Wednesday, March 21, 2007

She stood up this morning. It was very brief, less than a second, on the bed after her bath. She's been trying to stand from plantigrade for a while, but usually her bum is going down as her torso rises. Not today - she stood slightly crouched, not straight backed or legged, just like little kids do.

I'm sure the knows when she's pooed. Today she said "up" to me, then took off towards her room. I didn't follow so she came back and said "upup". So I picked her up and changed her. Time to teach her the sign for "change"

Showed her her _Where's Spot_ book today. She immediately shook her head "No". (from "is he under the bed? No. Inside the piano? No. Etc.")

Tried her on her trike again. She's so much bigger than she was- her feet are easily on the floor, but she still can't do it. It's disappointing, but I guess it just needs to be learned, like everything else.

Apparently a person with DS graduated Melbourne University a few years ago. I searched, but found no info on it.

I watched Ellie take off her shirt a couple of days ago. She struggles a bit, because she takes it off backwards over her head, leaving her arms a bit trapped-- but she can do it.

And she had her first bowl of ice cream this week! We've given her spoonfuls before, but we thought she could have her own for a change. It was strawberry-- and she picked the bowl up and licked it clean!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Very happy girl
Originally uploaded by eleanor alice.
Learned some new signs from ellie this morning.

She's been putting her thumbs together and bouncing them alot recently; neither my partner nor I could figure out what it meant. Turns out it's banana. She's changed the sign she's using for it; before she was pointing one thumb straight up and the other orthogonal to it-- a much better approximation of the sign, really-- but this action must be easier. I was reading to her, and we got to a picture of a banana, and she did the sign.

When we got to a picture of bread, she held each hand flat, and rubbed them together. It's a little bit like the real sign (making a cutting motion with one hand on top of the other hand). It's very encouraging that she's learning new signs quite quickly-- even if we're having a bit of trouble making them out. She's also babbling much more definitely; we're sure she knows what she's saying, even if we don't, yet.

I was filling out a medical form while she played in the other room; went to check on her (no noise==oh oh), and she had brown stuff all over her face! Panic! Relief when I realised it was chocolate. She'd found a chocolate from yesterday in her mum's bag. Clever, greedy, girl.

I've been wondering what the first big disaster will be. Tumbling onto her head on the concrete as she attempts the front door steps? Pulling a drawer from her wardrobe onto her head? Squishing her fingers in the drawers in the coffee table? Falling off a sofa onto her head? We've prepared as much as we can to prevent each one; but she can do more and more each day, and I'm sure she'll find a way of surprising us.

She surprised me today. She was playing with a plastic bag (under supervision), and she put it over her head. I guess it's inevitable; she loves bags and she loves hats. It means I have to keep my diaper bag out of reach, because there's always a plastic bag in there for poos. I kind of didn't believe that plastic bags are really a risk, I thought it was just more overprotection. I tend to let her play with plastic bags that she's found while I'm watching-- I don't want to make them really attractive by grabbing them away every time she finds one. And she really likes putting things into them-- quite tricky for her, holding the bag with one hand and guiding something else into it with the other. Good fine motor skills practice.

So add that to the possible disasters along with climbing over the top of the sofa and falling on her head, reaching up and turning on the hot tap in the bath and scalding herself-- the list goes on...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

She was up late with her teeth, up early yesterday morning for whatever reason, then didn't sleep properly before lunch. She's been very rambunctious.

She wouldn't go to sleep this morning-- well, she did, but she woke up and cried. I should have left her, but I got her up and rocked her some more. She was tired, but didn't settle. So I put her in her cot. She started screaming, and screamed for half an hour before falling asleep.

Also this morning, she pointed to the top of the bookshelves where my partner keeps some hats and said "up hat". So we got her one down to play with, figuring she deserved it. Her first 2 word utterance!

She stole a friend's hat at play group the other day. At least, she came home with it in her bag, as well as her own. She loves hats, so if she found it on the ground I'm sure she would have just put it on. It's the sort she likes; soft cotton, shaped, a nice bow at the front, and lavender.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ready to go out
Originally uploaded by eleanor alice.
A few amusing things today.

I told her we were going out. She put on her hat and her purse, and said "Up!"

J. said she took 2 unaided steps (from the coffee table to the sofa, where J. was). And she seemed pleased with herself.
She seems to be less resistant going to sleep. She tries to distract me though-- "Eat!", "Wiggles", "Hat" -- I just say no, finished, to each sign, and she puts her head down on my chest.

She's standing more straight than she was -- I know because she can reach up and pull things down from the kitchen table, and she couldn't do that before. We'll have to re-childproof the house.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ellie is mostly feeding herself now. She still uses her hands when we don't object (or aren't watching), but she's become quite good with the spoon.

Some habits of mine just kind of drop away. I used to read more books to her, and since we moved the reading chair, I read less-- and I forgot about all the books for older children, still on the other room, that I used to read for her.

She's doing lots of what my partner calls "imaginative play". She loves her baby doll, puts hats on it, cuddles and feeds it and herself food and drink from her spoon, bowl and cup.

She's very imitative. When she was a little baby she'd grab the comb to comb her hair. Most learning probably happens this way.

She likes hiding things down her top. My fault- I hid my mobile down my top when it was playing music. She liked how it went in top and came out the bottom. Now she puts stuff down my and her top. The necks of all my shirts are stretched as a result.

There's a nice shelf of stuffed toys for her to play with, completely ignored in favour of putting a hair pick between the slats of our venetian blinds. Who needs toys?

Its interesting what she persists in and what frustrates her. She's spent 10 minutes exploring how the comb slides among the slats of the blind. I've watched her putting things in and out of a plastic bag over and over-- yet she has no patience for posting or building towers with blocks. Of course, it might just be that I try and get her to do the latter.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Some more sadness. At the DSAV fun day I saw lots of older children, and young men/women with Down Syndrome. Mostly this was encouraging, the "It will all work out ok" kind of reassuring thoughts. But I think of my nephew, who's using full sentences at 2 and a bit, and I want Ellie to be clever, and witty, and to learn things quickly. I hope she'll be ok, but there's not much I can do to make it happen. There is a limit to the effect of environment, more's the pity.