Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Olivia is beginning to move herself forward on her tummy. This is progress! Our youngest cat, Rory, was the initial motivation for the effort to move forward. I seem to remember Matthias getting lots of exercise crawling after Rory also!

Olivia is also trying to pull herself up on furniture and in her crib. But her extensor preemie straight leg tendencies are getting in the way. We do kneeling therapy/ play all day long. (intermittently of course! )

Olivia is also getting herself in a tripod position: up on both hands, tummy up, one leg bent and under her, and one leg straight. In her crib she can get both knees under her, but both arms are down. Now just to put it all together!

Just an unrelated photo taken at our Ds association picnic recently. It was great to spend fun time with amazing kids and their awesome parents!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Small Step for Mankind... One Giant Step for Olivia!

The long awaited day has finally come!

We don't know if the angels finally got their hands in there to help Olivia, or if the new high chair that allows Olivia to keep her feet planted firmly flat on the "ground" as the Topics in Ds Nutrition book says will help them feeding themselves and eating, but Olivia can now feed herself "puffs" with her own hands! It really was painstaking work to get to this point, so it is like seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the World to watch her feed herself.

I will try to get some video up soon! Hope this works: video

With typical children, a milestone like this is taken for granted, but the blood, sweat and mostly tears that have gone into this make this cause for celebration! I think we will have a "puffs" and apple juice party! And everyone needs to feed themselves. Oh! And also, Olivia seems more interested in holding her cup by herself now that she is in this high chair. Oh! And Olivia is saying "cup" to tell us she wants to drink, rather than screaming at us to get the lead out!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Babies with Down syndrome Creed

This is a nice poem, that speaks to us now especially as Olivia is struggling to reach the same milestones that her typical peers are reaching with ease. One day she will be crawling and walking, and all sorts of things, but not yet. We are learning more and more each day what patience and perseverance and hard work really mean!

The Creed of Babies with Down Syndrome

Author unknown - submitted by Hope Colen

My face might be different

But my feelings the same

I laugh and I cry

And I take pride in my gains

I was sent here among you

To teach you to love

As God in the heavens

Looks down from above

To Him I'm no different

His love knows no bounds

It's those here among you

In cities and towns

That judge me by standards

That man has imparted

But this family I've chosen

Will help me get started

For I'm one of the children

So special and few

That came here to learn

The same lessons as you

That love is acceptance

It must come from the heart

We all have the same purpose

Though not the same start

The Lord gave me life

To live and embrace

And I'll do as you do

But at my own pace.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Working Hard!

Olivia and Mommy have been working very hard these past many months on her fine motor skills and her gross motor skills. She received two drop box toys for Christmas and has now mastered both of them. She can do both of them sitting up, and now she is interested in doing this box while on her tummy! It is good to see her have the strength and endurance to do this!
Olivia is doing better on her pre-crawling skills. We are doing lots of kneeling at a sofa cushion placed on the floor and lots of bench sitting. We are doing lots of tummy time and lots of encouraging her with toys to move, pivot and roll. She is very interested in moving forward and tries with all her might, but not much success so far. She is making progress though! She started sleeping in child's pose, so we know she can get those legs and hips in the right position. In this photo, you can see how she is working hard and making progress. Topics in Ds books are the best!!! Get the Gross Motor one (and all the rest!) if you have not purchased them yet!
Olivia is giving up her morning nap, so I am readjusting my housework and cat care activities. I had been able to get tons of stuff done during the morning nap. Now I am reworking my schedule, which means more happens after bedtime at night. Always readjusting as a parent! Olivia is so very interested in working on all of her skills these days, so when she is awake and wants to work, I drop everything and work with her. I guess it is that Montessorian in me who sees that Sensitive Period for a skill and I don't want to waste the best time to develop her skills. I hope for her sake that she can get moving where she wants to go and get what she wants to get soon. Typical children would have had this ability for a long time now. I want her to have that ability, too. People tell me it is easier for me since she cannot go get EVERYTHING that she wants, but it is sad for me to see she cannot do for herself yet and doesn't have the independence that we all enjoy. Soon enough she will be getting things for herself as she wants. And although it will complicate my life a bit, I cannot wait to see her enjoy that independence!

Summertime Fun at Home

The weather in Michigan has been hot and humid. We have still tried to get outside, but walks in the stroller can be hot for us both.

The other day Grandma B joined the outdoor fun, and she and Grandpa made it extra fun by providing a pool!

The mat from Olivia's gymni comes in handy!

The pool was great fun and kept her comfortable.

Afterward we had a snack. This is a high chair that we bought to have here for nieces and nephews. Olivia sits in it really well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

We spent the day at the Lake! It was hot! About 92 degrees and humid! Olivia had a good time, boating, swimming, visiting, and waving her American Flag!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Play Dates!

Olivia at her First Play Date
Olivia at Mommy's Play Date

Olivia and I both had play dates the past two afternoons.

Yesterday, Olivia went along with me to a friend's house for ME to have a play date with one of MY friends, and today we went to the Park to have a play date with one of Olivia's friends.

Little "L" also has Down syndrome and will be one year old in July. "L" is an adorable, healthy, vibrant little girl who CRAWLS! Yes! CRAWLS! Wow! A pretty awesome kid with Ds! Olivia seemed not to know what to make of a little being smaller than her, who is not a cat, and crawls! This was Olivia's first play date with a child her age, and it was very different for her to share her toys. She seemed a bit perplexed by it all, but did not complain.