It’s all about the feet

The girls are both obsessed with their feet these days. Zoe is usually most interested in them when she has jammies on with teddy bear feet or bunny feet, but she also gets excited when she finds her bare toes during a diaper change or a bath. She was so focused on her feet the other day that John had to put the high chair tray on so she could pay attention to eating (and forget about those cute little bunnies). I dressed her in those bunny jammies when she went with me on the 2 1/2 hour drive (each way) to Motley this week. They worked great to keep her happy (although I felt badly when I got there and realized that one of Sophia’s flannel circles to go around her stoma was stuck in one of Zoe’s pajama feet). Zoe was a great traveler and got to eat peas on the floor of a school cafeteria (probably the last time she’ll be eating peas at school, I suppose). She had fun with one of my co-workers and spent a lot of time practicing the “la-la-la” she learned on the way up (Linda, Zoe is asking about you, too). Ever since then, she has been experimenting with her tongue and how to use it to make this sound. She has lots of fun in the mirror (and has discovered Sophia’s refrigerator for a nice big reflection).

Sophia continues to hold on to her foot as a security object when we rock her to sleep. She uses it as an affectionate gesture when she meets people or is playing with someone. She’s also started to give us her foot when she sees us clipping nails or putting on socks or when she finds socks in the laundry basket. Speaking of the laundry basket, she loves laundry! She giggles when you say “in, in, in” after she takes everything “out, out, out.” She is just fascinated with fabrics. One week Grandma brought her some small fleece scraps to try to encourage her to stop using the burp cloth basket for her fun. She takes these out of her little miniature laundry basket and actually puts them back in! In fact, she is getting so good at putting things in that she wants to put all of the toys in the bathtub, put other things in her pack ‘n play, and even put toys in my box of crackers.

The girls’ pack ‘n play has turned into a permanent ball pit. It works out well because they are more entertained if we need to leave them in there. They are pretty funny if one is in and the other is out (usually, the primary objective being to protect Zoe). They will touch hands through the netting, as though they are having a last touch through prison bars or something.

They’ve also started babbling back and forth to each other, repeating “da da da” or “la la la.” Hopefully, this will help both of them develop their language skills.

Sophia has also been kissing Zoe (not biting, thankfully), and Zoe just giggles hysterically. She is also trying to tickle her, but it is the same kind of tickle (scratch) she uses with Papa, so Zoe doesn’t really react.

Sophia has a lot of fun tickling Papa and making him giggle. One day, she came to try to get his attention while he was laying on the floor, so she tickled his arm and crawled off, apparently expecting him to follow?

She has learned more gestures, too. She signed “all done” after a book today, moved her hand for “can’t go over it, can’t go under it” from the song “Going on a Bear Hunt”, and shook both arms to the “Hokey Pokey.” She also has begun to respond to “gentle” in relation to Mukwa and Zoe (not so much for Mama and Papa). She is standing for longer periods, can actually get up on her own, and can take a few guided steps (Grandma said 5). Jane PT was impressed with her progress, especially cruising along the window sill on the couch. She was working so hard today climbing on the couch that the back of her neck was sweaty (I’m sure it is related to her elevated temp and the sweatshirt she was wearing, but I felt bad).

Zoe has also started to communicate more. This morning she looked at John’s passport photo and said: “da da da da.” She has also learned to tug on my shirt when she wants to eat. We are supposed to continue to put things out of reach for her to keep encouraging her to try to get to them. She often moves them on her own, but she just isn’t quite mobile. The biggest motivator is Mukwa; she tries and tries to get to her.

Zoe seems to be a good motivator for Sophia’s eating. Sophia likes to watch us feed Zoe and will usually take bites while she’s sitting on our laps. She was really loving Grandma’s squash the other afternoon. I’ve just decided to let her do whatever she wants when it comes to food–play with it, squish it, throw her spoon, try to scoop it herself, whatever will keep her interested. Today she had fun practicing her pincer grasp feeding Cheez Its to me. She impressed her classmates on Monday eating a couple bites of her applesauce. We decided to bring something for snack day that she could actually eat (and all of the cute Thanksgiving treats I found didn’t seem appropriate for little ones). Luckily, we sat next to the girl who decided after 5 bites with the spoon to just eat it with her hands (her mom didn’t mind when Sophia threw her spoon at them). Of course, on the other side of us was a little guy who was concerned about a small drop of applesauce on the table (can’t imagine that ever happening at our house).

Sophia had teacher visits three days this week in addition to ECFE, so she had lots of extra attention. Zoe has class once a week right now, but we are hoping that her PT services will start soon, too. Sophia had fun making Thanksgiving projects to help us decorate the house. We are supposed to have her periodic review this week, so we’ll see what everyone thinks of her progress…