Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Party - Save the Date

We are having a First Birthday Party for Olivia!

All are invited! (All means all our family, all our friends) We are not sending out formal invitations nor are we contacting everyone directly. We are trying to contact everyone we can via email or the BLOG, but please spread the word to any family or friends of ours who have not heard that they are invited to the Party! All of our family and friends are invited! No one is not invited. We ask that anyone who will be attending RSVP so that we can have enough food and drink for everyone. (although if they don't need to eat or drink they can just show up!)


Sunday, May 16, 2010

1 pm to 4 pm

No gifts are necessary. Your presence is a gift!

We will also be celebrating Olivia's birth, Baptism, freedom from the NICU, adoption, smiling, rolling over, sitting up and everything in between! This is Olivia's First Party for Olivia! Time to celebrate all that is Olivia and most especially that she is One Year Old!

(Yes, you will need more info to know where the party is, but that would be inappropriate to post on the BLOG. You will need to contact us for that last piece of info. I can imagine that I will get a comment or two that are inappropriate on this post, but I know how to hit the delete button. Sometimes when one is being faithful you run into a few jerks. But that is life!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cold Hard Cash! O likes it!

Olivia received this piggy bank from Grandpa and Grandma B for Christmas. For Valentine's Day, Olivia received a heart shaped box with quarters for her bank, also from Grandma and Grandpa B. Olivia is typically upset by the noise of wooden blocks dropping into a wooden box, so we thought that the sound of the quarters dropping into the piggy bank would also be unsettling. But no way! The sound of Cold Hard Cash going into her piggy bank was a delightful sound to her! Smart kid! She knows which sounds are beneficial and which are just loud! :-)
This is one of her wood boxes. We have put a burp cloth in the bottom of it to get rid of the loud unsettling noise so that she will play with it. She is really enjoying this particular box these days. Since beginning to sit unsupported she is loving to work with putting objects in boxes and cups. Above you can see her with a cup and her purple wooden circles.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Collards + Fancy Pants + Bare feet = Sitting!

We think we have unlocked the key to unsupported sitting for Olivia. Today, She sat for 15 minutes with NO support after eating collards, while wearing her "fancy pants" and in her bare feet. We think that the collards must be like spinach is to Popeye, the "fancy pants" are good luck and the bare feet give her feedback to keep her balance. This photo was not taken during her 15 minutes of fame, but was taken earlier in the day. Perhaps if she had eaten her collards and had her feet bare, then possibly she would have sat longer this morning also. Olivia is now 9 months and 8 days old. Oh! And Happy Hawaii 5-0 to Carol! We think hitting this major milestone on Feb 13 is in your honor!

The other neat thing during the 15 minute sitting time was to see her put "poker chips" into a cup! Her pincer grasp is getting better all the time and she continues to grow in her understanding that her hands and fingers are great tools! As a Montessori teacher, I am always trying to get her to use her hands and fingers, so I was so excited today to see her put the chips into the cup just as I had been showing her. Now, as things go, she probably won't be putting chips in the cup again for some weeks. She likes to hold the chips and bring them to her mouth. The are not actual poker chips, but are actually wooden disks that are baby safe.

So what about food? Olivia does not care for fruit. She really is opposed to the stuff! We feed it to her, but it is one bite of fruit and then one bite of something else. Two bites of fruit in a row and she will give you a horrible face! Olivia likes broccoli! And now we know she likes collards served in a 50/50 collard to carrot ratio. They look disgusting as they are a greenish brown, but they taste very good. No, one cannot buy broccoli and collards in prepared baby food. These delights are homemade, and quite yummy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

9 months old

We have to apologize for now BLOGGING recently. We have been very busy working with Olivia and by the time the end of the day rolls around during these cold dark winter months, we eat a warming dinner together, pray, take warm showers, cuddle up and watch a few minutes of TV together and head off to bed to rest our weary bodies and get ready to greet another beautiful day with Olivia. We are enjoying sleeping!!!! That is most nights! She will usually let us sleep until 6 am, except for mornings that she likes to start her speech therapy practice at 4:30 or 5 am. As long as she is happily babbling in her crib, we let her stay there practicing for about a half hour before intervening. She really is a good baby. She is not much of a crier or complainer unless she is not feeling well. Sadly, she has not had a good past 6 weeks due to shots (twice), a reaction to bananas and to flouride, and a stuffy nose/ sinuses (not sure that it is a cold, I think it is just winter sinus dryness and the saline drops just are not doing the trick as well now that it is just plain nasty winter here in the midwest.)

So here is a little update in photos:
Olivia is 9 months old as of February 5! She is functioning as about a 5 to 7 month old due to her Down syndrome. We feel good about her slow but steady progress.

Olivia has gotten to be a handful in her infant/ toddler tub, so bathtime became a nightmare until we found this tummy tub! Olivia loves it and so does Mommy! We found it at Moms4life.com. She is safe and calm! Yesterday she was feeling rather punk, and very much welcomed her soothing soak in the tub. I think the steamy bathroom did both baby and mom some good!
Olivia is very expressive and is very social. She is most definitely communicating with us!
Olivia's supported sitting is going very well these days. The therapist says that Olivia should master sitting independently before one year old! We will all welcome this milestone. Olivia is so ready to play by herself in a seated position! We are so pleased with her torso strength that is enabling her to sit so upright. Olivia was born extremely low (muscle) tone. We have worked tirelessly to strengthen every muscle of her body. We had read that babies with Down syndrome tend to be floppy. Well, Olivia took floppy to new levels! She also has joints that are extremely loose, so we need to build the muscles around the joints for support. Think about extreme double jointedness! That is the best way to describe it. The positions she could get herself into if we let her would blow your mind!
Olivia is enjoying playing while on her tummy these days. This busy box recommended by the physical therapist has come in handy for motivation during so many therapies including tummy time. She has enough strength to support her upper body with only one arm. My how far we have come!
This exercise peanut has been a wonderful therapy addition. We use it for supported standing, supported kneeling (pre-crawling) and for rolling on her tummy (pre-crawling). Mommy is getting a stronger torso from all this exercise, too!

Olivia is a pretty good sport about exercise, but she is not afraid to tell us when she is "enough is enough already"!
Hoppity Horse provides great exercise opportunities! It motivates her to supported standing.
And it motivates her to work on torso strength and balance. And! It is fun!
Eating is going well! She has now begun to try eating small chunks of soft carrots and yams. She has no teeth. So she has to chew with her gums. It had not been going well at all, but now we are doing pre-feeding exercises and adding a bit more moisture and today she took 20 pieces in a row and chewed and swallow like a pro!
Olivia drinks out of a shot glass! In fact, she has her very own personalized Notre Dame shot glass! This is what every Irish baby needs! I think this qualifies as college- prep! Thanks to goddad, Uncle Eddie.
Olivia also has her very own set of nursery rhyme shot glasses (two of them personalized) thanks to her godmom, Aunt Connie.