Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Girl

Yesterday Baby Girl was supposed to be napping.  Hey, she decided that 4:30am was the perfect time to get up for the day.  I, however, do not agree.  Anyway, napping.  She was carrying on and whatnot and before long, I do not see her on the monitor.  I enter her room and see.....

Okay, when then this new skill develop?!?!?!  There she is screaming while standing so I did what any mother would do.  I ran for the camera to document this monumental moment.  

She finally falls asleep and then this happens...

Do you see that dog who looks all innocent?  (Ignore the cat) First, she is on the bed which is a major no-no.  Second, her loud, angry barking at the evil FedEx man woke up Miss Cranky Pants.  Gee, thanks.  Guess what has just now happened?  Loud angry barking at UPS.  I think I hear Ellie. 

I guess I will finish this post later. . . .

At least someone is getting use out of this resistance band.  It makes for a better teething ring anyway.

The same goes for shoes apparently.

Going out in the rain.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Physical Therapy Evaluation

Since Ellie's birth, well almost since birth, Andrew and I have been and still are Ellie's biggest advocates.

ECI was being a stubborn and said "she doesn't need therapy".  After much persuasion, our therapist agreed to once a month developmental therapy.  Ellie continued to stay on track in the very beginning, much to the surprise of her doctors.  We credit this to Ellie great abundance of determination, our (Andrew's & mine) work with her, and The Bear's therapist Jan.

We were told by the Dr. DelA at the Down Syndrome Clinic, which is now closed, that as the tasks become more complicated, Ellie will require more therapy and will probably lag behind her friends.  We were prepared for this and still, our little Bearity-Bear amazed(s) us.  As her friends started sitting, crawling and finger feeding, our developmental therapist decided Ellie should have 2 x month therapy.  Ellie has been making great strides with this increase in therapy and two weeks ago we needed to formulate new goals as she already met her ones for October!

Meanwhile, Ellie has been on a waiting list for outside physical therapy at the recommendations of well, myself and our pediatrician.  At Ellie's 9-month visit I requested a referral to PT and her pedi agreed.  While Bear-Bear was doing fabulous, we just wanted to make sure that Ellie was receiving all the possible help she could get.

That brings me to today.  Ellie was evaluated in all of her diapered-glory by two physical therapists.  They were amazed with how well she could move in different positions and planes and they felt comfortable with just once monthly sessions.  This would be on-top of our every 2 week ECI developmental therapy sessions.

She scored at an 8 month-level across the board for gross motor skills with the exception of sitting where she is at a 9-10 month level!

As has been the case for a while now, she needs to work on her abs, shoulders, glutes and hips. . . just like me.

Ellie has such sophisticated reading tastes.  No more board books for this girl.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Believe it or not, she actually loves this thing!

Ears, Nose, & Toes

Yesterday we had our follow-up appt with Dr. Z at ENT (ear, nose, & throat aka otorhinolaryngology). 

We were told that her ear tubes, being the special titanium ones, had the potential to fall out at 4 months rather than the usual 1 year.  Andrew and I had discussed this amongst ourselves and decided that if the tubes had indeed fallen out, we would not immediately jump into the next surgery seeing as Ellie has had no infection, no recurrent fluid/drainage, and no hearing loss.

We did not need to worry for the tubes are still patent!  Yay!  The audiologist tried to perform a behavioral hearing screen.  Ellie's hearing results for speech are normal at 25 decibels.  This is improved hearing from the 30 decibels (considered borderline-to- mild hearing loss).  As for tones, the results were inconclusive.  She also tried to get OAEs, which involves placing earbuds in Ellie's ears.  Good luck with that.  Needless to say, Ellie did not cooperate given she just had wax cleaned out by Dr. Z  and then an otoscope in there.  In 4 months, we shall repeat the hearing screen on OAEs.  

I cannot believe that tomorrow my baby will be 10 months old!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Garage Garbage

They are the after pictures.  Do you see the nice upper shelf Andrew made?  Do you see the clear plastic containers that organize everything?  My honey did all of that this weekend!

My friends and family know that I have a type A, slightly obsessive-compulsive personality trait.  Shocking, I know.  I need things to be organized and color-coded.  I consider Staples or Office Depot an amusement park/candy store.  My college roommates can attest to that (remember the color-coded post-its and pens Megan, Meeta, and Denise???).  
Here is the thing. . . I married a closet hoarder.  Okay, I will be honest, he is not quite that bad.  He is a clutter pack rat.  I do not do clutter.  So when I clean (which is frequent), Andrew’s stuff is allocated to specific areas--mainly the garage and a drawer in the kitchen.  
Many times my honey love Drew-Drew has organized the garage.  He has plastic containers of various sizes, file cabinets, metal cabinets all for his stuff, house stuff, car stuff, and gardening stuff.  He (I mean we) has/have a lot of stuff.  He has all of these gigantic tools that are big and scary.  I do not know their names or what they do, but they are heavy, make loud noises, and are dangerous.  (see top pictures for some of these scary machines).  My point is they take up A LOT of room.
We have 4 vehicles and only two run.  (As opposed to the previous 5 cars & a motorcycle when I moved in). There are the two trucks which currently reside in our driveway. We have a hearse which is partially hidden in the driveway.  Then we have this really nice, really cool, chick magnet Supra that I have yet to ride in.  

That engine belongs to the Supra, I think.  Hence why I have yet to ride in it.

This beauty [Supra] is typically hidden away in the enclosed carport (Andrew turned the carport in a single car garage with fancy lighting, AC, and windows last year). It is Andrew’s goal to park both trucks in the large double garage.  The hearse can stay outside.

I really should have taken before pictures.  Instead, see the dumpster.  See how large & how full the dumpster is.  

Now look at the pictures at the top of the post.  See, my Drew-Drew-be has been very productive.  He is organized :-)  Very sexy.  He even built shelves to maximize the garage space. 

Yep, that is a shopvac on the middle shelf and another engine partially obscured on the bottom shelf.

I am so proud of my man!  A few more days and then both trucks will be parked in the garage.
Now the question is: will I be able to get the truck in and out of the garage without hitting the other truck or the hearse or the garage itself?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Scavenger Hunt, Wheel Barrel, Obstacle Course

Best Buddies

Helping Me Take Out the Trash

Sounds like fun, right?  Well maybe, you will have to ask Ellie because that is her therapy.  Well, not the scavenger hunt part.  That part is for me.  I am on a mission to locate the perfect sturdy box or container or something, anything that will allow Ellie to sit with her feet flat on the floor and knees at a 90 degree angle. 

We have a large dumpster in our driveway. . . again.  Every year we order the huge dumpster from Captain Hook for spring cleaning (Andrew's cleaning.  He is a pack rat).  It appears that all of the Ellie-sized boxes might have been tossed into the dumpster and are now a moldy mess (it has stormed).  It is like Goldilocks & the 3 Bears.  I have containers like tupperware and cupcake pans that are too short.  Then I have diaper boxes and plastic containers that are too tall.  Finally, in the media room I found a box that is "just right"--the right height, sturdy, and large enough for Ellie's butt.

Jan, the developmental therapist was at our house today.  She is very impressed with Ellie Bear's skills and has thus decided to modify Ellie's Gross Motor Goals 3 months early.

New Goals:

1. Crawling on all 4s (as in no more inch-worming)
2. Pulling herself up to a kneeling position
3. Strengthening the right-side of her body--she favors the left so much for rolling over, bathing beauty, getting into a sit and for reaching toys will on tummy.  She does bear equal weight on the right so she is not concerned.


1. The Wheel Barrel:  Ellie will strengthen her shoulders and arms with this new move.  Her lower body (hips and legs only) will be draped over my lap and the upper half will be supported by the Bear's arms.  Exciting toys for reaching will also be involved.  To encourage the use of her right-side, I am to use my hand to lift her left hip, thus shifting her weight to the right.

2. Bigger Obstacle Courses: In addition to my legs, toys, and the boppy pillow, new items will be added to Ellie's obstacle course.  She is now to crawl over couch cushions and pillows to reach exciting toys.  It is important to note that I must hide all toys, but one or she will just say "eh, I will skip this obstacle and just grab this toy here".

3. Tug-Of-War: This "game" with strengthen Ellie's right side of the body.  I am to dangle a toy on her right (we do this already), but now I am doing static tugging movements.  Ellie is supposed to tug back.  Right now Ellie just decides to roll over or scooch to another toy.

4. Raised Sitting: Ellie is to sit on a box (see beginning of blog) with feet flat on the floor and knees bent at a 90 degree angle.  Right now I have to stabilize her hips but eventually she is to sit all by herself.  I am to have her reach down for toys and pull herself back up.  She is to reach up for toys without toppling either.

All I have to say is the Bear-Bear is going to have abs of steel.  I couldn't to the wheel barrel if my life depended on it.

We are still working on waving "bye-bye" and the sign for "on".  We are continuing with the flashcards for "m,p,b,d,w".  She is now saying "wah wah" which makes me think of Wawa, the Philadelphia convenience store.  My mom likes to think she is saying "Awa".

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day Photos Part 2

Leslie,  you make an excellent point.  I was naughty and wore black.  Not very patriotic, but it was all that I could fit in! Next year Ellie and I will be more coordinating clothing-wise.  Because the Bear-Bear is such a little fashionista and invited to many social events, here are a few more photos.

Andrew has referred to these photos as Ellie's "Sears Photo Shoot".  I was trying to find a great background to contrast against her dress and bring out her eyes & the blue details on the dress.  Fortunately, I own a blue blanket courtesy of Megan.  Aunties Meeta, Preeti, & Jen selected this lovely designer Calvin Klein dress.  I do not own anything that fancy.  Yes, my daughter is better dressed than me! :-)  Such a spoiled little princess!  

By the way, the hair-bow has fireworks on it.  Thank you Awa!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Andrew, Ellie, and Anna would like to wish all of you a very happy (and safe) 4th of July!

Our little Firecracker!

This is how our day started out.  Ellie doesn't like the camera, she doesn't like the dress, and she doesn't like the bow in her hair.

Ellie is all happy now because I gave her a box.

Apparently there is a competition for the box between Ellie, Sophie, & Tama.

This is Ellie's innocent look.

Finally--posing for the camera.  

Thanks to the Auntie's for supplying Ellie with her very fashionable dress and to Awa for the hair accessories.  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

NDSS: July News Letter & TEAM ELLIE

National Down Syndrome Society's July Newletter

Buddy Walk Update:

It is time to start dusting off your walking shoes and get the kids ready for walking, paddle boats, games, wagon rides, petting zoo, and Joe McDermott (cringe)!  There are only a few months until BUDDY WALK TEAM ELLIE!!!!

I will be forming Team Ellie once the new paperwork for 2010 becomes available.  The Austin/Georgetown Buddy Walk is on 10/24.

If you would like to show your DS support or Ellie support, you have many options:

1. You can participate in the 1 mile Buddy Walk.  There are several in every state--you can go to the NDSS website to find a walk.  New walks are being registered daily.  It costs $15-20 per adult to walk and $5 per child.

2. Or, you can make a monetary donation (how ever much or little you want).  

3. Or, you can pester your friends, families, and coworkers into having them walk or donate.  Once Team Ellie is registered, we will have a designated webpage for our team through the DSACT.

4. Or you can say a prayer on 10/24 for all of those with DS and everyone whose lives have been touched by someone with DS.

All proceeds go towards DSACT for promoting DS awareness and education.  I will provide more information once DSACT has updates everything for this year's walk.

On a side note...
I was watching my friend's bambino the other day and both of them wanted to be held at the same time, of course.  Yes, that is my daughter showing off her Buddha belly & chewing on Graham-Bam's hand.  Later that afternoon they were playing with each other's feet.  Babies are odd.

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