins into the coinslot of a plastic piggy bank.
I love to play with any sort of paper, but I especially love playing with the coupons/ads from the Sunday paper, and tissue paper, and napkins, and Momma''s shopping list, and......
I reach up/out when I want Momma or Daddy to pick me up. And I will gesture "up"... this is my first sign.
I give high-fives
I get VERY excited when Daddy comes home from work!
I''m starting to eat some more textured "table food".
I''m very vocal and I babble all the time.
If I''m talking to you and you look away, I will crane my head around until I''m looking you in the eye again.
I''m still not "properly" crawling, but I sure get to where I want to go by pulling myself forward with my arms and kicking my legs.
I''m interested in petting the animals when they come close enough, and I like to pet Daddy''s beard.
I feel things with the palm of my hand.
I pull hair, but it always starts out very innocently.
I splash in the bath tub (when I''m not too tired).
I like sleeping in bed with Momma and Daddy after I wake up in the middle of the night. If I had it my way, I would sleep there all night.
I love being sung to and I like dancing with Momma or Daddy while we listen to music.
I sometimes break free of the barriers keeping me in the living room, but I always give myself away by laughing and smacking the floor with my hands.
I don''t like being made to lay flat on my back. It has made changing my diaper quite a difficult task!
I don''t like being "stuck" in my activity centers (jumper, ExerSaucer...) anymore. I whine almost immediately after being put in one, but Momma still sticks me in the ExerSaucer that she keeps in the bathroom so she can take showers.
I take three medicines a day. One for my thyroid (which has never needed a dosage increase!!!), one for my reflux, and one for my seasonal allergies.
Our living room is overrun with toys and activity tables. We can''t wait for my new playroom to be finished!
i''m 11 months old today!
momma just typed the LONGEST update and lost it when she accidentally hit the "back" button. She''s so mad right now and I need to eat.
so... she''ll be back later...
I had an appointment with my Endocrinologist this morning. We actually met with Dr. Guy (sometimes we see her nurse practitioner), but we didn''t really have anything to talk about yet. We''ll know more when my bloodwork comes back.
Which brings me to the HORRIBLE part of my morning. I had to have blood drawn so they could run my thyroid levels. *GASP*
Momma''s always been pretty thick skinned when it comes to watching me have my blood drawn/get shots. She even helps hold me down sometimes. But today was different. Today I showed that I''m getting older and I''ve started figuring things out. While the nurses were trying to find the best vein to draw the blood from, I looked right at Momma, my face all red and streaked with tears already and I REACHED OUT FOR HER!!! BAH!!! This immediately made tears sting the backs of Momma''s eyes and she had to move out of my eyeline. Then, I had to show them all how STRONG I am. It took THREE nurses to hold me down today. Each one commenting on my strength. I sure put up a fight, but they got what they needed. Then, Momma appeared again and scooped me up and made it all better.
We sat out in the waiting room and I had a bottle. After I ate, Momma and I met Daddy at Cracker Barrel for lunch. I fell asleep half-way through and woke up when we were on our way out. I got to give Daddy a hug before he headed back to work. Momma and I went straight home. I played for a few minutes at home, but I was SO tired still that I passed out on Momma and have been asleep for about an hour and a half... so far...
I''m getting SO big!! I''m 10.5 months old today. Hard to believe!
Momma, Daddy, and I went to Aunt D and Uncle Todd''s house in Pensacola last weekend. Aunt Kimi was there and so was Momma''s childhood friend, Dee Bishop and her fiancee Lance. Dee lived in Panama until she moved to the states for college. (Her parents still live in Panama just like Lito and Lita and I''ve met her Daddy Dave and step-mom Diana.) Dee now lives in Gulfport, Mississippi and she is a third grade teacher. Momma has known Dee her entire life! It had been a while since they had all seen eachother, but it was easy to pick up their friendship right where they left it last.
On Saturday while we were down there, Nana V, Grandfather, and Nana May came down and met all of us for an Easter picnic at a park by the water. I was kinda fussy that day because I was tired and it was bright (even in the shade) and I didn''t really like the wind blowing in my face. *sigh*
We got to Pensacola on Thursday night and we left to come back home on Monday morning. The drive to and from are pretty long these days, but worth it! We had a really great time visiting with everyone and we were sad when it was time to leave.
I''ve been kinda fussy since we''ve been back. Pretty clingy... Maybe i''m tired and still recovering from the trip? Maybe I''m finally about to pop out a tooth? Momma and Daddy sure don''t know, but they hope I feel better soon!
I want to thank all three sets of grandbunnies (and one great grandbunny) for my Easter baskets! Lito and Lita, I love the soft, fuzzy bunny. Nana V, Grandfather, and Nana May, thanks for the great book and adorable outfits! Grandmomma and Granddaddy, thanks for the fun poppy toy and hoppy bunny (Momma and Daddy got a HUGE kick out of the hoppy bunny).
So.... I''ve been sick for TWO weeks now!! UGH!
I seemed to be getting better, but when I woke up on Sunday I was a mess all over again!
*sniffle, sniffle* *sneeze* *cough*
Yesterday, we went to Grandmomma and Granddaddy''s house to celebrate Aunt Jessi''s birthday with her. Mike, Granny, and Pop were also there. I had fun visiting with them and showing off my inchworm skills. I wasn''t feeling well, but I was a pretty good sport most of the time. I cried most of the way home, but I (surprisingly) found a way to sleep through the night... well, I coughed some, but went back to sleep quickly.
This morning, Momma was going around the house opening the blinds like she usually does and she was met with a SIGHT out the front window! There was a HERD of GIANT wild turkeys roaming around. There were about 10-12 of them... Just hanging out in the street and on the lawns. One of the boy turkeys got very flirty and made his feathers REALLY big for the girl turkeys. He didn''t get any "takers"...
This afternoon, Momma took me to see my pediatrician, Dr. Hood. She said my lungs sound clear and my ears aren''t red/infected. Since my drainage seems to be pretty clear, Momma and Dr. Hood decided to try an antihistamine (Children''s Zyrtec). If there isn''t any improvement by Thursday, then Momma has to give her a call.
I REALLY want to figure out how to actually crawl!! I''ve been trying out all sorts of new moves! Tonight I even tried climbing up onto one of my toys to try to get to my favorite part of it (which was on the other side, but I could see it through a cut-out). Momma hopes I show this new move to Ms. Amy tomorrow. (There''s a video of this).
Last weekend, Momma and I went to Atlanta to see The Free Family for a long weekend. Ms. Lori has become a really wonderful friend for Momma and an amazing resource. Ms. Lori and Mr. Cliff''s older daughter, Natalie (nearly 3) has Down syndrome like me! They also have another daughter, Alyssa, who is just 2 weeks younger than me. I had a lot of fun while we were there watching Alyssa show me how to scoot around their baby-proofed living room. On Sunday, we went to a playdate/meet-up for families of children with Ds that Ms. Lori organized. The location was the neat facility where Natalie has Occupational Therapy. I liked showing off my new scooting/crawling skill all over the play mat! There were 9 families and 10 children with Ds at the meet-up. I had fun interacting with the other babies and children. This experience, combined with our two baby signs classes, has made Momma interested in finding a little baby class at a Gymboree or something so I can socialize with other babies on a regular basis.
We had a lot of fun visiting with our friends in Atlanta, but we had to head home on Monday because I had therapy on Tuesday and our pet groomer was also coming on Tuesday. During the drive back home, Momma could tell I was coming down with a cold. The second cold I have ever had in my little life. I got pretty sick and threw up a lot on Tuesday from all of the drainage I swallowed and I ran a fever and my tell-tale cough told Momma that I have croup. UGH! It''s Friday now and I''m actually starting to feel a little better. The fever doesn''t seem to be there anymore, but my barking cough and stopped-up nose have been making it difficult for me (or Momma) to get much sleep at night. Plus, to make Momma even MORE tired, I gave her my cold. Even though she knew it was gonna happen, waking up this morning with a fever and sore throat was NO fun! We hope Daddy doesn''t get too sick when it gets passed to him.....
I had my nine-month well-baby visit with Dr. Hood yesterday. She is SO happy with my health and my progress, and I was SO happy that I wasn''t scheduled for immunizations!! I mean, I had to have my finger pricked, but I got over that pretty quickly. I won''t be so lucky at my next visit :( So, I''m growing very nicely and I now weigh 16 pounds and I''m over 2 feet tall! I babble all the time and I can sit independently. I can also get up on my hands and knees and rock back and forth. Good signs that Momma and Daddy need to be thinking about baby proofing! I guess it''s a good thing they are having a room built just for me!
Momma and I went to Baby Signs today! She liked the slower pace of this class (compared to the class on Sunday) and was mostly able to keep up... well, except when she had to sign a song she didn''t know the spoken words to, much less the signs! I had fun playing with Bebo Bear (the Baby Signs mascot) who was sitting right next to me. I petted him the way I pet Fluffy. Momma thought it was cute. The little girl sitting next to me (Kate) had wonderful black spots on her white pants and I found myself trying to play with the spots as the little girl army-crawled past me. I also managed to scoot myself over close enough to Ms. Teri''s knee to gnaw on it some. It was a pretty small class (only 6 parents and their kids). We all took turns laying in a play parachute while the Mommies (and lone Daddy) lifted the kids in the air and signed "up" and "down". I thought this was "okay". The baby who seemed to love it most was Sunday Rose. (For those who want to know, her momma Nicole brought her to the class today.) After the parachute, Ms. Teri blew bubbles and I found one that had stuck to the play mat in front of me and I gave it a good stare! When class was over, Momma took me over to one of the little slides and slid me down. I smiled about it at first, but I had the giggles by about the third swoop down! We are looking forward to next week''s class!
After Baby Signs, Momma and I went and picked Daddy up from work so he could go have lunch with us. We went to Mexicali and I was kinda fussy. I was VERY sleepy and I was getting hungry. After everyone ate, we dropped Daddy back at work and came home. I passed out in the car seat before we even pulled out of the parking lot at Daddy''s work!
I went to a Baby Signs class with Momma yesterday. It was a one-time class that was specially put together for a group of babies with Down syndrome. Momma really loved this class, but it is hard to learn much in an hour. While we were there, we found out that there was a six week class already in progress that has two weeks left. Ms. Teri (the instructor) said that we could come to the last two weeks and she would pro-rate the fee for us. Momma was excited about this because we could get a couple more classes in while that first class was still fresh in her memory (the next class isn''t scheduled until the Fall). So, we''ll be going to a Baby Signs class for the next two Thursday mornings.
...and apparently I may have a new friend named Sunday ;)
Hello faithful journal readers!
I am sorry that I have been neglecting you. My Lito and Lita were here visiting all last week. They left yesterday morning. *sniffle, sniffle* We had a great time while they were here. We had a lot of shopping adventures and I was wiped out each night!
Last night momma went to a gathering of moms who have kids with Down syndrome. She really looks forward to getting to know these families more. On her way home last night, the rain started changing over to a "wintery mix" and by this morning, we had a pretty thick blanket of snow on the ground. Lito and Lita missed it by ONE day!
Momma and Daddy bundled me up and took me out to make my first snow angel. I was really cute kicking my legs and waving my arms in the snow. Momma caught the end of that on video.
I''m nine months old today!
I had a hearing screen done today. I''m still little, so they couldn''t really do the behavioral portion or the test where I am expected to turn toward a sound (which I did twice- once on each side before losing interest), but the Audiologist was able to do some other fancy tests with a computer and a little ear bud. I was a little wiggly which made it difficult at times to get the earbud in my ear, but I eventually sat still and passed the test beautifully! She said she''d like me to come back in six months for a follow-up and so I can do the behavioral portion of the test.
After my appointment with Audiology, Momma and I walked ALL THE WAY across Vanderbilt hospital to the Optical Center so we could pick up my glasses. The lady there made sure they fit and we were on our way! I was pretty tired from our adventures, so I napped all the way home!
I had my glasses on for about 2.5 hours before Momma took them off so I could take a nap. I didn''t mess with them that whole time! Not once! The only reasons there were even smudges on the lenses were because I touched them while I was chewing on my thumb AND when I was trying to rub my eyes I rubbed all over the lenses(cause I was sleepy- poor thing).
Momma took a few photos of me wearing my glasses so you could see!! Please don''t mind the crooked pigtails! It''s been a long day! ;)
I had a pretty busy weekend!!
I had PT on Friday. Mrs. Shannon says I''m doing awesome! She taught Momma some more exercises for me to work on and I''m scheduled to see her again next month. Momma and I ran a couple of errands after PT and when we got home, my new "My Bei Bei" carrier had arrived!! Momma was VERY excited about this! She has loved "wearing" me in the Peanut Shell, but since it''s a sling pouch that goes over just one shoulder my weight isn''t balanced. Since I''m getting bigger, Momma finds it hard to wear me for long periods of time. So, she began the (online) search for a new style of carrier. She found LOTS of different styles (which was very overwhelming) but settled on the My Bei Bei because it kept my legs together. It''s not good for my hip joints to have my legs splayed as many of the carriers would have had me do. Momma''s gonna have to use it a few more times to get quicker at putting it on, but she''s loving it so far! We had a photo shoot that night so I would be able to show it to everyone!
Friday was also Lita''s birthday and I forgot to call her. I feel really really bad about this because I DID think about her ALL day!! Happy Birthday, Lita!! We''ll have to have a little party when you come in a couple weeks!
On Saturday Momma slept in a little and Daddy played with me in the morning. After everyone was up and moving and dressed for the day, we all went to Walgreens, Lowes, and we took a trip out to Murfreesboro to "help" Great Uncle KJ, Great Aunt Lori, and my cousins Olivia and Amelia move into their new house! I really didn''t help too much. I was more of a distraction, but everyone was SO happy to see me!! I also got to see a BUNCH of my family while were there "helping". Grandmomma and Granddaddy were there and so were my great uncles Brian, Stanley, and Daryl. We left there just as it was getting dark outside and about to be my bedtime. I cried (screamed) almost the entire 40 minute drive back! I was so worked up that I threw up all over myself!! Momma and Daddy weren''t sure what the deal was because as soon as I got home and out of that carseat I was a sweet little Sunshine Girl again! Momma''s theory is that I don''t like the car seat when it''s dark outside (I have pitched these types of fits while on a road trip and usually in the dark). After we got home, Daddy and Momma gave me my Valentine''s Day card, and I gave Daddy his. He''s my Valentine and I''m his!
Today, Momma got to sleep in A LOT!! First of all, I slept straight through the night!!!!!!! I have been waking in the middle of the night lately and Momma just changes my diaper and puts me in their bed so we can all get some sleep. But today I slept until 7:00am! Daddy got up with me and Momma kept on snoozing! She really needed the sleep. After we all got going for the day, the three of us went to the jewelry store in the new Kroger Marketplace (!!!!) to buy me a new set of earrings for my Valentine''s Day gift. I needed a new pair because I lost the back to one of my current earrings sometime yesterday. I got some pretty little gold flowers with a tiny, sparkly diamond in the middle. Then, I slept in my new My Bei Bei while Momma and Daddy did some grocery shopping. I also saw my neighbor Mrs. Melinda while we were there! When we left, we ran through Tractor Supply for fun and then we came home so I could eat and take a nap.
Momma and Daddy are having our unfinished bonus room finished this week! The crew starts tomorrow!! So, Momma and Daddy had to spend some time this afternoon upstairs moving some boxes and furniture so they would be out of the way. I''m SO excited that I''m going to have my own room to put ALL of my toys/play centers!!!
I''ve been hearing about a LOT of family and friends and friends of family and friends who read all about me all the time! But I don''t know who''s keeping up with me because no one signs my guestbook anymore. :(
I would love to hear from everybody (even if I don''t actually "know" you!).
Actually... out of curiosity, please leave a little comment to this journal entry once you''ve read it.
I wonder how many comments I''ll get?!?!?