Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eyeglasses for Olivia

Today we took Olivia to her eye doctor.  Although Olivia was not due for her annual checkup until Summer, the doctor told us last Summer Olivia was already nearsighted and if we saw signs things had worsened he wanted to see her sooner.  Over the past month, we had noticed she was squinting and she was not interested in her books unless they were held very close to her face.  The OT (occupational therapist) also noted the squinting.  So, we decided to error on the safe side and call the doctor who right away confirmed he indeed wanted to see her for himself.

After examining Olivia, which included eye drops that dilated her eyes (and really made her mad), doctor  it was time for Olivia to be fitted for eyeglasses.  He says with her current deterioration of vision an adult would not pass their driver's test. He also noted a school age child would be having significant problems seeing the board, and a teenager would not be seeing the movie screen very well anymore.  We were surprised her vision was as weakened as he had indicated and we were so very grateful we had decided to get her checked out.

Doctor says it could take Olivia a number of months before she will actually wear her glasses full time, and we should not push her, but just take a calm approach and keep putting them on her periodically when she might benefit from seeing the most and hope and pray overtime she accepts them. Some kids take to their glasses faster than others.  We hope Olivia simply likes seeing better and will wear her glasses. But we know this scenario is not very likely, and it will probably take months for her to start wearing them.  Peter and I agreed we need to pray to Saint Lucy for her intercession to God to help Olivia wear her glasses.  And we also need to ask for my Grandma Lu's (Lucille) intercession. Although my Grandma Lu died when I was only 3 yrs old, I would always ask her intercession for the "big things in life" as a child. (Saint Lucy is the saint we Catholics think of when we think of eyes)

I had wondered how a mom and dad pick out eyeglasses for their 21 month old.  So here is what happened. The nice lady brought out a small bag holding about a dozen pairs of very small eyeglasses. She looked at Olivia and grabbed one pair of pretty pinkish frames and slid them on to Olivia's face.  Olivia slid them right back off. But in our moment of seeing them on her face, we knew this was the correct size and frame.  There was a quick ruler measurement taken of Olivia's eyes and the nice lady told us she would order a few combinations of frames for Olivia, all break resistant and hugging the ears as so not to slip off.  The pair Olivia tried on and tossed aside did not have the "ear hugging"mechanism. Hopefully her glasses will stay on her face for a few more seconds.    It should be a few weeks before we have Olivia's glasses.  Peter notes that it may be many months before we manage to get a photo of Olivia wearing her glasses.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Well Baby and Photos

We had a 21 month old Well Baby Doctor visit today. He felt Olivia was doing well, was cognitively "All Toddler" and she is progressing slowly but surely in the Gross Motor area.  We felt the visit went well and that we got the motivation and information we needed to go forward.
Olivia once was a 50% percentile baby, but now is a 15% and 7% toddler. She now weighs 22 lbs 2 oz which is 7% for weight and she is 31 1/2 inches long which is 15% for height. Doctor felt this was fine, as kids with Ds eventually fall off from their peers as far as size is concerned.  Olivia gets plenty of calories, but she is very active!  She is still a belly crawler, so ask anyone who has been to boot camp, and they will tell you that it takes a lot of energy to belly crawl.  We have some long expanses of hallway in our house, and Olivia is not afraid to belly crawl herself from room to room.  If she is chasing a cat, she is particularly quick about it!
We have noticed hair loss in Olivia, but the doctor does not believe it to be alopecia. Alopecia is common in people with Ds.  Jacob had it.  Doctor believes this to be normal age related "losing baby hair getting child hair" hair loss.   Of course, we will watch it and hope that he is indeed correct.  She does have baby fine hair in the areas she has lost hair, so he believes this is not alopecia.  (weigh in on this topic if you know something else on the topic)
Olivia is getting good at her drum and enjoys is so very much.
 It is wonderful organizing activity and works key muscle groups also. This drum gives a very pleasant sound.

Olivia has taken to her sensory box. No longer fearful, she enjoys reaching in, grabbing a handful and throwing the beans all over the room.  Lorelai, our oldest cat, loves to chase the beans that are thrown.  Rory, our youngest cat, just watches and looks confused.

You can sort of see her hair loss on the right side in this photo.

With some Baptism- Being Born- Being Adopted money from Grandma and Grandpa B we bought Olivia her own special chair (and table and chair... see below). She loves to sit in it and read and  also to kneel up to it.  It is a good sized chair, I can sit in it, so it should last her a good long time.

Playing with Daddy's sock

Olivia found Daddy's sock, and she was having so much fun with it! Why do we spend so much money on toys when we can but a package of tube socks!? :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Patience, Humility, Love and Laughter

I cannot believe that I have not posted yet in February.  Olivia has been keeping us hopping as usual.  Ironic that she is totally into bunnies these days!

We are doing PT and OT at the hospital and I am learning and reading more and more about sensory issues and trying to come up with a sensory diet (which is not about food at all, but is about the kinds of sensory input that keep Olivia calm and focused but alert enough to be productive. As far as we can see so far, Olivia seems to have mixed issues: she is both over-sensitive or over responsive to sensory input and under- sensitive or under-responsive to sensory input.  Seemed strange and not possible to me, but turns out that this is a common combination in kids with SPD (sensory processing disorder).  I am needing to start writing down what I find works for Olivia, and start the official formulation of her sensory diet.   This will go far to help people other than me take care of her.  (this was in many ways suggested by my friend who has a teenager with autism.)

Olivia has not been drinking out of her straw cup since she had the flu.  This is doing nothing good for her tongue protrusion.  So that is an area of concern. She finally started drinking fluids this week though. She will take watered down baby food fruit out of a cup.  Now at least we are having an easier time keeping her hydrated.

Olivia is doing so much better with using utensils and a plate or bowl when she eats. She is resisting the urge to throw!!!!!  Praise God!!!! We still have a ways to go until we have unsupported feeding, but the progress is stunning!  Olivia has good eye hand coordination when she keeps focused.

Gross motor is as always slow going.  She is standing at her bar or against the sofa and dancing, but has no interest in cruising or taking steps.  She is becoming more stable on her feet though.  PT and I agree that she will not walk by 2 yrs. old.

In all things, Olivia gives us gifts daily. And the gifts she gives are the ones that we really need! The priceless gifts of  Patience, Humility, Love and Laughter!

She is a love!!!! And she is of so much value that I thank God daily for having been chosen by her birthmom to be her Mommy!  I also thank her birthmom!!!  Thanks C!!! And thanks for being a sweet friend to me!!!!