001sozo001.jpgThis week seemed to be filled with things that required bravery. We ended the week by getting Sophia’s hair cut (letting someone with sharp scissors get close to her squirmy face). We decided that it was time to try to even it out a bit and try to keep it out of her face. She’s now sporting some new bangs and little pixie do. It probably isn’t the most flattering for her chubby cheeks, but once it grows out more we can try a more slimming look! It has already had the intended impact, though; when she spit up during her “nap” that afternoon, she didn’t get anything in her hair! We took her to the same place where we both get our hair done, and Hop was really good with her, following her around as she bobbed her head back and forth. Sophia was in a pretty mellow mood (for her), so it wasn’t nearly as bad as we expected. She generally hates to be restrained for any reason, but she let John hold her while I tried to keep her looking at me instead of Hop (she still loves faces so much that it is hard to keep her from looking at new people).

Luckily, my friend (and 4th cousin) Kirsti volunteered to be the first brave one to watch Zoe on solo duty while we went to get our haircuts. She came early to have a chance for Zoe to get acquainted with her, but Zoe was sleeping, so it ended up that Zoe woke up to a new face after we’d left. Apparently, things went well, however, and there weren’t any tears (amazing). We finished all 3 haircuts in less than an hour, and they were just getting ready to have a bottle when we got home.

I was also brave with Zoe on Saturday. She was overtired and having a hard time getting back to sleep as she’d fallen asleep nursing and only slept for a few minutes. I soothed her (holding her singing “Hush Little Baby” while she sucked her thumb) and laid her down in her bassinet several times. Each time she’d start fussing, so I’d pick her up again. Finally, I let her fall asleep in my arms, rationalizing that she was a little off from her shots, but she still didn’t stay asleep when I put her down. So, finally, I decided that it was time to start letting her cry herself to sleep. I’d read that at 4 months, you can let them cry at nap time (nothing like starting on her 4 month birthday)! I thought I’d give it 5 minutes. She’d cry for a little bit and stop and cry and stop, so I convinced myself I could last 10 minutes. The on and off continued, so I moved it to 15. At 15 I went up to get her and she had her eyes closed, sucking her thumb, so I restarted the music on her mobile and it worked! (I ended up having to do this again on Sunday after trying several times to get her to lay down without crying, and she was quiet as soon as I left the room–yeah!) Later, I did this after the first try, and it worked again. She appeared to be a quick study in the “no need to cry” department. I later pushed my luck and tried putting her down while she was still fussing, and that did not work. I need to get her so she’ll go down for the other people we have helping us because she is so sensitive to getting overtired, so I hope this is a good step.

Our bravery on Friday involved bringing both of them to get immunizations at the same time. Although I thought it would be efficient, we were there for nearly 2 hours! The worst part for Sophia was probably being restrained. Zoe cried more about the rectal temp than the shots. She was over them in no time. We did give them Tylenol beforehand, and that seemed to help. Siobhàn was with us too and was wondering whether we’d be giving Zoe her Tylenol by mouth. It reminding me of the first time I went to give her gas medicine; I did have to stop and think about how to give it to her. We are so used to Sophia’s MIC-KEY button, that it is weird to give medicine by mouth. The girls are growing well; they are only 1/2 cm apart in head size, so I guess they can certainly wear the same hats. Zoe is up to 15 pounds, 5 ounces and is 24 3/4″ long (around 75% for both); Sophia is up to 21 pounds, 13 ounces, and is now 30″ long. She really seems 2 1/2 feet now that she is standing up so much. Her weight gain has really slowed, but it is okay since she is so active and will likely struggle with weight as she grows up. Our doctor didn’t seem too concerned about Zoe’s development and thought it was pretty early to be assessing her. He said sometimes it harder for the larger ones to do things like rolling, etc., and then he asked her what it was that she was keeping in those cheeks of hers!

One of Sophia’s injection sites was really red this weekend, so we finally called the nurse line. As usual, she did not want to give us any advice given Sophia’s complicated history, so they paged the on-call doctor. He said it was a normal reaction to the tetanus shot, and it would go away more quickly the more she walked! I didn’t take the time to remind him that she doesn’t walk yet…

Thursday’s bravery (or really stupidity) was the handyman who thought it was okay to refer to his daughter having had trouble eating as a toddler as “retarded,” while Sophia sat in her high chair trying to learn to eat. I just cannot figure out how people can use that word at all, but much less in a situation like that. My cousin Jamie also bravely came over to help us with the girls. After having to step over bags and people during Sophia’s class time last week, the Comcast man dared to actually came back into our chaotic home, and I think we may have reliable internet once again.

On Wednesday during PT, I had to learn to be tough and let Sophia “plop” on her butt after pulling to stand on the couch. She doesn’t need the bench anymore, so she needs to learn to sit back down on the floor slowly. It is hard to let her do it, but it really doesn’t seem to bother her. Our friend Simon (4 1/2) (and his mom Christy) came by with car seats, and Simon braved “Sophia the Hug Monster.” She just cannot help herself when there is another little person around, she has to hug him/her. She usually chooses someone who doesn’t feel the same way about hugging, and Simon, unfortunately, fell into that category. She had him cornered on top of the couch to get away from her! Simon also has this great head of hair that Sophia was anxious to pull, but luckily he was too quick for her.

Zoe had her own encounter this week with a too-friendly child (other than her sister). John took her into the convenience store in the Bjorn and a little girl about Sophia’s age saw Zoe and immediately stopped crying about not getting the treat she wanted because she was so excited to see the baby. John bent down so they could be at eye level, and the little girl dove in for a kiss. Zoe burst into tears and still had drops on her cheeks when they came out!

Tuesday, Siobhàn spent the day with us and braved the trip to the audiologist and the otolaryngologist (ENT) for Sophia. Once again, she did not respond to the sounds by looking, so they still can’t tell whether there is a hearing issue or whether developmentally, she just cannot do that yet. The ENT (who had done her bronchial scope during her G-tube surgery) wants us to try once more to do the behavioral test in 3 weeks, and if it still doesn’t work, he wants to put her under to check her hearing. He is concerned because kids with Down Syndrome are so prone to progressive hearing loss and this age is so critical for learning sounds and language that he doesn’t want her to be further disadvantaged by not being able to hear. I said that she seems to hear us fine and recognizes words, etc, but he said she could still not be hearing individual sounds like she should (like having blurry vision), so he wants to test her. It is frightening to think about doing that again, but I guess it is the best for her. They’ll also be able to looking into her ears while she is under. She has the characteristically small ear canals where no one can really tell for sure if there is fluid in there. This doc had a whole procedure for the parental hold so he could look into her ears (the 3rd time that day): put her in your lap with her back against you, put her legs between yours, cross them, put your left arm across both of hers, and hold her head with your right hand. Clearly, they’ve done this a few times before. Sophia was not happy at all. Not only did she get her ears looked at, but both the doc and the resident used the tongue depressor to look at her throat. I just cringed and said “She has a really strong gag reflex,” but they did it anyway, and somehow, she magically did not spit up all over them! We’d even just given her some food, but luckily it stayed in. Sophia was so glad Siobhàn was there with her; she has a “perma-grin” around her big (god)sister. When I brought Sophia downstairs that morning, she practically dove out of my arms into the chair Siobhàn was sitting in, wrapped her legs around her waist and her arms around her neck and just gazed at her. When our pediatrician asked us whether Sophia had a preference for one of us, John said “Siobhàn” which is very true.

During the doctor visit, John brought Zoe into the restroom for a diaper change, and she loved how her voice echoed in the small space. Ever since then, she’s been using this new sort of holler/cackle/shout voice. I haven’t figured out whether it means something or she just likes listening to it.


  1. I LOVE the haircut, Sophia! Tres chic! Sounds like y’all had quite a week. Hope you can relax a bit now.