Monday, February 27, 2012

What a Month This Has Been!

My little pumpkin is a whole eight months old!! And what a month it's been... It seems like every other day, Levi was making some new achievement, reaching some new milestone.

He can sit up independently now! He falls over some, but he can totally sit up by himself without any support for several minutes at a time as long as he doesn't get too enthusiastic about waving his arms all around while he's playing. At the suggestion of his PT, I've been stretching his hamstrings frequently so he's more comfortable with the long-sit and less likely to flex his legs into a ring-sit. That definitely helped his balance.

He's also been practicing his 90/90 sit on the stool. It helps to have a little support behind him, but his endurance and balance is better every day! Today he managed to stay on for about 3 minutes without any issues.

Watch out, World! He's beginning to army crawl! He started off on the inclined crawling track, but just 2 nights ago, he found motivation in a badmiton birdie which was rolling around on the floor and he pursued it to the best of his ability. He managed to move himself forward about 4-5 feet in the span of a minute or two. Not too shabby! Once he perfects his technique, I imagine there will be no stopping him as this kid LOVES to move!

Working on his modeling career instead of using the crawling track for it's intended purpose...

His vocalization is still increasing and I'm starting to hear an occasional "gee" or "ya" sound in there. That's awesome. Perhaps the "ma", "da", "ba" sounds are not too far behind. One can hope! Also, when I'm feeding him lunch, I'm frequently signing "eat" and "more" and when I do, he seems to understand some part of what I mean as he'll yank his fingers out of his mouth (he's always sucking on his fingers in between bites) and open up for the next bite.

Did someone mentioned something about a "ham?"

His bottom front teeth are still teasing us. I can see them - they're there... but they're still somehow under the gums. I don't know if the gums have swelled up around the top edges or what, but holy crow, they're slow....Despite a lack of teeth, he's been doing really well with eating. He has been eating the dissolvable baby puffs and does a fine job of gumming them to bits. He's moving his tongue laterally really well also and so I think that he'll soon be ready to move on to soft cubes of food. He loves to grab the puffs and try to get them into his mouth - though they often end up stuck to his face instead! Oh yeah - when I'm feeding him, if he's really into it, he'll grab the spoon and help guide it into his mouth. And then of course, he expects that I locate another spoon to continue the meal as he's loathe to give up his stolen one! Then I'm fighting both the fingers and the spoon as I try to get more food into his mouth.

His sleeping has improved a little, at least in the of where he's sleeping... The swing gets used infrequently and I don't have to hold him until he's soundly asleep before I can lay him down. He falls asleep on his own without much fuss most of the time. I can see the difference in the back of his head already - his hear was all worn out from rubbing his head back and forth in the swing when what he really wanted to do was roll around. His hair (in the back) is finally playing catch-up with the stuff on top and on the sides.

Enjoying the Jumper

He just had a sleep study done and the unfortunate side effect of testing is that you sometimes get bad news. In this case, I found out that Levi is having some episodes of apnea while he's sleeping. We won't have the detailed report of the study for another week or two, so until then, I don't know what the source of the problem is. On one hand, it would be nice if it was an obstructive apnea issue because the treatment plan is fairly easy: remove whatever is blocking the airway (if it's bad enough). The downside is obviously the surgery. Trevor had his adenoids and tonsils removed before he was three, but his first surgery was after he was 18 months old. It's even more scary to me to think about sending an infant into surgery. On the other hand, if it's a central apnea, then the issue is more likely related to his GERD. The solution for that problem is less clear as it's more of a positioning kind of thing that usually requires trial and error. It might be an issue that has to be "waited out" if that's the case, which I don't like because now I'm worried about his safety while sleeping. The one thing I can say about it is that I'm glad I followed through with getting the study done sooner rather than later.

Despite being forced to stay up two hours past his bedtime and then having his head wrapped like a mummy, he slept great ~ until Mr. MeanJeans came and added a nasal cannula halfway through. Then it was all screaming and not-sleeping for far too long. Mommy managed to get about 5 hours of sleep altogether.

He's been doing PT for 6 months now and so he was due for his Early Intervention review to update his IFSP. He has an OT (occupational therapist), whom we were meeting once per month for feeding advice, but we're going to start seeing her biweekly to work on developmental play as well as any feeding concerns and improving oral motor skills. PT will also continue weekly.

His growth has slowed down considerably since hitting 6 months of age, but he is still growing, so I believe there's no cause for concern. I spoke with his doctor about my concern that his thyroid might be functionally low, despite normal lab results. She insists that there's no evidence of cause for concern at this time and that we'll recheck around 10 months rather than a year since I previously checked at 4 months. He seems to be growing more in spurts than just a constant kind of rate. In fact, he's tall enough now that he can play in his jumper without anything under his feet except the carpet. That's a great advancement as Evan often came by and stole the little foam mats we stored under there. It was a pain to keep track of them.

He got his second flu vaccine with no apparent reaction - yay! And so now he's all done with shots until his nine month appointment, I believe - double yay!!

That's it for now except for the standard measurements and of course, photos, photos, photos!!

Height: 27 1/2 inches - approximately 40th percentile
Weight: 19 pounds (this is down a few ounces from last weeks measurements - he must be burning LOTS of calories!!) - approximately 40th percentile
Head Circumference: 17.2 inches - approximately 20th percentile

On the Down syndrome chart (which most physicians don't use any longer unless the child is too small for the typical charts), Levi is at about 85th percentile for length and about 90th percentile for weight.


No it's not Halloween, but I did this same picture with Evan and I LOVED it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

new skill: i can sit up long enough to play with toys!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

15 Fun Facts About My Kids

At the suggestion of a blogger I simply adore, The Feminist Breeder, I'm writing up some fun facts about my kiddos to capture a snapshot of who they are in February 2012. I love to talk about my kids so this should be fun!

1. Katelyn has suddenly started acting like a much older child. For example, she's become addicted to her mp3 player, which she bought with money she received for her birthday. Currently, her favorites are Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Alkaline Trio's cover of  I Held Her in My Arms by the Violent Femmes. She refuses to wear shoes with mud on them to the grocery store because they're "disgusting" and "at least 10 people are going to judge her." Her words - not mine! Sometimes it's refreshing to see glimpses of a child who is more caring and responsible and other days, I wish she would've stayed 5 years old forever!

Levi's first Valentine's Day

2. At 23 months of age, Evan is the single most destructive child I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Hands down... He can trash the living room, kitchen and dining room singlehandedly in less than 3 minutes. It's astounding!

Evan's busywork while Mom was putting Levi to bed

3. Just shy of 8 months old, Levi has fallen in love with his siblings. He watches them while we eat, he talks to them and pulls their hair and he has goo-goo eyes for Katelyn when she carries him around the house. That's a funny sight considering he's close to half her body weight!

Shooting dagger eyes at his "love bunny" on Valentine's Day

4. Evan is our lefty. He fit right into the statistics, which say that in a family with 4 kids and one left-handed parent, 1 of the kids should be left-handed. That's him. We've known for months now as he's had an extreme preference for doing everything left-handed since a little after turning one.

5. Katelyn and Trevor are currently in the phase where poop is the funniest thing around. Our days are filled with poop jokes and made-up songs about poop and even dances dedicated to poop. I'm seriously looking forward to the end of this phase... (though I'm certain that Evan and Levi will create a nice encore performance at some point)

6. Trevor is the "electronics whisperer..." He seems to possess a natural talent for operating anything which plugs in or runs on batteries, especially if it involves a need for hand-eye coordination. I don't know if these is a bonus skill that results from his Aspergers and OCD or if this is just intrinsic to his nature. Either way, it's pretty cool. He may soon overtake his father as IT of the household.

7. For about a year, Katelyn and Trevor were convinced they're twins. People used to ask if they are twins, but that was about 4 years ago. Maybe they should've been twins. Every once in a while - just to mess with people, they insist they are (again.)

8. All the kids have blue eyes, just like my husband. I had seriously hoped we would have one green eyed child (like me), but unless something crazy happens with Levi, that's not gonna be the case. Katelyn's left eye does have brown stripes. That's called heterochromia and she thinks it's pretty cool.

9. Katelyn and Trevor are 19 months apart in age. Evan and Levi are 15 months apart in age. There's 3 1/2 years between the two "sets" of kids. So far, it's worked out pretty well. Katelyn and Trevor are best buds (and worst enemies on occasion). My hope is that Evan and Levi are are close as the first two...

10. Many kids with Down syndrome (Trisomy 21, aka T21) grow slowly and have difficulty gaining weight. Levi has broken all the rules and is just as heavy as his brothers were at his age and is of average height for almost 8 months old!

11. We have three kids "teething" all at once. There's a good chance we'll reach all four getting teeth at once if Evan's molars aren't completely in by early summer as Trevor will be 6 at the end of August and is likely to have at least one tooth out shortly before then...

12. Evan has just gotten into hugging and giving kisses. It's awesome. He loves on Levi all day long and has plenty of affection left over for Katelyn and Trevor when they get home from school. Lots for Mom and Dad too!

13. Trevor is obsessed with getting a Nintendo DS, despite being informed he'll probably never be allowed to have one. (because of his OCD, he'd likely never ever put it down without a major blowup at us). Despite our assurances that we're not changing our mind, he's putting his faith in the power of positive thinking and continues to suggest it and/or the associated games for whichever gift-giving occasion is next on the calendar.

14. Based on their current growth patterns, both Trevor and Evan are likely to exceed Hubby's height and reach approximately 6'4". That freaks me out. I have a lot of difficulty imagining the day when my child will not only be as tall as me, but actually taller. Too weird!!

15. In Levi's first couple of months, I thought for sure that he was going to have a more observant-type temperment because he was so content just hanging out and watching everything going on around him. Once he gained head control, however, it became very clear that Levi would much rather be moving than not. In fact, I see it as a complete possibility that he may begin army crawling before he masters sitting independently for long periods of time. He hates sitting with a passion because nothing exciting happens when you're sitting still. Good things happen when he's lying on his tummy shoving his feet into the carpet. Toys suddenly get closer and he finds all sorts of nifty things to investigate with his mouth!