Note: I know that Ellie is officially 21 months and one day, but Matt guest posted yesterday. And I know there's no photos. I have a few on the camera, I just need to pull them off. Don't worry, we have lots of fun expected this weekend and I'll update with Ellie photos and Down syndrome holiday party photos and Elf photos and other fun! To make it up to you, today I have a handy dandy Ellie video.
Life has changed in the past 21 months. Ellie, you are hilarious, and sweet, and naughty, and mostly a delight. You are full of light, and since your name means "bright ray of light," I shouldn't be surprised. As you grow, I realize what expectations I've had and how you challenge those expectations.
Things I expected that aren't happening:
* Sadness. I thought I'd be sad when your delays really began to show. I thought that I'd be sad when you couldn't talk as well as your friends, or keep up with them, but I'm not. You are your own person, and you are making your own way just fine. Every time I begin to feel a tinge of sadness, you do something new or encourage someone, or otherwise make your Mama feel better.
* Walking. Ellie, I know you will walk when you are good and ready. You are able to walk, but you don't walk. Your daddy and I go a little nuts sometimes, because you are strong on your feet, and the world's fastest bear crawler. Watching you push your babies in your stroller or walk with one hand gives us confidence, but I know you could let go and take off. We're just waiting for you to decide you want to walk.
Things I didn't expect that are happening:
* Talking. Sweet girl, you may say only one or two words at a time that we can understand, but you are a communicator of the most extreme variety. The other morning, you woke up at three thirty. Daddy, brought you into the big bed, and asked you to go to sleep. You sat up, smiled, and said, "No no no!" You love the word "mine." You decided that a bunny is a "ba-du" and your vocabulary is constantly expanding.
* Pretend play. This is perhaps one of my favorite stages. You "talk" on my phone, Daddy's phone, my old phone which is now "Ellie's phone" and on your toy Elmo phone. You feed your dollies plastic food, and sometimes you feed your octopus. You dress your animals in hats. As I type, you are tackling a pink stuffed octopus and force-feeding him a plate.
* Stacking. All of a sudden, you love to stack your wooden blocks, up to four blocks high. Every block you attempt to stack, you call out "ack!" and applaud. The applause isn't limited to successful attempts, you cheer for yourself and say "yay" for every effort.
* Laughter. No additional details needed here, your laugh is amazing.
Things I expected before I found out you had Down syndrome that are happening just like I expected:
* Holiday fun. You love Rudolph, and sometimes call him "woof-woof." The Turkey Bowl Turkey terrified you. I cannot wait for you to meet Santa. You stare at the tree and attempt to open the gifts early. You acknowledge the Elf on the Shelf, but you're very interested in his hat.
* Music. You love it all, but the cheesier the better.
* Friends. I love to watch you with your friends. I still relate to other parents, even if our journey looks a bit different. You and your friends hug, snatch toys, fight, and laugh.
* Terrible twos. Ack!
Happy 21 Months, Miss Trouble!
PS For the Grandmas and Grandpas.... Just kidding about the delays. I know that you don't believe in them. That's why we love you!