Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk

We did our first fundraising walk for the Down Syndrome Association, today at Como Park.  It was a beautiful day, and we were thrilled that so many people were able to join Team SoZo in our one mile trek!  I think Sophia danced every moment she wasn’t buckled into the stroller, going down the big slide with Siobhàn, or meeting new friends.  Zoe was pretty clingy at first since we had to wake her from her nap, but she seemed to warm up eventually.  Now that we’ve seen how it all works, we’ll have to do it right next year with our own little shelter and special Team SoZo T-shirts and real food!  I thought I would cry all day, but ended up being too busy checking on toddlers to really think about how great it was to have all of those folks supporting such a good cause.  Thanks to all of you who made it.  If any of our loyal readers are interested, here is our little fundraising page:  http://www.firstgiving.com/teamsozo.

The girls are sleeping soundly after their big day.  I think we are going on nearly two months with them sharing a room at night.  It went much better than I ever expected.  We put Sophia down first, and she is usually asleep before Zoe goes down.  But even if she isn’t quite asleep yet, it doesn’t seem to bother either one of them to bring Zoe in.  As long as Zoe can get to her bee-bo through her pajamas, she seems to be pretty content to go “night, night.” Last night, she told me “na na” “bye-bye” when I left her in her crib.  When I hear her saying “Mama” in the mornings, I know she is ready for the day.  And as soon as I pick her up, she is asking about “Dada.”

The girls will sometimes wake up earlier than normal because they hear their sister, but lately Zoe wakes up early enough that Sophia is still sleeping or sleepy when I go in to grab her quick.  Sophia will usually go back to sleep for awhile, so Zoe and I have some one-on-one time.  Because she wakes up so early (5 or so), she is usually down for a nap before I leave for work, and that gives me some one-on-one time w/ Sophia, too.  So, I actually don’t mind the early morning wake up call; it’s fun to spend time with them when they are so happy.  Zoe can actually sleep through Sophia’s morning cough if she’s really tired and even slept through some spitting up the other night.  The “confusional arousal” crying did wake her, but we got them both calmed pretty quickly.  My favorite thing is when they start babbling back and forth in the morning when they wake up at the same time.  They’ve also started playing chase in the mornings when one is still in the crib and the other is outside.  It is really fun to see them giggling and playing with each other.  Sophia seems to be over her aggressiveness toward Zoe (for now, anyway), and even seems to have stopped biting me, yeah!

We are back in full swing with all of our teachers.  Little Miss Zoe, however, seems to have basically graduated from her IIIEP, and now just has OT and PT available for consultation and her teacher Jennifer once a month to monitor her communication and sequencing.  We are very happy that her early intervention has been successful, and she is basically at age-level now, but we are sad to see less of our wonderful team of teachers.  We will still seem them with Sophia, but less frequently.  They were very happy to hear about all of the signs Zoe knows.  She’s added a few more since the last entry:  work, light, potty (for other people, not herself), hug/love (she’s known for awhile, I’ve just forgotten about it), diaper, and pig.  She’s also saying “Mew Mew” for “melon” which is her favorite thing to eat these days.  She’s been walking around all weekend saying “I know,” which I imagine she got from me saying “I know, it hurts, honey, doesn’t it?” or “I know, you want melon now, but we have to wait for supper.”  Sometimes, it is “I know, no no,” which I imagine she also got from me!  She says and signs “book” at the same time and is starting to repeat a lot of things.  Sophia’s speech therapist commented that she was hearing lots of “B sounds,” and Zoe mimicked:  “B sounds.”

I learned quickly last weekend that I can no longer make absentminded promises to Zoe, because she remembers!  I had just casually mentioned that Grandma would be bringing some cantaloupe from her garden when she came by after Zoe’s nap.  I got her out of her high chair after she finished her banana, and she wanted to go right back up again because she knew she should be able to have some cantaloupe!  Grandma couldn’t believe how much she ate after just finishing a banana…  I also promised her one morning we could go outside when Sophia woke up, and she held me to it, even though it was about 15 minutes before her nap time.  After she reminded me of a promise of sandbox playing time, I learned my lesson.  Now I just tell her “some time” or “later.”

Sophia had fun showing off all of her new skills to her OT (Margie), PT (Jane), teacher (Jennifer) and speech therapist (Kristi).  She, predictably, started each visit with her “Sophia is here today,” song, sitting in a circle, patting her knees.  She is also teaching them her other favorite hello song from music class “Duo, duo.”  (She also really likes “If your name is Sophia, you can pop right up” from our new ECFE class.)  I was telling my mom, it is more than worth the time and money for these classes just for these songs; they are so calming to her, and she knows how to ask us to sing them to her.

She showed her teachers our little learning tower, which lets them stand up and reach the counter top in the kitchen.  They are much happier when they feel like they can see what we are doing and be more at eye level with us.  It has really lessened the times I’ve had to cut and butter toast with one hand, etc.  Jane is teaching them to climb in and out of if on their own.  Ugh!  Margie had to witness an accidental fall (with 4 adults right there, ugh, again!)  Sophia was sitting down and pushed back through the opening, landing on her bottom (preferable to her head, of course, but still very traumatic).

After laughing about why a child would need to be able to walk backwards (PT), we realized that they both actually can.  Sophia also demonstrated that she can keep her balance while throwing a ball.  Luckily, throwing is one of her better skills as she regularly practices throwing anything and everything.  Even one of the moms at ECFE commented on her arm (not sure if it was a compliment?)  I don’t feel so badly when we are sitting on a restaurant patio, but we’ll probably have to figure something out when we move indoors.  We probably had our last outdoor dinner for the summer this weekend; since the girls took such long afternoon naps on Saturday, we were able to squeeze in an early birthday dinner.  Zoe loved trying new food, and Sophia was busy stretching her reach.  Luckily, she didn’t lick the table like she did at the last place we ate out (a side effect of her licking in eating therapy, where her latest favorite is kalmata olive/caper salad dressing).

And that’s what it’s all about!  (The girls are having a great time doing the hokey pokey these days).

Comments

  1. I’m so sorry I forgot all about yesterday. That’s what happens when you give me too much of an advance notice. Glad Adam got to go with Doug & Jane though. Sounds like the girls are doing great! Kris is coming home for thanksgiving this year. What are your plans – you & yours are deffinately invited!