Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why I Love Costco and IKEA

While she may love Daddy and started to say "dadadada" first, "Mon Mon" = me :-)

It's time for another Ellie Bear Developmental Update!

As usual, the Ellie Bellie Bear is a Super Star amazing all of those around her with her babbling, bright eyes, easy temperament, and determination.  Oh and super amazing developmental progress. Oh and did I mention her cuteness? (Yes, I am her mother and I am therefore entitled to think that my little Ellie is the cutest little darling out there.  Biased? Absolutely.  Always right? Of course! )

Gross Motor:

The Bear-Bear is making great strides in cruising around the house using various objects although she still prefers to crawl at her super sonic Ellie speed.  Chicka-Boom stands a little easier on her own and she is not doing that "ugly stand" (as Jan calls it) where she uses momentum and her back extensor muscles as frequently.  Every once in a while she still pops up that way like an "Ellie-In-The-Box".  For the most part she is using her arms, legs, and abs to get herself into a standing position. The "ker-plopping" onto her hiney is happening less frequently.  Instead, she makes more calculated movements from a stand to a sit. 

Look at how far away from the door she is standing!!!!

See that beautiful stand and play?  Ellie Bear is using all sorts of muscles to play with the Santa toy--legs, hips, abs, etc.  She has to work hard at balancing as she is using her arms to play.  It looks and sounds easy, but it is a HUGE step towards walking.  Note the ever present puppy dog guarding her in the background.

How could you not want to play with this?  Look at those adorable hippo eyes.

Since Ellie has mastered the art of pulling to a stand and cruising, Jan recommended that we focus our therapy efforts on moving forward.  In theory, we are supposed to use push-pull toys.  However, Jan was amazed to hear that Ellie would only take 2-3 steps forward with the push-pull toys--even when weighed down with cans and having her lovies on the toy to entice her.  Still, let's take a small moment to celebrate those few steps--Rock on Bear!

One of the advantages of ECI is that Jan comes to our home.  In outpatient physical therapy, you go to their outfitted gym and they have fancy benches, trapeze-like objects, bars, balance balls, etc.  Who owns all of that stuff?  Not us!  That means there is a lot of creativity involved when trying to do therapy in the home without going broke.  Jan has been great at helping us set up our home to be "therapy-Ellie-friendly".  Jan has really helped us to be innovative (recall the egg carton and the "Me Book")  and because of that, we found a way to push Ellie to take up to 8 steps!

Costco has typically been very good to us as they have several boxes of various heights.  However box =  kitty home. . . 

Oh please ignore the mess in the background.

Anyway. . . IKEA!  The photo above is of an up-side-down IKEA bin that costs ~$5.  This is Ellie's new push-toy. Hey, you use what works and what is at your disposal.  I have tons of these bins for toys in every room of the house.  Now, they are therapy toys.  Right now, this particular bin seems to be the right height for her and she will push it and take up to 8 steps forward.  Granted, I have to be in front of the bin with noisy toys to get her to push forward, but there you have it.

Working Hard.  Toddler Boot Camp

Fine Motor:

Again with the IKEA bin.  See the little wheel?  Flicking the little rolling thing develops fine motor skills within the hand and fingers.  It [the wheel] makes noise and spins.  Therefore it is exciting and fun!

Remember the clear egg carton I made where I glued fun little pieces of fabric in the bottom so that the Bear would point her fingers into it?  Remember how she offered it to the dog instead?  Well, recently Elles Belles has taken to playing with it.  Jan says my clear egg carton with fabric is excellent as Ellie is now manipulating the carton in various ways, even if it isn't the way we necessarily intended her to use it.  Yay!  Again, you go with what works.


We have our formal ECI Speech-Specific Eval next week.  We already know that she is delayed, BUT will she get separate speech therapy in addition to our general developmental therapies with Jan????  Hint: I would like for her to have speech-specific therapy.

Until later, Ellie prefers to cruise on her sleep-deprived father.

Let me just cruise around here.

Wake up daddy!  It is time to play!  No bedtime!


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