Archive for July, 2006

NM Trip

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Uncle Andy, Maria, and I went to Las Cruces then Albuquerque last week. Hard to believe we’ve been back for 5 days already. I had a class and Andy came along to babysit (Manolis was at home painting and working hard). We took her swimming in the dirty hotel pool and now her eyes are red and swollen and a little goopy. We think it looks like an infection and/or sty(s), but I took her to the back-up pediatrician who is convinced that it’s allergies. So he gave us an Rx for Nasonex, steroid nose spray. I’ve given it to her 4 times now (1/day) and maybe it’s better. It was in her right eye, now it’s worse in her left eye. Tried to get her into the eye doc and the earliest appt is10 days away, double booked appt, in Gilbert, which is way the hell down south. Her 2 year check up is this coming Thursday, so I guess we’ll see what her pediatrician says. I’ve asked each of the therapists, plus anyone else who will listen, what they think. Consensus is yeah could be allergies, also looks like at least one sty, probably not pink eye, who knows. Looks so awful, but she doesn’t rub them unless she’s really tired.

Auntie Rosanne’s parents-in-law happened to be in Albq when we were there, so they got to meet Maria finally. When Grandma Jenny held her, Maria was constantly touching her face. When Grandpa Tom held her, she just melted into his arms. It was so sweet! I’m glad they finally met her. Maria also seems fascinated by Aunt Rose. She (Maria) just stares at her with a look of admiration and awe.

Andy tried Maria in a high chair at a restaurant in NM. (I’ve been too chicken to try it.) She does better when she’s not tired and with blankets stuffed in for support, but she does pretty well! The Cracker Barrel in Flagstaff had an awesome high chair – it’s an old fashioned kind with a high, slightly curved back. She did really good in that one. I got a picture of her holding her bottle by herself, sitting up in the high chair. She looked like such a big, big girl!!

The other thing Maria’s really been doing well at is eating big people food. She ate lots of guacamole in NM, and some of a spicy meat and bean burrito — her eyes were red and watering, but she kept grabbing my hand with the spoon in it and shoving it in her mouth. Very cute! (By the way, I just have to say that Maria doesn’t eat “pureed muck” as my brother so delicately put it. It’s pureed organic fruits and veggies, wild fish, and grain-fed, open range meat and poultry. Pureed muck, indeed.) Maria’s quite fond of chocolate, thanks to my genes and her dad giving her chocolate frequently. On the weekends we like to go to Barnes and Noble, sit in the Starbucks, and share a chocolate cheesecake or chocolate cupcake with her. It is so cute when she sees the chocolate and gets so excited that her whole body wiggles. I’m going to try to get it on video, but she’s camera-shy these days.

The video Andy put together for Maria is so cute, I hope you’ve had a chance to see it. She’s going to love it when she’s older. My how she’s changed in 2 years!!!

I asked the occupational therapist to work with us to help Maria pick up small bits of food and feed herself. Since we’re going on vacation in October, I’d like her to get better at sitting up in a high chair, eating little pieces of food from her own hand, and holding her bottle by herself. She’s getting better at all of those – esp the bottle. Andy said the bottle was next to her yesterday and she grabbed the nipple to pull it toward her, then held on to the bottle with both hands and put it in her mouth. You know, one of the great things about having a special needs kid is we get so excited about the tiniest accomplishment. If only all people were like that about all other people, instead of being so critical all the time.

Maria’s a rock-and-roll star

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

I put together a music video for Maria’s birthday which you can see over on her webpage. It’s quite a bit larger than the other little video clips (5-10x the size) but I’m sure you’ll think it’s worth the download. I hope to have her newest set of pictures up soon, maybe even later today.

Hearing aids are not child-safe

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Maria has a new trick. Not only can she pull out her hearing aids, she can take them apart. And the pieces are just the perfect size for a kid to choke on. Yet another reason we can’t let her out of our sight.

It looks like she’s going to be getting even more therapy in the future. The PT wants to start coming twice a week and is trying to find time in her schedule. One of the past speech therapists has been asking Cathy if Maria needs feeding therapy (in addition to her normal language-centered speech therapy). Cathy finally realized that she really does. She’s still getting thickened liquids, still drinking from a bottle rather than a sippy cup, and only recently started on chunkier foods. That will probably be only 1-2 times a month.

Maria seems to be figuring out the chewing thing. I watched her with pieces of cookie yesterday and saw her use her tongue to move pieces between her molars to crunch them. She still has trouble from time to time with chunks, but she’s doing really well.

She has gotten more interactive with her environment. She looks for things and people sometimes. She gets better and better with rolling the ball. She might be starting to make some signs. She can make choices between objects. The other day while watching a Baby Einstein video, there was a cardboard sun moving back and forth and Maria waved at it (maybe). She’s so inconsistent with things it’s often hard to tell if she really does something or if it’s coincidence. But, as we keep saying, she’s making progress.

Big girl food

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

The thing about a kid like Maria (now that she’s two, I guess I can’t keep saying “a BABY like Maria”) is that we get so focussed on her deficits that things fall by the wayside. For example, it occured to us recently that she’s two years old and still eating pureed muck. So Cathy has started feeding her chunkier stuff like pasta and diced fruit. Maria just loves it. It’s hard to tell if she actually chews it, but she enjoys it. She’s been eating more lately, which may be the new food or it may be another growth spurt.

Her movements have been very good lately. She can get up on her hands and knees by herself. Her floor sitting is still erratic, but she can do it if she wants to. She seems to be moving more deliberately rather than just flailing around. The OT came by today and she helped Maria roll a ball back and forth to Cathy. A couple of times Maria managed to push the ball away with no help! She seems to understand the concept of movement better than before, even though she’s still a little shaky on the practice.

I have several times heard what Cathy thinks is a laugh and I think she’s right. It’s not a ha-ha laugh just a wordless “huuuuuh”, but her mood clearly progresses from small smile to big smile to “laugh” every time. The most common time she does it is when she is anticipating something like being tickled or touched with something cold. We’ll have to try getting it on video one of these days.