Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Morning was nice. Bath, playing, fun. She was grizzly after her morning sleep, and her nose was a bit runny. I tried to comb her hair as she was eating her lunch and she got very upset; was making choking sobs really quickly. Normally she'd scream and cry, but this seemed much worse.

She was very fragile all day. She woke up just after I'd put her down for her afternoon sleep and didn't cry herself to sleep so I got her up, tried to settle her. She was quite uncomfortable; she might have had a bit of a fever. I put her down to play, since she wasn't sleeping and went into the other room to settle myself. She started crying soon after. I gave her some milk, she drank it and then cried some more, so I gave her some panadol, and got her dinner ready. She liked her dinner. And then she went to sleep afterwards ok. I think she's a bit sick, and was really over-tired. It ended up being a crap day-- I was very frustrated for most of it. When I decided she was sick, though, then I relaxed, and was nicer to her. It's like it's ok to be grumpy if there's a reason or something-- I guess it meant she wasn't upset at me, so it was ok. I take her moods too personally.
I was up late last night too, so I've been tired all day, which makes everything worse.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ellie did walkies today! Not independently, but she walked holding my hands. Usually she just collapses when I help her to stand on the floor-- she's not interested. I got a repeat a bit later to show Granny and Poppy. I really hope this means she'll learn to walk soon-- I think she'll really enjoy it. And I love the idea of going for a walk with her in the park, holding my hand.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some new signs
  • wiggles -- she sort of twists both wrists with her hands splayed
  • watermelon -- both hands up to her mouth

There's a couple of other deliberate signs she's doing, but neither J. nor I have figured out what she means yet.

She did "drink" for the first time the other day-- it's been so hot, I'm not surprised. But it does emphasise that she'll learn them or use them when she needs to-- and if we're busy meeting all her needs, she doesn't need to tell us anything.

She liked the sea and the sand on the weekend.

She learns through imitation. It's interesting-- she will do things for us and expect us to imitate her. It's the basis of a few games-- she'll stick her tongue out and wave it around, so I'll follow, and she'll grab for my tongue. Tricky girl!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The last few days Ellie has figured out her spoon a lot more. She is now often holding it perpendicular to her mouth, rather than parallel, so she can eat the food properly. She seems also to have figured out what the right way round for a spoon to be is. This morning she was holding a spoon in either hand, one the right way round, the other upside-down. She looked from one to the other a bit, then dropped the upside down one and picked it up right side up. Clever girl!

Online article I read today suggests praising children for effort is better than praising them for their cleverness. Apparently, if you praise a child for effort, they try harder, they like effort-- they'll attempt quite difficult things. If you tell them how clever they are, they'll stay away from anything that seems difficult-- that's not immediately solvable, for fear of jeapordising their clever status. Interesting. Seems like simplistic research, but the idea seems reasonable enough.

She got new shoes on the weekend. Little black girl shoes (I don't know what they're called, but if you think of little girl shoes, that's what they are.) Buckles and little sparkly diamonds. Very cute. She really likes them-- she wants to wear them all the time. They get in the way of crawling a bit, but they seem to help with standing. The physio suggested them to help with ankle support, to make standing easier-- because of her hyper-extensible joints.

She went to her early intervention session earlier this week. From next week she'll be going by herself. I'll drop her off and pick her up. My little girl is going to school! (Well, sort of-- enough for me to feel a little teary about it, anyway). Sometimes I look at her, and she seems so big, standing (holding on), self-confident, interested,-- a definite personality. Other times I look and she seems a tiny little baby.

I'm experimenting with changing her sleeping patterns-- to see if she can do with one longer nap in the afternoon, and will sleep a little later in the morning. So far everything's just gone to shit; there's no real pattern.

She's just waking up for lunch now.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

She's become quite enamoured of hats. She puts them on (properly) when she finds them on the floor. She likes to take them off and throw them away when we're out walking, but I'm sure that's just attention getting. Last night she grabbed a hat when I picked her up to rock her to sleep. She put it on and lay down on my shoulder. She grabbed it back when I tried to take it off her, so it's in her bed now. I was half expecting her to put it on when she woke up this morning.

Play-school is a hit; we got a set of 4 DVDs on Sunday, and she's watched a couple of them now. I think they're quite good; lots of fun activities. TV does 2 things right now; encourages Ellie want to stand, and gives me a 40 minute break to drink my coffee and wake up.

She stands and cruises round the coffee table very well. I've pulled it a bit closer to the sofa, to see if she'll cruise from one to the other. I don't think so, yet. _Gross Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome_ is quite good; lots of good suggestions to encourage proper development. Honestly, I've read very little about development in the last 6 months-- Ellie seemed to be doing well, and I don't want to obsess about everything.

She doesn't like to do assisted standing; when I hold my thumbs out for her to grab she lifts up, but then she pulls her legs off the ground; she wants to be picked up. Keep trying.

She fed herself breakfast today. I missed it actually-- put down the plate and rushed off to attend to morning ablutions. I was interested in what she would do-- the Sufi's say "Learning happens through necessity, therefore increase necessity". I came back a few minutes later to see the bowl empty, and her holding a spoon in each hand. She wasn't even very dirty. The floor seemed mostly clean, there was a bit more than usual in the chair, but she seems to have gotten most of it into her. I bet she used her hands when I wasn't looking, but I think she also used her spoon.

I was expecting her to catch on to feeding herself with a spoon within a couple of weeks-- it's been months. Obviously it's not as easy as it seems. Watching her proves it-- there's quite a combination of flexible grasp, finger, wrist and arm coordination, with all those dimensions of movement. Usually she can get some on the spoon (when it's not upside-down) lift it to her mouth-- but she seems to sort of slurp it out of the spoon rather than using her mouth to pull the food off. She sort of mashes the spoon to her face. It will come.

We got some foam numbers on Sunday as well; they just stick onto smooth surfaces when wet (more bath toys!). She really loved them! Moved them all around the bath, and when we got out she had to take some with her when she was drying. She held them (well dropped them and picked them up again, and again) all through being dried and dressed. She's crawling around the floor with a small handful of them as I write this.