Thursday, March 22, 2012

Celebration and a Milestone Update.

Yesterday, Ellie and I went to the zoo and met up with some friends.

I wanted to do something fun with her for World Down Syndrome Day.  We also spent four hours at the doctor's office on Tuesday, so Ellie and I both were craving outdoor fun.

(Grumpy gorilla.  That's the face Ellie and I were both making Tuesday in the waiting room.)

(I said, "Smile, honey."  This is what I got.  Thanks, Ellie.)

(Just some mini-donkeys.)

(When you are two, this is the best part.  "DIGGERS!  Mama, DIGGERS!!!"  Really, who needs elephants?)

When Matt got home, we walked to get frozen yogurt as a family.  Ellie fell asleep, so Matt and I ate most of the yogurt ourselves.  She eventually woke up and after one bite, was frantically signing "eat" long after the tasty treat was gone.

Speaking of eating....

OK, this is a weak transition, but it's time for a milestone update!

Eating: Ellie is learning to use a fork (against her will).  I've received emails from parents over the past year with questions on various developmental tasks.  This is probably NOT an area where you want to follow my example.  Here's how Ellie's "fork skills" went last night.

Mom makes scrambled egg, places egg on tray.
Ellie grabs egg off tray and shoves in mouth using both hands.
Ellie resembles cute, egg-covered chipmunk.
Mom covers rest of egg with hand, puts bite on fork, hands fork to Ellie.
Ellie removes egg from fork with hand, places egg in mouth, throws fork behind her.
Dad retrieves fork and laughs at Mom.
Mom again loads fork with egg, sticks fork in Ellie's mouth.
Ellie grabs fork handle, throws fork behind her.




The skill progression we are working toward is: a) Ellie will eat bite off parent-held fork, b) Ellie will remove fork from mouth with her hand, c) Ellie will willingly play with fork, holding it by handle and d) Ellie will attempt to get fork into her mouth.  Oh, and e) Ellie will NOT throw the fork.

Right now, we've achieved step a).

As far as drinking skills, Ellie is no longer using a bottle and drinks almond and coconut milk from a straw cup.  Cow's milk led to entirely too much spit up and our house/our baby/my shoulder all smelled like rotten milk, so we switched to gentler varieties for the time being. 

Gross Motor:  Ellie climbed ONE stair in therapy the other day.  She needs assistance most of the time to climb, but she's progressing and interested in exploring her world.  She's been pulling to a stand on everything she can reach (which isn't much).  Ellie's favorite place to pull to a stand is the bathtub, especially when she's covered in soap and water and is extra slippery. 

Ellie is improving on her standing and her very-assisted steps, although she's not yet walking behind a push toy.  The "bear crawl" is Ellie's favorite way to move.

Fine Motor:  On Ellie's recent evaluation, her fine motor skills were further behind than I expected.  She can use a modified grasp on a crayon, she can manipulate items, so why in the world is Ellie so behind?  Two words: Voluntary release.  Ellie doesn't let go of things.  She doesn't stack or drop objects into a container regularly.  Ellie is working on her baby hoarder skills, and we need to break that habit to get her back on track with her peers.  On the positive side, Ellie did learn how to remove pegs from a peg-board during the evaluation, so that was helpful.  Just don't ask her to let go of the pegs. 

That's all I've got for today, and don't forget to check out the posts from yesterday.  I'll simply leave you with this:

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  1. Ellie's doing awesome!! Btw, I honestly don't remember when Samantha started showing any skills with a fork. It was probably somewhere around 2 or 3. (#mommyfail)

  2. Yay Ellie you are doing soo good!


  3. Rock on Ellie! I couldn't help, but laugh about the fork. My Ellie Bear used to be the same way. It gets better! She still needs help, but we are past the throwing of the fork :)

  4. Ellie is really doing amazing. Sometimes I think it must be a little difficult to look at the so-called delays when your child is pretty much a major rockstar when it comes to so many things. Or maybe that's just what I tell myself since our Beanie girl has delays in ALL areas. Ha!

    And your feeding training session sounds great to me. Feeding herself things of different textures, even if it's with her hands is a great accomplishment.

    She is doing SO well. And she's ridiculously cute to boot (which has to be the most important thing, right?!)


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