Friday, December 31, 2010

First Independent Steps

We are up in our local mountains again and it seems that this is a very special place for Sweet Pea.  This is where she first started experimenting with trying to stand up over the Thanksgiving weekend and now this is even bigger!

Yesterday, Sweet Pea's Auntie J was watching her stand up and commented something about how if she can do that then she might be able to walk since that is easier than balancing.  I couldn't believe it, but figured it was certainly worth a shot!  Grandma and I sat down opposite from each other and the following are the results.

There are a ton of videos, but if you want the short version, check out the second and seventh videos.

Video 1: This is how we first started. She basically just falls into us and then takes a couple of steps.

Video 2: Here you first see her signing "more" which she did almost every time she got to one of us.  Then the best part starts about 17 seconds into it where she takes her first independent steps!  The smile on her face is so precious!

Video 3: I love how she lets us support her weight by holding her bottom at times...then she became a drunken sailor.

Video 4: The immediate "more" never ceases to amuse me and then she released Grandma's hands and took 3-4 independent steps!

Video 5: Here is a fun blooper.  She never minded any of the falls that she had during this session.  She even cut my lip open a tiny bit in one fall, but it didn't phase her at all!


Video 6: Her giggles make it even cuter!

Video 7: You can see that she is getting quite tired, but she doesn't want to stop.  Looks like she gets another 3-4 steps in on this final video too!

Needless to say, we are all very excited for her!  I can't believe that she did this for more than 10 minutes straight!  We will certainly be repeating this today and hopefully we will have just as much success if not even more!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

With all the rain that we have had here (seriously...we had 7 STRAIGHT days of virtually nonstop rain and that is unheard of in southern California!) I wasn't sure that we were going to ever get the chance to take Sweet Pea to sit on Santa's lap.  There is a street that is called Candy Cane Lane and is closed off for 2 weeks before Christmas and everyone on the street goes crazy with decorating.  It is a winter wonderland for little kids and adults alike!  When the weather is nice, Santa visits the street each night from 7-9pm.  Before all the rain started I figured that I had lots of chances to get a picture of Sweet Pea on his lap.  Next thing I know it is 2 days before Christmas and Santa hasn't been there because it's been so unpleasant.  Last night we kept Sweet Pea up late and braved the crowds (lots of people had been missing their Candy Cane Lane fix) to get her picture taken.  As you will see in the photos below, she didn't take to him very well, but there were no tears either so I will say it was a success.  The look on her face when Daddy first placed her on Santa's lap makes me crack up.  From there she moved on to signing all done and finally started reaching for Daddy to rescue her.  I sure hope Santa doesn't take it personally because I know that she has been a darn good girl this year and is looking forward to lots of presents.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sweet Cousin O

Sweet Pea really does have the sweetest and most caring cousin in the world!  Cousin O has been drawn to her from their very first meeting.  Below you can see him sitting as close as possible and Cousin C sitting just about as far away as possible. At least in this photo Cousin C was looking at Sweet Pea!  For most of their first meeting he was more interested in absolutely anything else in the room!  (We love Cousin C VERY much, but he definitely doesn't have the bond that Cousin O does with Sweet Pea.)

When asked by his kindergarten teacher to think of someone that he wanted to give a present to, Cousin O thought of our very own Sweet Pea!  Out of all his friends, his parents or even his brother, he thought of Sweet Pea!  What he asked Santa to bring her is just as sweet because he is always being adorable by pushing her hair out of her eyes as you saw in the Thanksgiving weekend video here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sweet Pea's Doctor Update

I'm pleased to announce that today I took Sweet Pea to her pediatrician and she is doing very well.  She has gained about 10 ounces in the last 6 weeks and has grown 1/2 inch in the last 3 months.  She continues to be on the high end of the modified Down syndrome growth charts, but she is actually still on the typical growth charts as well!  For weight she is about 25th percentile and for height she is in the 10-25th percentile.  For all the time and effort we wasted on worrying about her weight...well, let's just say that I wish I hadn't!

Another piece of good news is that we were given the all clear to have her face forward in the car seat!  It's a simple thing, but it will be so nice for me and for her too.  She will no longer need to crane her neck around to try to catch a glimpse of me.  The other nice thing is that we can now move the passenger seat back a little.  I'll be moving the seat once it finally stops raining here.  Yes, we who live in Southern California are being inundated with rain!  It started on Wednesday and it's been rare to get a few minutes where it isn't at least misting.  Since we only get a handful of rain days most years, this is very strange for us.  Wish it wasn't happening right before Christmas, but oh well...we need the rain.  I digress...

The other piece of good news is that we can ditch the formula!  Yippee!!!!  We can switch to rice milk since she can't handle soy or dairy.  The calorie, fat and protein are all less, but as long as we ensure that she is getting enough from her table foods it should be okay.  We will be seeing the pediatrician at the 2 year mark so we can check her weight gain at that point and modify something if necessary.  This will make life easier...assuming she will drink it!  I'll buy some tomorrow and see how it goes.  Keep your fingers crossed!  We will still have to use the thickener, but it is one less thing to mix.

Here is a mixture of random photos we've taken recently...

Do you think I like Baby Signing Time?

Can you guess which cousin is absolutely in love with me?  (Mommy will be posting an adorable photo on that topic very soon)

I'm here...the party can start now!

Families that brush their teeth together...

Mommy really loves it when I completely empty baskets of clean clothes onto the dog fur covered floor!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sweet Pea's Letter from Santa

Sweet Pea got the cutest letter in the mail.  Here is what the envelope looked like:

And inside was this letter:

Thanks Santa for thinking of Sweet Pea!

She's Getting a Little Better at Standing!

I might be getting excited over nothing...but I'm excited so deal with it!  Sweet Pea's standing is really improving and we haven't been working on it like we probably should be.  I liked the tip from Adrienne at Our Unexpected Journey about standing against a wall while giving them something for their hands.  I tried that a little today and it worked!  Then a couple hours later she did this all on her own!  Enjoy the little video:


Friday, December 17, 2010

New Shoes (Catch up post from Nov)

I've been EXTREMELY first my excuse was that I didn't have the photos, but that was quickly fixed and so then it was just me being neglectful.  Here it is though...

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Sweet Pea got her first real pair of shoes!  Her Grandmother from PA was visiting for her 60th birthday and we enjoyed every short minute of her trip!  Aunt R and Grandmother joined us for a trip to the podiatrist to determine if orthotics were necessary and we were all thrilled to learn that she only needed little inserts that are about 3 inches long that sit in the heel of the shoe.  They just sit in the bottom of shoes so they aren't a hassle at all.  Here are a couple of photos of us waiting at the doctor.

Once we had the inserts in hand, we headed to the mall to go shoe shopping!  The doctor had recommended either Stride Rite or New Balance shoes saying that those were the most supportive.  The store clerk measured her little feet and then showed us the shoes that were the most supportive.  Sweet Pea LOVES shoes...she crawls over to shoes to play with them all the time so we thought that this would be fun for her.  Once again, mommy was wrong!  I mean, just look at the agony of trying on shoes!

We tried a size on that was way too big...

And then we got the right size...

Sweet Pea wasn't really into it, but she did a little walking in the store.

All in all the trip was a success.  Sweet Pea QUICKLY grew accustomed to the new shoes and now loves them.  We only wear them when we are at PT or outside of the house.  We've been told that being barefoot allows her to get more input from her feet which is very helpful when she is learning to balance and walk.  We've had the shoes almost a month and they are no longer shiny and clean, but they are well loved and getting a ton of use and that is what is most important.  Thank you Grandmother for the shoes!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Three Angels

I am borrowing this from The Narretto Family as it brought tears to my eyes.  I only changed it to reflect a feminine angel:

Once upon a time, three angels were busily working in the miracle factory. They were responsible for wrapping up all the little miracles and sending them on their way. Normally they wrapped each one in bright, sturdy paper with big, shiny ribbons. They stamped it with a delivery date and away it would go to the parents who eagerly awaited its arrival. Things usually ran pretty smoothly. One day, however, down the conveyor belt came a little miracle that made the angels pause.

"Oh my," said the first angel "this one's uhm...well...different."

"Yes, she is unique." said the second angel.

"Well I think she is quite special," said the first angel "but I don't think she will quite fit our standard wrapping procedures."

And the second angel added, "And we know she's special, but will everyone else?"

"Not a problem," said the third angel "obviously a special miracle deserves extra special wrapping; and of course we'll send her off with our most heartfelt blessings. Then everyone will see how special she is."

"What a wonderful idea!" replied the others.

So they searched the shelves high and low for their finest paper, and their most delicate ribbons. When they were done, they stood back and admired their work. "Beautiful!" they all agreed.

"Now for our blessings," said the third angel "for it is time for her to go."

"I will bless her with innocence and happiness," said the first angel.

"And I will bless her with strength to face the many challenges that lie ahead" said the second angel.

"And I will bless her with an inner beauty that will shine on all who look upon her" said the third angel.

Before sending her off, the third angel, who was very wise, gently tucked a note inside. And it said:
Dear Parents, Today you have received a very special gift. It may not be what you were expecting, and you may be disappointed, angry and hurt. But please know that she comes with many blessings, and, while there may be pain, she will bring you much joy. She will take you on a very difficult journey, but you will meet many wonderful people. She will teach you patience and understanding and make you reach deep inside yourselves to find a source of strength and faith you never knew you had. She will enrich your lives, and will touch the hearts of all who meet her. She may be fragile, but e has great inner strength. So please handle her with care, give her lots of attention, shower her with hugs and kisses, love her with all your heart, and she will blossom before your eyes. Her spirit will shine like the brightest star for all to see, and you will know that you are truly blessed.

Author Unknown

Sweet Pea's "New" Bike

Sweet Pea wants to show off her "new" ride.  I found this in our garage in the mountains when we were up for Thanksgiving and thought it would be perfect for her.  Grandma had purchased it at a garage sale years ago for her youngest grandson and had forgotten about it.  She cleaned it up and Sweet Pea enjoyed riding it around the living room up there.  Her feet BARELY touch the ground when she is wearing her shoes, but it is much better than any of the other ride on toys we have.  Our driveway is a pretty good place for her to ride it and she enjoys it quite a bit.  Thanks Grandma for getting this so many years ago and letting us bring it home with us!  The weather at home is much more conducive to winter bike riding than in the mountains.

Oh, and she can get on and off this bike on her own most of the time!  She learned that skill quite quickly.  I guess it just goes to show that if she is properly motivated, she can learn a lot in a short period of time!

Enjoy the video:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Big Baby on the Way

For those of you that aren't here to witness this pregnancy...let it be known that I am large...and I mean large.  It has been happening more times than I can count when some random stranger will come up to me in a store and ask when I am due...clearly expecting me to say any day now.  When I tell them I have 2 1/2 months left they fail miserably to contain their shock.  Many quickly ask if I am carrying more than one.  Some are even as bold as to ask if I have gestational diabetes!  It's becoming quite humorous for me and anyone that is with me...often my mom.

Sweet Pea was born one day after her due date and came in at 8lbs 11ozs (or 8lbs 7ozs depending on which medical record you look at) which is well above the 90th percentile on the Down syndrome growth charts.  I know that I don't produce small babies.  I wasn't a small baby (over 9lbs) and my husband...well...he was a behemoth at well over 10lbs!  Small babies were never an expectation of mine and I have to say that this new baby is not proving me wrong yet.  Don't worry, I'm sure she will start proving me wrong very soon, just not in this area.

I'm as big around right now as I was the week I delivered Sweet Pea!  My weight is almost as high, but I started higher this time so I still have room to gain if you compare it to what I gained last time...nope, no numbers are being shared in this area!

I went to my OB today and she did some measurements.  I know that these can be significantly off, but it was still interesting none the less.  Her head is measuring 2-3 weeks ahead and her belly 1-2 weeks ahead.  The doctor is happy that her head is the one that is farther along.  As she said it, "if the head fits at least we know the rest of her will too".  We can hope that this new baby makes a slightly early arrival, but since Sweet Pea was 1 day late, my doctor doesn't expect me to kick this one out much earlier.  Who knows, but I can hope that this little (or should I say not so little) one makes her appearance a week or two early.  I'm not going to be holding my breath and I know that my body will do what is right for this baby girl, but a girl can hope right?

I hope you have a good laugh at my expense just like so many other people have been having.  Luckily, it doesn't bother me as I expect it will continue to happen for the next 2+ months!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sweet Pea with Daddy's Shoes

Another cute video...if I do say so myself...

What could be better for a girl that loves shoes and loves her daddy...daddy's shoes!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

Sweet Pea and I went up to the local mountains for the long weekend and had a wonderful time!  We went up with Grandma and Grandpa on Wednesday and met up with my sister and her family who were already up there.  The cousins were amazing with Sweet Pea and I am always so happy when we are able to be up there together because I think Sweet Pea gets so much from them.  I mean, how can those laughs not do a body good!  She was laughing constantly when those boys were playing with her and it made my heart sing and still does when I think back on it.

Thanksgiving was a peaceful day that was made even better by my cousin and Mama Bear and Papa Bear joining us in the afternoon.  My brother-in-law cooked an AMAZING meal that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Cousin O keeping Sweet Pea busy while we are making food:

The cousins are a great reason to practice standing!

Silly Cousin O

Too sweet!

More standing practice thanks to the best cousins in the world!

Let's go check out the snow!  (Yes, I know...I'm huge)

What is this cold white stuff and why can't I move in this outfit?

Seriously...I used to have the ability to move my arms!

I am not going to cooperate for any group photos so why are you even trying Mommy?

Peek a boo Mommy!

Playing ball with Mommy's Cousin C

The only photo I got of Sweet Pea and her Papa Bear. :-(

This standing stuff is hard work...I better take a quick catnap.

Hugs between cousins

Sweet Pea just adores Cousin O and I think it is mutual:

Grandma is fun to play pat a cake with!

Grandma and a fire...what could be better?

The happiness of learning to stand!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Playing with Cousins

Here is a video taken this past weekend.  Sweet Pea absolutely ADORES her cousins and as you can tell, they are pretty darn fond of her as well.