All Done!!!

Both girls have started to regularly use their sign for “all done.”  Sophia is very adamant, waving her right arm to tell us she doesn’t want that book, doesn’t want that song, doesn’t want her sister to be listening to the book, etc.  She even told me to stop teasing her that she was a “manipulator!”  Her action is similar to the wipers going “swish, swish, swish,” but has its own insistence.  She even uses it at night to tell me when she doesn’t like the song I’m singing to her (which is guess is better than whining or saying “no”).

Zoe’s “all done” is more of a dancing with both arms going every which way.  She usually uses hers when she’s decided it’s time to get out of the high chair and go play.  She also waves both arms up and down excitedly when she sees a banana or an open door.  She loves to go outside and either points and makes a noise or brings you shoes to let you know that it would really be much more fun if we were playing outside.  Jane (PT) was relieved that the shoe-bringing wasn’t about getting her to leave (they are good buddies now).  As Jane said the other day, Zoe likes her now with as much enthusiasm as she disliked her in the beginning.  They actually did get to go outside for therapy yesterday and both girls practiced climbing up and down stairs at the park, which is much more exciting than the stairs at home.

Zoe has really started using a lot of different signs lately.  One morning she patted her head to ask for Papa’s hat, and I had no idea she’d picked that up from her little book.  She knows how to ask to “eat,” and always seems to ask her Papa when she first sees him in the morning or afternoon.  At first I thought it was just because he feeds her supper, and she knows its about that time.  I eventually figured out that it is more likely that she is specially asking her Papa because he gives her treats—who wouldn’t prefer Cheetos and animal “crackers” over plain yogurt and pureed peas?  Zoe can also sign “please” when prompted, but still prefers to point and yell.

I just love it when you can see comprehension in just casual conversation.  I recently used the phrase “good job” in just a normal discussion, and Zoe started clapping.

We’ve been working really hard on shared reading time.  I think what has happened is that Zoe has started picking out her own books that she wants read.  Sophia does not like this at all.  When sticking her face right in front the book (so even the reader can’t see it) doesn’t work to get Zoe to leave, she pushes her, signs “all done,” signs emphatically “my turn,” and/or hollers.  She does not want to alternate between choices and wants to have any book read only to her (and only the books she wants to hear, read aloud).  She had the happiest expression on her face the other day when she got to snuggle up in Papa’s lap and read her “Feelings” book (over and over and over), just those two.  (I think we need to find a book that has a picture of “jealous” in it; I’m not sure how it would look, but it is a common feeling in our house these days).  They do each get a lot of individual reading time, but apparently Sophia wants more.

They continue to make a lot of progress with their walking and of course love to “walk” outside.  (Although Sophia scooted after a little boy’s red Cars Crocs yesterday and scraped her little leg up a little bit).  Sophia can take up to 7 or 8 steps on her own (which we don’t practice on the sidewalk).  Jane was really proud of her for walking to other objects, not just people, and doing it even when she doesn’t think we are watching.  She is wobbly, but loves to do it.  She is also regularly climbing up on to the couch on her own without the stool.  One morning I was in the middle of something and looked over to find her just sitting by herself in our big stuffed chair.  It took me a second to realize how funny that was.  She also tries to climb up into the high chair, so we have another hazard to watch out for!

Zoe loves to push things to help her walk, whether it is her pushcart or a bucket or her high chair.  She sort of just waddles as she pushes and has a big smile on her face.  She still wants to  use two hands for support, so we still can’t walk with each of them hanging on to a hand.

Sophia has started a little art class at Articulture, just a few blocks from our house.  Margaret will usually take her, but I took her one Friday and had fun watching her interact with the other kids and adults.  She goes from person to person making eye contact and touching or tickling them.  I guess she does this at ECFE too; Jennifer says she is very focused on making friends and making sure she catches the eyes of the people she is focused on.  We signed her up for the 12-24 month class, so she is technically the oldest kid, but we thought it would be the best developmentally for her, while still really be a mainstreamed experience.  She was throwing everything just like the really little guy (whose mom stayed after to consult with the teacher about what was wrong with her son that he throws everything, which I hope was really directed at me) but then really interested in the other kids when they weren’t yet.  Her teachers have always said that we don’t need any IEP goals in the social area!  Luckily, she doesn’t exhibit the aggressive behavior at school that she does with Zoe.

A couple weeks ago, they both picked up a little bug and still have runny noses.  When Sophia gets bugs like this it messes with her GI system so much.  Because her digestion slows down, milk leaks out of her G-tube, and she is much more prone to spitting up.  Of course the phlegm doesn’t digest well either, so that causes her problems.  We are just now getting back to normal rates and doses for her feedings (although she’s uncharacteristically slept in the past couple of days missing her 6 AM feeding, so we’ve needed to adjust for that).   I did end up bringing her to the doctor because of an icky pinky toe, and he listened to her cough and said her lungs sounded fine, so that was good.  Her toe had what looked like a blood blister to me, but concerned Grandma and Papa, so I brought her in.  We saw the doc that pulled Zoe’s tooth when she was born (who had never seen Sophia).  He glanced through her lengthy chart and commented that she had lots of needs and kind of grinned that this was probably one of the more minor issues she’s had!  I guess I’m permanently going to be the neurotic mother at that clinic.  He billed $130 to agree that it was a blood blister and tell me good luck in keeping a band aid on it if she lost her nail (and listen to her lungs and have the nurse take her rectal temp).  Luckily, she did not lose her nail and can wear socks and shoes again (if she leaves them on).  I imagine she either pulled a stack of books onto her foot or dropped one of her cans of Pediasure on it.  We don’t remember her being upset about anything like that, but her toe looked pretty rough.  The doc said he could lance it with heat since it was painful and I had to tell him she was only screaming because he was trying to look at it; it didn’t hurt her when we touched it.  Sophia’s weight was similar to what it was at the endocrinologist the week before, so we are glad that continues to go well.  She’s nearly 26 pounds and still at the top of the Down Syndrome growth chart and mid-typical chart.  We’ve moved both girls to size 4 diapers…what happened to the cute little newborn diapers we had just a short year ago?

On other medical related issues, Sophia’s brace is back in orthodics to add some padding to the shoulder straps; we’ll try to start using it when we get back from our trip.  It doesn’t seem to bother her once she gets over being upset about us putting it on, so I think we’ll just do it every morning while she’s awake.  We are also in the process of scheduling a neuro-psychologist test as requested by the endocrinologist, so we’ll see how she performs for a stranger.

Zoe missed her ECFE classes the past few weeks with a work conflict, her runny nose, our trip, and a photo shoot, so we’ll have to fix her truancy and get back for the last couple of classes before summer.  She has OT on the same day, so does get some good services even if she misses class.  They both had a lot of fun going a long with Papa on his photo shoot with my cousin Sandy and her family.   They got to ride around in their stroller down by the Mississippi and the Stone Arch bridge.  They even got carried like princesses up and down the steps.

I felt like a princess last week getting our tub surround re-tiled by someone else!  It was really nice to have the whole project done in two days and not have any of the do-it-yourself stress for a change.  The girls got to take their first bath in the big girl tub with Papa (I’m impressed he was that brave after having Zoe poop 4 times during one bath the previous week.  He especially enjoyed Zoe’s expression when she saw something floating by that shouldn’t be floating by in her little tub).

Sophia loves being able to bathe in the big girl bathtub, because it allows her to scoop water to her hearts content.  Her teachers want her to practice scooping, so it works out well.  I think she’d like to spend more time in there than I let her, but she is really enjoying it.  She still seems to think it is a good time to practice standing, rather than just relaxing and enjoying the water, but I guess that is good, too.

We all had a nice Mothers Day, and had our traditional lunch w/ Aisling and Siobhàn and Grandma and Todd.  The girls made it pretty clear that they would much prefer not to be dressed in cute little dresses because it is way too hard to crawl.  I guess I should save the dresses for the walking days ahead.

And, yes, I am writing this on the flight to Honolulu.  My idea of sleeping the whole trip hasn’t worked out so well, so I thought I’d get caught up on the past couple of weeks.  It was very sad to leave them this morning, but we know they’ll have lots of fun with Margaret, Grandma, Aisling and Siobhàn. There are a couple of cute little babies on this 8-hour flight—can you believe it?  They aren’t close enough to take a turn in holding them…


  1. Sharon Giel says:

    Deb and John, What a lot has happened since the 1st of April! I’m happy to see you could tear yourselves away from your beautiful little girls and wish you a wonderful time in Hawaii!