Sunday, May 13, 2012

Celebrating Three Months Home

Our last month has been busy seeing and learning and doing new things!

We had a fun music play date with our DSACT InkDot friends.  We met lots of new friends who also happen to have extra chromosomes just like us!
Hannah - Playing with a rain stick.  Brother is with us (in the yellow shirt).

Naomi - "I found a tambourine!" (Hannah, Nathan and Sarah are in the background.)

We visited Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls, Texas and picked blackberries and strawberries. It was the first day for blackberry picking, so we had lots to fill our box.
"I'm not sure I like those thorns..."

Don't these look the yummiest?!

We visited the goats. We weren't too keen on actually petting them, but we checked them out.
Naomi (back seat) & Hannah (in front)

Feed me, please!  Pretty, please!

And to celebrate our Three Month Anniversary with our family - we had Strawberry Sundaes made with the fresh strawberries from the farm!  Yummy!
Hannah - "Oh, I'm ready for this!"

Naomi really likes strawberry sauce!

All in all, the girls are growing and doing very, very well! They have officially been home for 3 full months as of May 9th.

Hannah has gained 5 pounds and grown 1.5 inches since coming home. She is gaining a noticeable amount of muscle in her legs and arms. She's already filled about 1/2 of the "growing room" that was allowed in her AFO braces.  It might not be too long before she outgrows these. :)

Naomi has gained 5 pounds and grown 1/2 inch since coming home.  She is filling in and also gaining some noticeable muscle in her calves. She lost her first tooth here, but must have swallowed it.  We couldn't find it anywhere. It was there and 5 minutes later it was GONE! Nowhere to be found....

We had evaluations and assessments with the school district this month, too.  The day was busy with lots of questions about what the girls can do, what they might understand, and lots of chances to show what skills they have and what we can build upon.  I'm waiting on the school folks to finish their reports on their findings and recommendations and we'll get together to see how we proceed with an education plan for them.

In delving over developmental milestone charts and filling out assessment forms for the school, the girls seem to be generally at about an 18-months-old developmental level in most areas.

Hannah is making great progress in walking. She is very motivated to be mobile right now. She's able to take several steps by herself.  Her balance is still wobbly, but she's able to go a little farther on her own. With assistance holding her hands, she can go a good distance down a long hall or across a big room. She can cruise the furniture and walls with ease.  She has only a few ASL signs she will do, but doesn't show a lot of interest in doing it now.  She can mimic or copy signs, but doesn't usually use them independently. yet. This is not a big deal.  Many kids with Down syndrome will be busy working on one big milestone task, and will often stall, or put learning other big tasks on the sidelines while they mastering one.  That seems to be just what she's doing.  We're also still working on playing with toys without throwing them across the room or accidentally hitting someone with them. Maybe she can be a star softball pitcher one day. This girl has an arm that can throw!

Naomi is our quiet observer.  She is more motivated right now to communicate rather than walking.  And that's perfectly fine.  She has about 20 ASL (American Sign Language) signs that she uses independently and appropriately. In her repertoire, she can ask for food, drink and bath now.  She can sign:  up, down, all done, brush teeth, eat, drink, banana, milk, more, please, night night, bath, dog, shoes, go, rabbit, hugs, wash hands, brush hair, turn around, and a few more that I can't think of right now.  There's quite a few more we're still working on. She loves to watch and listen.  This week she also surprised us by pointing to something she wants - which of course is bananas. The girl loves bananas! She is figuring out cause & effect pop-up and musical toys. She likes to get up on a chair and watch while I wash dishes.  And she figured out how to climb three stairs this week!  The baby gate stopped her or she might have made it to the top.

We still have a number of doctor appointments that will keep us busy over the summer.  That and playing outside as much as we can until it gets just too hot.