Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday

Today is my mom’s birthday (shhh…  don’t tell her I told you.  I didn’t use an age, so I’m exempt from any prosecution, right???), so Piper and Addy insisted that “they” make dinner for her tonight.

And while their “cooking” was less than helpful, and, well, pretend, they WERE successful in behaving so well that we could actually get things done.  That, in and of itself, was glorious.

Happy birthday to my favorite mom- and I’m not just saying that because it can’t be untrue.  We’re so lucky to have you!

A few weeks ago, my mom went with us to a shopping center across town.  Little did I know, they also had a water feature- but it was totally different that any Piper has played in before.  I’m pretty sure that it’s existence was divine providence- Addy decided she was going to eat, NOW, right near here.  So Mom and Piper took a dip.  Yup- I said Mom AND Piper…

They started out with Piper fully clothed.  That lasted about 5.4 seconds.  Layers were quickly removed because of situations like this one:IMAG0031

…I remember that same hands-on-my-hips stance from when I was little.  And it only meant one thing- I’m pretending that you’re in trouble, but your cuteness and/or humor is getting you out of it.  I think that Piper was supposed to walk though the water, not sit in it.  Especially since we only had a regular diaper; not so sure it was, you know, allowed

No matter how many times I see it, it always flabbergasts me to see how much water a diaper can hold.  Especially from the outside in.  You can see how round her rump is…  She definitely waddled a lot more- but what do you expect with an extra three pounds in her drawers???IMAG0033



The steps were really wide at the bottom and got really narrow at the top.  Out of fear of a tumbling-backward-on-concrete-steps toddler, Nana played the part of “personal protective gear.”  Either that or she was just trying to pull up her britches.  Take your choice.IMAG0034

I got done nursing Adalynn and Piper came over to get me.  She couldn’t wait to tell me all about her fun!IMAG0037

I asked if she was ready to put on her clothes (sans shorts, of course, because they’d already gotten soaked)- this was her response:IMAG0038

Running while waddling is a difficult task!

Thanks for the fun, Nana!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bathtime Bundle

We decided to let Addy try and share Piper’s bath tonight.  Typically, Addy still gets bathed in the bathroom sink; at almost 21”, it’s starting to get a little…  cozy. 

Piper wasn’t too sure of the idea.P1100592

…neither was Addy.P1100593

Piper’s enthusiasm grew significantly quicker than did Addy’s.P1100584

But apparently a few sisterly kisses makes things better…P1100586

…because she was all smiles at the end!P1100599

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bunnies in Bronze

The bunny statues outside of Children’s.  Piper always has to say hello to her most favoritist animals.






Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Research Study, cont.

Behind a bit?

Ummm, yeah.

You might remember that, back in March, Piper started in a research study that was to analyze the effects of balance training in kids with Down syndrome.  She had two pre-sessions, five weekly sessions on the balance platform, and two post-tests. 

All this culminated the weekend after Addy was born.  If you’re counting, that was eight-and-a-half weeks ago, but I’m not admitting to that.

A few weeks ago, I got a packet in the mail with a thank you note (and a gift card!) and a summary from the study.  At the pre-sessions, the third session, and at the two post-sessions, they completed the Gross Motor Function Measure test to evaluate, on a point basis, her gross motor skills.  They only scored the two sections on Standing and Walking, Running, Jumping, and Stair Climbing.  Each component was scored on a 0 to 3 scale marking did not initiate, initiates, partially completes, or completes.  So any change in score implies a change in abilities.

I’ll say that, once we got started in the study, I was not convinced that Piper was old enough to participate.  I thought that she was too young to understand the balance board, and that maybe we weren’t going to see any real benefits from it because of her hesitations.  She was in that awkward age of being old enough to know that it wasn’t right but not old enough to understand why.  Frankly, I had considered pulling her out based on her extreme dislike of the board, but things were a little easier each week.  Still, though, I wasn’t sure that this protocol wouldn’t have worked better with older kids.

Until I got the results.

Holy smokes.  This is Piper’s part of the final results documenting her change in score: 

  3 days post 30 days post
Standing Ability 9.4 12.0
Walking, etc 6.5 21.8

Okay, so I’ve been able to see a dramatic difference in her confidence over the past few months.  And sure, no matter WHAT we had done over this time, she would have had an increase in score.  However, I don’t think it would have been this dramatic.

The head researcher mentioned several times that maybe this would help her get over some of her over-cautious tendencies. She’s definitely a lot more confident. She’s willing to try things a lot more than she has in the past.  Things like crawling into the infant swing, but we won’t go there… She’ll go up and down a few steps while holding onto the wall all by herself now. She’s running- truly running- since starting this. She’s *this* close to riding her pedal bike and she has taken a few (albeit, a few) jumps with both feet on the trampoline. She’ll climb up the ladder to her slide. Even things like walking while looking at the ceiling (not a real skill, I know, but it takes a lot of balance, right?) She’s definitely a different looking kid these days…




That 21.8 increase?  The average for the rest of the kids was 11.8.  Talk about a jump. 

So, while I was all ready to write a diatribe about how maybe this was better suited for kids who were proficient to start with, I’m eating my words.  I know that this is at least the third trial with this specific theory.  They did it once (maybe twice?) with kids with CP and now twice with kids with Ds.  I don’t know if they’re going to do anything else in the future, but I’d be curious to know.  It’s certainly an intriguing idea, and I do think that it’s done wonders for her ability to move through the post-walking skills. 

I just wish she hadn’t have screamed through the sessions.  I like to think that she was preparing her student helpers for their careers with uncooperative munchkins.

I’m afraid that she may have ensured that some of them stick to the non-pediatric side of things.

Monday, July 25, 2011

$1.53 Well Spent!

The good people on our city council decided to endow our little neighborhood with a brand spanking new Walmart.

Don’t be jealous.

I won’t bore you with the gory details- just suffice it to say that, in general, the neighborhoods that surround the dang place on three sides H-A-T-E it.


It did come with one minor benefit.

Everyone knows that in the parking lot of nearly every Walmart exists some sort of fast food restaurant.  And we were fortunate to skip out on the Long John Silver’s/KFC catastrophe at another local Walmart.

No, no.  We were “blessed” with a McDonalds. 

I don’t have the foggiest as to the last time I was even near a McDonalds; undoubtedly in high school sometime…

So I’ve decided that it’d make a fun weekend activity to walk over and get an ice cream cone.  For the grand ol’ price of $1.53, we can all three get a cone.  Not too shabby, eh?

We did find out, however, that if it’s warm, it’s better to eat inside.  By eating outside, you rely on your toddler being able to spoon the melted mess that the ice cream quickly turns into. 


DSCN1694“Really truly???”

DSCN1681“Must get every last drop!”


DSCN1687Waving to her adoring fans.  At least that’s what she thinks…

DSCN1692Messy?  Ummm, yeahhhh….

DSCN1696Yup- you see that right.  For some reason, she though that the backside of the spoon would be more efficient.  I chalked it up to a “learning experience” and let her continue.  Hey, we were sitting outside.  And yes, we did clean up after ourselves.

DSCN1703But, at the end of a long day, sometimes you just need to double fist it….

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Books are supposed to be GOOD, right???

We like books.  Piper has tons of books.  We go through stages where we read what feels like hundreds of books a day (and I’m convinced that’s not always an exaggeration.)

One of her favorites, though, is this flap book.


We bought this for Piper ages ago…  Like a year-and-a-half ago.  And yet it remains a favorite.  I liked it at the time because it had real pictures of real animals, and I thought it’d be easier to learn animals that way.

Now, however, I’ve determined that this book, this book that’s supposed to impart wisdom to my impressionable child, has taught her bad tricks…

Be warned, folks.  With repeated applications, this book may change your child into this:P1100569

This book has six total “pages”.  Each page says “What does the ________ say?”, and then you open the flap to find out.  Two of those pages are as follows:



Do you see the faces on both of these animals?  They both have their tongues sticking out.

And for MONTHS, anytime  you ask her what a sheep says or what a goat says, she makes the aforementioned face.  With her tongue stretched out as far as it can possible go.  Over and over and over again (with, obviously, no vocalization, but you probably guessed that part…)

If she weren’t so gosh darn funny when she did it, I’d probably sue.

…and, admittedly, it wouldn’t be the sole fault of the publishing company- after all, we have laughed at her more than a few times, but you know…

Two months- REALLY???

Addy turned 8 weeks old last week!  I simply cannot believe that she could possibly be that old.

Part of me feels like she should just be a few days old, and part of me feels like she’s been with us forever.  Funny how that happens.

P1100467We tried out the Bumbo the other day- it’s way too big, but she was totally able to do it.  I didn’t let her stay very long, of course, but I think she really enjoyed the new perspective!

I’m not sure that Piper even remembers life without her.  She’s doing so fabulously with her- I could never have imagined how great she’d do.  The only time Piper gets a little upset is if Adalynn’s having a meltdown in the car.  We still have paci wars- I think Piper can spot a pacifier from a mile away.  She gets this little guilty grin when she picks one up.  But, ultimately, if that’s the biggest battle I have to fight, I’ll take it! 

Addy’s such a sweet little bundle.  She has, however, had some trying times the past week or so.  Not sure what’s going on, but the kid can get MAD.  I asked the pediatrician about it last week- apparently there’s a phase in neurological development that happens about that time that makes a lot of kids hard to console.  It only lasted a few days, and although she still has her moments, it’s mostly better.  Goofy munchkin. 

She’s always willing to snuggle.  Snuggle and/or eat.  She has a nervous face she pulls if she hears Piper squeal in the vicinity (call it self preservation), but otherwise loves to talk to her big sister.  And she’s been cooing and laughing out loud (which is just a loud inhale, but way too cute) which just turns me into a blubbering fool… 

P1100428She is in so much need of snuggling that she often sleeps next to a blanket to make her think that someone is snuggling her.  Rest assured- it’s far away from her face and her hands are velcroed in in the Halo.  And, bygolly, if it means that we can BOTH sleep a little more, I’m willing…

P1100461The “Oh my gosh, what was that???” look…  Looks a little like the baby version of Blair Witch, doesn’t it???

We’ve given her bottles a few times- if she’s really hungry, and you put the bottle in her mouth, she looks at you like “IF YOU PUT THAT GOSH DARN PACIFIER IN MY MOUTH ONE MORE TIME…” and then she realizes there’s milk.  And then she’s good.  It’s really hilarious.  She can down a four ounce bottle in less than four minutes.  Impressive.

She had her two month checkup last week- she weighed 8 lbs 3 oz, and was almost 21” long.  She’s maintaining her 5%ile curve quite well, lol. 

P1100537Showing off for Dr. Karen at her checkup.  She was proud of herself!

Addy is so interested in everything going around her.  She still has the contemplative look, only now she adds in a smile.  It looks like things genuinely excite her.  So sweet.

P1100467Okay, so she wasn’t so sure she liked what was going on here.  Not sure it wasn’t right after the dog slathered her face with his tongue and she was trying to figure out what the heck just happened…

P1100468“Oooo- what’s that???”

Happy two month birthday, little munchkin.  You make our hearts sing!P1100497

Good Intentions

We have a shopping center not far from our house.  The second best part is that it has a water feature in the middle (the best part you ask?  The best part is a Gymboree…)

So, last week we ventured out and I attempted to let Piper run around and keep Addy happy.  In the heat.  Nearing lunchtime.  When Addy was grumpy to start with.

Can you tell where this is going?

It took longer to get Piper into her swimsuit than it did playing in the water.  There were a lot of big kids there, and Piper kept getting bowled over.  One ornery little cuss kept throwing water in Piper’s face…

But Piper made the best of it and had fun for a few minutes.  She kept trying to look down the holes where the water comes out to see why it WASN’T coming out.  And then, inevitably, it’d shoot up fast and startle her.  She did really well, though, and even though she got it up her nose, it didn’t upset her as much as I thought it might. 

P1100442See the boy with the cups?  Pretty sure those were the cups that filled Piper’s face a couple times…


P1100445I think all the big kids and all the screaming when she was a little tired all overwhelmed her.  There was far more time spent standing around than there usually is…


P1100454But when I asked if she was ready to go.  She replied with running back to the water.

Go figure.

Summer Lessons

Piper is discovering the fun that exists when you get to be a big kid during summer.

Sprinklers, pools, water features, trike rides…  They make summer so much fun!

But, even more fun than things you can DO are  things you can EAT!!!

Piper got to have a whole popsicle, all. by. her.self.  (On the porch, with the least colored popsicle, and in an easily washable shirt, but that’s besides the point…)

P1100396She had a little trouble figuring out you hold the stick, not the popsicle.  She was a little concerned…



But once she figured out that the popsicle was yummy (with a little encouragement and the fact that “Addy couldn’t have one because she was too little”…), she decided it was an okay snack.  She’s signing “cold” here with the other hand, and her face looks like she may have given herself a brain freeze…P1100401

P1100404…a little more concerned…  And, apparently, it’s still cold.

P1100405It’s even cold when it drips on you.


She moved to the sun, which warmed her up, of course, and she felt better.  Of course, it warmed her up AND the popsicle, so she was eating fast trying to keep it from dripping down her arms. 

Oh, the lessons kids have to learn…  Properly eating popsicles in summertime heat is definitely one of them…