A stack of Christmas cards litter the the end table waiting to be addressed, my last grad essay for a class begs to be written, it looks like Christmas threw up all over my messy/dirty house (in all the wrong places of course), and any attempt I make to create some order to this madness is quickly undone by a certain 2.5 year-old.
But, I am way overdo for an update. In an effort to make this quick so I can tackle my ever growing to-do list, I am throwing grammar and traditional writing aside and giving you a list of what has been happening these days.
-Charlotte continues to improve on a daily basis. The amount of energy and spunk she has these days is unfounded.
-Huge gains have been made in all areas of her therapy. Her therapists have been beyond impressed with her. In Speech, her spoken vocabulary has grown and now includes "daddy" (instead of dada), "poop," (which she says when she needs her diaper changed), "blue," "ease" (please)...as well as many, many new syllables that she is pairing with her signs. In PT, even though she regressed a bit with some of her skills during her illness, they are coming back quick and most importantly her desire to want to do things is back. We are currently working on stair climbing and running. In the words of her OT during therapy yesterday, "Charlotte, you aren't going to need me soon!" as she strung an entire strand of beads on her own.
-While talking with Missy the other day in the living room, Charlotte was roaming around playing with her toys in the kitchen. I realized it was "too quiet" and jumped up to find her...only to realize the patio door was open and Charlotte was across the backyard climbing up the swingset. When I said her name, she turned around and signed "hot"...though, it was freezing outside (and she was barefoot!), not really sure what she meant by that. Lesson learned, my 2.5 year-old can open the patio door.
-Yesterday Charlotte peed in the potty! Most of the "experts" warn that potty training in kids with Down syndrome will most likely be delayed, and I haven't given it much thought yet. Charlotte will turn three a month after the baby is born, so I figured we will wait to introduce it until after the adjustment to the new life in the house. However, lately she has taken a huge interest in the the potty (thanks to Potty Times!); she follows us to the bathroom and signs the entire process (potty, wipe, flush, wash hands). When I change her diaper she signs potty, so I let her sit on her potty for a few minutes each time. Yesterday Will took her to the bathroom, and started squealing that she had peed! She was very proud of herself, though she was mostly excited to "flush" it down.
-Charlotte hates Santa. Mike took her and Will to the kid's party for his company last week when Katherine and I were out of town. He tried to put her on Mrs. Claus's lap but she would have no part of it. Screamed bloody murder. Maybe next year?
-Her sleep schedule continues to be frustrating. She is a night owl, and a lot of nights won't go to bed until close to 11PM. She rolls around in her crib, chatting and whining. Naps are hit or miss, some days she takes a good 2-3 hour nap, other days she skips it all together. We are hoping to get on a better schedule before May!
-Charlotte also has a strong dislike towards the heart doppler at my OB appointments. I took her to my doctor appointment last week, and when the doc pulled out the doppler to listen to the baby's heart, Charlotte started screaming hysterically. Maybe she will get used to it by May?
-She got her first haircut! Check out the picture below...I was impressed, I thought for sure she would scream and end up on my lap, but she did really, really well. Her hair is much more even now and she looks less like Cousin It after baths.
-I ordered Charlotte new shoes for the first time in a year! Her feet are growing...and so is the rest of her! At the ENT last week, she had gained three pounds since her discharge from the hospital in October. Now that her body is absorbing all the nutrients, she is GROWING and THRIVING.
-Someone asked me last week if I thought Celiac disease was a "real" diagnosis or just some fad right now. Those who saw Charlotte the week before she was admitted to the hospital, and now see her know what I am talking about; it is NOT a fad. Her body can't process gluten, and in response made her very, very sick. After seeing her recovery, I have no doubt that she was sick much longer than we knew. I urge parents of kids w/Ds to know the signs and symptoms, and even though the AAP doesn't recommend routine screening, I would ask for it on a yearly basis. If I would have been more educated back in June, we could have possibly avoided months of regression and illness.
We are looking forward to Christmas and spending time with family! The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy, but hopefully some holiday pictures will be posted in the weeks to come! Enjoy your December!