The Infected Home is Again Filled with Infectious Laughter

The girls are back to their normal selves again, for the most part.  They are giggling and laughing and acting silly.

Zoe now has her other top front tooth, for a total of 3 up top and one on the bottom (quite a smile she has these days).  Such a shame that little ones spend so much of their early lives in misery from teething.  She hasn’t let the teething stop her new mobility.  She has now mastered (going up, not down) the stairs.  And the rest of us now have a 3rd gate to walk through in our tiny little home.   A couple of times this weekend, we left her briefly while she was completely occupied with something, only to find her moments later 3 or 4 steps up the staircase!  She has also been using the word “da da” a lot.  She says it to John, but then also says it to Mukwa, Blue, and her own reflection in the mirror.  It apparently must mean “Oh, Beautiful, Fabulous, Favorite One” or something like that!  One morning I’m sure she was asking for her Papa.  She first said “DaDa” and when I said he was sleeping, she growled (which both girls do when they see or hear John coming in) and then she pointed upstairs (where he was sleeping).  We are a little unsure of what she means with her pointing, though.  Every time she cries (which has been frequently this weekend with Sophia’s aggression), she points upward at nothing in particular.

We had her mid-term review with her special education team this week, and one of their goals for her was pointing.  Well, she’s doing it constantly now, but we haven’t figured out what it means, yet!  They thought she was progressing well with her other goals, and we’ll keep on working on being able to sequence things and doing things without thinking so hard about the movement.

We’ve also been working with Zoe for the past couple of weeks on switching from breast milk (or “lady milk” as my nephew would say) to cow milk (or “the mucous by-product of another species” as John would say).  It started when we had the flu, and it seemed like a good time to make it more permanent as long as we’ve made it to the year marker that the doctors recommend, and it seems like it easier to wean when she’s this age.   I just sort of thought I’d put some milk in a cup and that would be that; she likes ice water and loves to drink out of a sippy cup, so wouldn’t milk be the same?  Nope.  After 3 or 4 days of trying every cup we have (which is a lot since we bought everything we could find for Sophia) with every temperature of milk, we ended up with the bottle after all.  I really didn’t want to have to wean her from something else, but she needs to drink milk and wasn’t otherwise.  Hopefully, she’ll just gradually decide she likes the cup best, right?  She’s been pretty good about taking the bottle from me, although she’ll occasionally look at me like something isn’t quite right.  I still nurse before she goes to bed and if she wakes up during the night and it’s been 10 hours or more since she last ate.  We had a couple of long nights trying to get her to go back to sleep from an earlier awakening without nursing, but I think she has the hang of it now.  She didn’t really demand to nurse or anything or even cry, but I knew she relied on it to get back to sleep.

On the day of her review, she slept all night–12 hours–without waking up once.  That was a record (of course we’d given her Ibuprofen for her teeth, and she hasn’t repeated it again, but it is possible!).  She may also be starting to take a real nap in the mornings (rather than two little short ones).  Four out of the last 5 mornings, she’s just taken one good one, and then one afternoon nap–just like the books said she’d have been doing for the last 6 months!  She started this on the day of her review, too, I think she’s trying to show that she’s growing up.

Although Sophia spent a lot of time this weekend hitting Zoe over the head with books or scratching her face, Zoe does like her around when she eats.  She throws things from her highchair, and Sophia picks them up and gives them back to her.  Mukwa then comes around for any food that Zoe feels like throwing off.

Sophia is also getting good at bringing me things I ask her to get.  She’ll bring Zoe’s pants or the diaper she ran off with with a little impish smile.  Today, however, I was trying to get her to bring me the book she was reading, and she brought me 10 other books in the vicinity, but not the “duck book” I wanted.  I’m not sure if there was a communication problem or a willfulness problem.  She’s certainly showing that she is heading into her 2’s.  Nothing I did kept her from hitting Zoe (who got to the point of crying when Sophia even looked at her).  She also started really pulling at her MIC-KEY button (which of course makes it leak even more).  I don’t think the nurse practitioner that told us we absolutely had to keep her from pulling at it really understood what it is like to have an almost 2 year old (with a nearly one  year old sister).  We are trying, but are off to check out the “tubular stretch bandages” tomorrow to see if we can rig something up that we can still access to feed her every 10 minutes.

I know we aren’t really into the 2’s that most people experience, but we’ll have some of it.  We had one of those weeks where we had lots of reminders of how different our experience is and how many challenges we’ll have.  At ECFE, the other parents were all taking about their kids having tantrums and saying “no,” which we couldn’t relate to at all.  Then one afternoon, Zoe was near the top of the stairs and Sophia was at the bottom looking up.  It really hit us both how sad that was, and we really hope it doesn’t make Sophia sad.  Hopefully, she’ll just learn from her sister without feeling competitive or discouraged.  Our doctor had said she thought Zoe would surpass Sophia at about 9 months, so we were prepared for this, but it is still hard.

I thought Daylight Savings Time would let us actually put the girls to bed at a reasonable time instead of so early.  However, their naps were so unsuccessful today that they were in bed by 5 and 5:45 again…  John is convinced that Sophia won’t nap for me because of the change in routines on the weekends.  I can’t figure out why that would be since we basically do the same thing with feeding her, calming her, and putting her down nearly, but not yet, asleep.  But, it seems to be the case; her naps went from 45 minutes and 30 minutes during the week to 15 and 10 this weekend (if she even slept).  I want to give him a break on the weekends, but she also needs to sleep.  I don’t want to go back to rocking her completely to sleep or it will mess up the other naps and nighttime.  It’s also been goofy because I’ve been putting her down early since she’s been waking up at 4:30AM every day.  Maybe if that gets straightened out, naps will be okay again.

I thought DST would at least mean that Sophia would sleep until 5:30AM–but no, she was up at the new 4:30 (old 3:30), but did go back to sleep until the old 4:30.  I know we are putting her to bed early, but she wakes up that early even if she goes to bed later, and I have to get her to sleep when she will.  I know I’m a little bit obsessed with sleep, but it’s hard not to worry about her.  She needs all the benefits she can get, and I hate for her to miss out on sleep because we haven’t figured things out.  I have read that kids with mental retardation do have a tendency to have more sleep disturbances (and get less REM sleep), but I haven’t found anyone who can help us figure out what to do about it!  I learned a new useless term:  “increased sleep latency”  (taking a long time to fall asleep).  She’s got it!

Even with her sleep deprivation, Sophia’s been learning new things.  Today, she pointed right to the “baby” in a book.  We often try to get her to point pictures out and she’ll point on the page, but not necessarily to the image we’ve asked her to find.  She’s also been “gently, gently brush[ing] [our] hair”, which she learned from another book.  Their teachers were laughing at how cute she was at Zoe’s meeting, sitting on her Papa’s lap, watching everyone as they spoke, giggling when others laughed, and acting as though she was just part of the conversation.  She’s also been doing great this week taking independent sips from a sippy cup all day long.  She tilts her little head back so cute and then usually makes a spitting noise, but she’s making progress!  I don’t think she really knows how to suck on it, so she doesn’t get very much at a time, which is great.  That way she is still interested.  She also did really well with cottage cheese this morning.  It took her awhile, but she put her little hands in it and fed me some and even licked her own hand a couple of times without gagging). So, hopefully we will be able to get rid of this g-tube some day!


  1. Happy 1st BIrthday to you.
    Happy 1st BIrthday to you.
    Happy Birthday dear Zoe, now that you’re one year old!
    Happy 1st birthday to you!!!!!
    Have a superscilious day!