Monday, September 27, 2010

A Piper’s Progress

So before all of the drama from the past few weeks hit, I was planning on doing an update post, for my own memory, of what Piper’s doing right now.  We’re about half way through to our next IFSP, so I like to keep a tab on our goals to make sure I’m not missing anything.  It amazes me the amount of things that Piper’s learned since June!

Gross Motor:

Piper’s cruising.  Everywhere.  All. The. Time.  She can pull-up onto anything, even walls, and go between surfaces.  She’ll even go across a surface with one hand.  She’s also pulling up to something, like the laundry basket, and pushing off into a stand more and more often.  The problem is that she’s only doing it when she isn’t aware she’s doing it- back to the confidence thing again. 

Not a great picture, but she was going back and forth between the ottoman and the table.  We were proud of her for the distance in between and the different textures- one was hard and smooth, the other soft and squishy! 

She’s been exclusively hands-and-knees crawling for well over a month now (we weren’t convinced she was going to truly crawl because her creeping was so efficient; we hadn’t pushed it, and just skipped to cruising.  She decided to do it on her own!).  Except it’s not really hands and knees- it’s more like hands-knee-foot crawling.  Everyone laughs at her- and we’re all convinced it’s because she can get more propulsion with the foot up than if she were just on her knees.  She’s all about speed. 

Cute butt short of her foot/knee crawling.  Goofy kid…P1080211

And because she’s all about speed?  I’m certain that her coordination is better when she’s running (yes, running) than when she’s walking.  Before we went into the hospital, I was fairly convinced we were going to get her walking within a matter of weeks.  But now that we can’t practice it in the typical ways (we can’t catch her under her arms when she falls for two months), I’m not sure how we’re going to encourage her to do it, safely.  Hoping that our therapists can give us some pointers. 

We have been able to get her to take TWO steps, unassisted, away from the wall.  Of course, having some kind of food motivation helps exponentially.  No one can say that our kid doesn’t get enough to eat, lol.


Piper’s up to somewhere over 20 signs now.  All of which she’ll do unprovoked.  It’s AMAZING to have the ability to communicate with her this way.  It’s also been nice to use at places like church, because I can sign something to her without saying anything, and she’ll understand.  I’ve tried fervently all day today to get a picture of her signing something; apparently stage fright can occur at an early age…

She has several two word sentences that she’ll sign, and uses them in different ways.  Observations like “doggy eat” when she’s watching them eating (or when she’s fed them something off her tray, which she knows she’s not supposed to do), descriptions like “Mommy silly”, or requests like “Mommy, I’m sleepy” occur many times a day.  Sometimes she’ll be squacking for something to eat, starting with signing “Eat, Mommy!”, move on to “Eat, Daddy!”, and even, if she’s really desperate “Eat, Doggy!”, trying to convince SOMEONE into giving her something.  Sometimes it morphs into a “Eat, MommyDaddyDoggy” fiasco, in which case I know she’s gotten to the end of her rope. 

She’s made up several signs on her own, which I don’t put toward her count until I can uncover what it is and verify that she uses it for that one thing.  The funniest has been a progression of degrees of “like”- there’s one sign for just plain ol’ like, one for really like, and one for really REALLY like.  It cracks me up.  I’m also fairly certain that she’s gotten a sign for Piper; I just realized that’s what she was saying, so now I’m on the lookout to verify that’s what she’s meaning.  There are at least a half dozen more that I’m clueless as to what they mean… 

She’s also getting REALLY good at identifying pictures in books.  She will point to an object on request, even if there are lots of pictures on the same page.  We’re working on increasing her vocabulary and the number of different images that she will recognize.  Most anything that she has real-world experience with, she’ll point out (flowers, balls, dogs, kids, babies, cars, shoes, clothes, bubbles, etc), and we’re starting on things that are a little more abstract (fish, bumble bees (mostly because she’s really interested in them), farm animals, etc). 

Her receptive language is probably the area she excels in the most.  It catches me off guard on occasion when she understands something that I didn’t intend for her to.  I’ve changed my perception from “just talk to her all the time because it’s good for her” to “she understands unless she shows you otherwise”.  It’s pretty fun to watch her follow directions in the presence of someone who’s not prepared for her to do so, like the doctors.  When we were in the genetics clinic, Piper was crawling all over the floor, and decided to stand up on the foot rest of the exam table.  I told her that it wasn’t safe- she turned around, looked at me, smiled, got down, and didn’t do it again.  The doctor was flabbergasted.  Oh what fun!!!

Fine motor:

Piper’s really had little desire to practice her fine motor skills lately.  It’s been a little slow-going.  I refuse to make her sit and play those games for longer than a few minutes if she’s not in the mood, so she doesn’t get as much practice as she does with her gross motor.  However, she still does pretty well for herself.  She can do the piggy bank, she’ll stack rings, and put things into boxes or nested cups.  However, that being said, each of those requires you to actually LOOK at the object first.  If she’s really not in the mood, she’ll have the coin in her hand, for example, and be looking at ME, blindly putting the coin toward the darn pig.  Somehow she hopes that it’ll be good enough, or something.  Goofy.


Piper’s had a little, tiny bit of a growth spurt the last month or so.  She’s now barely above the 5% on the Ds chart for weight, and still just below for length.  She weighed in at a whopping 14 1/2 pounds for surgery last week.  Sometimes I get questions about her being so little.  Truth be told, no one really knows why she’s so tiny.  The kid eats, a lot- even the nurses in the hospital last week were shocked when they watched her.  They’ve run every test, repeatedly, to make sure that we’re not missing something.  Frankly, she’s not significantly smaller than I was at the same age; we’re all convinced that she’s just little, and it’s just who she is.  Which is fine with us!  What she lacks in size, she makes up for in spunk! 

The downside to this whole thing is that I’ve planned a 6-12 month sized wardrobe for her this winter.  Aaaand it’s not gonna work.  She’s still wearing her 3 month clothes for this summer.  Anything that’s two-pieced needs to be a 3-month (even though she’s considerably over the size limit on the tag), and if it’s one-pieced, it needs to be 6-month.  Not that she’s lacking in attire, don’t get me wrong- just some of the cuuute clothes that I had stocked up for this season will have to wait until next year…  Oh well!!!  At least we get our money’s worth…


  1. Wow - she is amazing! Max can't do have of that (not that I'm comparing) ;)

  2. Way to go Piper!! I always love to hear what other kiddos are up to. That is so cool that she has so many signs. Claire knows what some signs mean, but she hasn't used any yet.

  3. "However, that being said, each of those requires you to actually LOOK at the object first. If she’s really not in the mood, she’ll have the coin in her hand, for example, and be looking at ME, blindly putting the coin toward the darn pig."

    rachel does this exact thing with food. she just rakes her hand on the try without looking knowing full well she will get something. lol! i have to force her to look at it in my fingers and set it on the tray as she follows it to the tray.

  4. She's a doll! She's doing so well! Keep up the good work.

    Tammy and Parker

  5. Way to go Piper! Keep up the great work.
    She is a people person like Alayna. Alayna is too interested in socialiazing to worry with looking while she is working on fine motor stuff too. Funny girls!

  6. Wow...go Piper!! She is doing so great!! A little jealous over here. :)