A dog named Zoe and a cat named Sophia

114sozo114.jpgWe took the girls to the dog park on the Mississippi on Saturday. It was Mukwa’s turn for a little adventure. The girls had fun, too. Sophia survived the stroller ride on the rough paths and the wet, inquisitive puppy that jumped all over her, and Zoe got to face out in the Baby Bjorn. She also got to hear her name yelled repeatedly. The dog Zoe seemed to have trouble doing what her Mama wanted her to (I hope that isn’t a sign of things to come).

On Sunday, we went to my cousin Jamie’s high school graduation party. Their cat “Princess Sophia” hid for the day, so our Princess Sophia got to get all their attention to herself. She had fun spinning around in her dress (it made crawling difficult, but she seemed to tolerate it okay). She was not happy about having to sit still and get fed, but she cheered up after getting freed (and getting some Ibuprofen for her teeth and fever). Zoe let people hold and play with her again, so we hope that continues. Now that we can venture out into the world, both girls were able to meet some relatives that they had never seen.

Zoe had her evaluation from the County yesterday, and the nurse’s screening instrument said Zoe should be assessed in all 5 areas (gross motor, fine motor, social/emotional, communication, and one other). I think the nurse got a little discombobulated when she was playing with Zoe and asked her: “Does little Zoe coo?” and Zoe let out the loudest toot we’d ever heard!

The school district early childhood/special education department will do the actual assessment (just like they did for Sophia). It will probably take over a month to get that done, but it will be good to hear what they think. We were both concerned that maybe we haven’t give Zoe enough interaction and have stunted her development, but hopefully, we can get things on track.

We do have eye appointments for both girls in August. I’m not sure exactly how they’ll be able to test whether or not Zoe might be far-sighted, but I’m sure they know what they are doing. Zoe does continue to do new things. This week she rolled to her side, held her head up at a 90 degree angle while on her tummy, started holding on to toys more consistently (when Sophia didn’t take them away), got to sit in the little chair by herself, and pulled the pacifier out of her mouth with her fingers.  We are slowly, but surely, trying to wean her from swaddling so we can then wean her from her pacifier while she is still young.  Hopefully, once she can use her fingers, she can substitute them.  She still seems to need them swaddling to keep from waking herself up with jerking limbs.  But since she can usually free her arms in the end anyway, she ends up loosening the blanket, which really isn’t safe.

We are doing a lot of the therapy things with Zoe that we did with Sophia. It works pretty well to have them both doing something at the same time. We can put Zoe on her side with her back against the couch (allowing her to hold her hands together and practice watching faces) while we help Sophia pull to stand on the couch trying to get to Zoe (who is strategically just far enough away that she is enticing, but safe).

Sophia is getting really good at standing at the couch or chair. You need to be right there, but she can pull herself up and sit back down. One day she was trying to pull up from the floor while sitting, but her little legs were underneath the couch, so it didn’t work very well! She is also sitting up the right way a lot more regularly (when she can’t do the splits because she has her wrist bands around her thighs or she’s in the playpen or the bathtub). I think her physical therapist will be really proud of her. I was thinking we’d have to wait until September to see her again, but as it turns out she is working over the summer after all. Yeah!

Sophia continues to work really hard at getting her second top tooth to erupt. It works out well for her oral motor exercises, because she wants to be chewing on things. Her favorite “chew toys” these days are this great hand-held mirror that shakes and has rubber nubs all the way around (our friend Ann’s great find), a John Deere cob of corn that vibrates, and one of John’s philosopher finger puppets. Her favorite seems to be Socrates but when he isn’t around Nietzsche suffices. I keep thinking we should have put in Sophia’s IEP that she be able to identify Mama, Papa, Zoe, and Socrates!

Sophia’s other new thing is that when you bring her downstairs into our former living room turned playroom, she heads straight for one of her two favorite mirrors, puts her face right up against it, hugs it, and smiles.  I think she must be saying “Good Morning” to her favorite little friend.  Now that she can crawl into the kitchen, she can also see her reflection in the fridge, so we have kissy marks all along the bottom of the freezer.  I was prepared for fingerprints, but not lip marks!

Our parent’s helper has started and seems to be working out well. Poor thing ended up having to change Zoe’s diaper after she hadn’t gone for a couple of days! Luckily, she still came back the next time.

Sophia’s summer school teacher came for the first time this week, too. She turned out to be a woman that had visited us as a student teacher earlier this year, so she already knew quite a bit about Sophia. As always, Sophia loved having a visitor to play with.

Hillary’s mom (Jen) wrote that after their play date, Hillary has been playing “Baby Sophia” with a doll. One day, I guess she brought her mom a “container of milk” and the doll for her to feed. Jen obligingly began to “pour” the milk into the doll’s mouth when Hillary yelled: “Mom, Stop! This baby has to eat in her tube!” She went and got one of her large oval beads, pulled up the doll’s shirt, and pressed the bead into her tummy while pouring the milk into the bead tube. She’s such a sweet kid!