Here I am again. Writing another HUGE update because I've been procrastinating. I have all these great thoughts to put to “paper” but time is of the essence and essentially, I have none... well, that's not completely true. I have some, but it almost never coincides with proper brain function. So in most cases, writing when I actually have the time is much, much harder than it should be!
So my main reason for returning today is because Levi has recently turned 7 months old. Unbelievable!! I can say with certainty that the last month has brought many changes – mostly for the positive.
|Sitting up alone for the first time|
He rolled over from his back to his tummy for the first time and the next day was enthusiastically log-rolling across his world! He just began eating solid foods at 6 months of age and he's progressed really well to thick purees already. In fact, because he has a hypoactive gag reflex and a weaker swallow (due to low tone), he seems to do better with the thicker foods vs. the thinner purees. This got me eager to start making my own baby food again. He's still getting a little rashy with the fruits (except avocado) but I think it's probably less than it was at the beginning. He's tried all the standard fruits and even mango and the avocado. We haven't tried green veggies yet – but they're next on the list! His favorite food seems to be carrots. He was quite happy to sit up straight and remove his fingers from his mouth and open wide for a bite!
|Chewing on anything he can find - I'm sure teeth aren't too far off!|
I've begun signing some basics with him: diaper, mama, dada, eat and more. Of course, I'm not expecting to see anything in return for a while, but I look forward to it anyway...He is starting to blow raspberries to get attention and when he no longer wants to eat/nurse and in response to us blowing them to him. His therapist mentioned that this is a precursor to babbling, so that’s exciting to hear.
|Excited to play with mama|
He's so into looking at everything going on around him. I'm gonna have a moment of brutal honesty here... I've come so far in becoming comfortable with his diagnosis and how others perceive him, but sometimes I get so frustrated with the darn low-tone issue! He is just so cuddly and loveable and when I look at him examining everything around him with intensity, I know his brains are working just as hard as anyone else's – and then that darn jaw just drops down and his mouth gapes. Suddenly I feel like I have to defend him to anyone who may see him slack-jawed and explain that it has zero relation to intelligence or ability and is singularly related to muscle tone. Sadly – it's likely an issue within my own mind. Or perhaps that's my naivety speaking. Either way, I need to work on that. His oral muscle tone will improve with time and as he begins chewing and becomes old enough to understand therapy instructions to work on it specifically.
|Standing for minutes at a time with only the couch at his back!|
On to his skills – and this boy has got skills! He can sit without support for a full minute, though he does need to be positioned and entertained. If he thinks too hard about what he's doing, he tends to tip over backwards. Oddly, he's no longer frightened by his sudden change in position, like he used to be – as long as there's a pillow back there to provide a soft landing!
|Smiling for the camera so much more often|
We're working on pushing up on to straight arms and though he dislikes it immensely, he can do it through a verse of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and The Itsy Bitsy Spider! The hard part is getting him to do it while kneeling too – that always results in immediate crying and looking around for someone to save him. He'll get there – I say this with all fingers and toes crossed. I hope it's sooner rather than later , but it will be in his own time, regardless.
|Cuddles from his big sister|
The biggest issue we've dealt with in the last month is Levi's nap problem. He's never been a long-napper, but in the last month, his naptimes consistently got shorter until many of them were only 35 minutes long. That is nowhere near long enough to do all the good stuff naps are supposed to do for little ones. I racked my brain searching for answers and suddenly it occurred to me that all the other kids had a transition period where they learned to fall asleep without “mamassistance” by crashing in the cradle swing. That is an item we've not had in our household for this child. As soon as I thought of it, I just had to have one. Hubby deterred me for all of 8 hours, but that was only because Levi was already in bed for the night. First thing the next morning, I headed to the store and found my coveted item! Levi took his first nap in the swing within an hour of arrival and [insert heavenly angel sounds here], he slept for almost an hour and a half!! Yes!! The trend has continued and in one week, he's formed pretty much the same schedule the other kids had at this age. He gets up between 6:00-7:00 am most days and takes an hour long nap around 9:00 and then a 90 minute nap around 12:30 and then a third, 45 minute nap at 4:00. Then it's off to bed for the evening by 7:00. His temperment is SO much better – he's not extremely cranky every afternoon and for that I'm extremely grateful! I'm hoping that in another 2 months, he'll be taking just two naps consistently for a total of about 3 hours. Sleep consolidation is pure bliss....
|Only the second-ever picture of all the kids together!|
We are pursuing a sleep study just to make sure that there are no medical issues that would be messing with the quality/quantity of his sleep, but I'm thrilled with the improvements that have already occurred.
|Quality time with his brother, Evan|
His stats for the month: This big boy is weighing in at 19 pounds (approx 55th percentile). He is 26 7/8 inches long (approx 40th percentile) and his head circumference is 17 inches (same as his brothers' at this age and approx 20th percentile).
I'm so very excited to see what the next month has in store for us. Levi continues to surprise us at every turn!