Seriously, what happened to my little baby girl??? After I got her dressed for school on Friday I nearly burst into tears, Ella just looked so big (okay not big in size really but so much older.) The little jeans she has on are from last winter and I actually think they are bigger on her, I seem to remember them being snug in the waste and now I have to keep pulling them up, thats a good thing I suppose, but really when is the kid going to grow taller : ) Oh well, good things come in small packages right? Here is my best attempt at pictures, Ella and her big girl attitude didn't want to stop and pose for pics!!
Okay, not really jumping, but her version of jumping. We have a Tigger toy, that was Hunter's when he was this age, that we recently pulled out of storage. Anyhow, Ella enjoys it too, so here she is bouncing with Tigger!
P.S. I know her sign for help looks like "cracker" but it is HER sign for help : ) She even adds the "ppp" sound to it. The past week or so has been much more plesant since she has learned help, instead of yelling she just asks for help, it's so great!
I've had a few people lately ask what kind of school Ella goes to and what she does there. Ella goes to Spokane Guilds' School and Neuromusclar Center, and we love it, it is one of the main reasons that we decided to move to Spokane. It is for children birth to three, and they see kids with a wide range of disabilities. Ella goes 2 days a week for 2 hours each day. She is in a toddler group and is doing really well. There are 6 kids in her class, including recently her boyfriend Riley! Watching over the 6 kiddos are 5 adults, a special education teacher, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist and an aide, and they are so wonderful! Her day goes like this, when we arrive in her classroom she has to go over to the circle and find her picture and sit down (she was just moved to sitting on a round bolster so that she really has to practice her balance the whole time and does great!). During circle they sing songs, with movements of course, then they get stamps which Ella loves, then head off to their various therapies. On Wednesdays Ella has 45 minutes of physical therapy and 15 minutes of speech therapy, between those times she "plays" with the special education teacher. During the last 20 minutes they eat lunch together as a group, which is so funny to watch, so that they can practice using their utensils and drinking from a cup, wash hands then go home. On Fridays Ella has 45 minutes of occupational therapy and 15 of speech and the rest is the same. Ella has been going to this school for 6 months now and I don't even know where to begin on all that she has learned, she did have her OT evaluation today so I'll be sure to post the results of that when I get them. As a side note let me warn you that I'm sure I will not be happy about the results, I hate evaluations they just bring you back to reality... Anyhow, with that here are some pics.
Getting her stamp
Brushing her skin to wake
up her muscles!
Swinging, working on her
Climbing the ramp
Reaching and getting up on
Working on the
Going for a ride
Putting up stickers, while
still on the scooter
"I've had enough" I took this
right before she did the turtle
when she is done she flips herself
on to her back and yells.
Playing with bubbles during
Climbing the stairs to wash
These my friend Mary (Riley's mom) took today, not sure why I can't get them bigger.
I get emailed newsletter type stuff from Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers' office. Here is what I got today...
In Case You Missed It...
I wanted to share with you articles that ran today in Roll Call and Politico. They are about something very important to me—raising awareness of Down syndrome. That issue has received a lot of attention recently because Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s son has Down Syndrome. As you may know, my 16-month-old son, Cole, has Down syndrome.
Hearing the test results after Cole’s birth was difficult. Every parent has hopes and dreams for their child, and Down syndrome is not on that list. And while it is not what we expected, we have embraced Cole as the special gift from God that he is. Now we are developing new dreams for our son and look forward to seeing him—and helping others like him—reach their full potential.
As founder and co-chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, it is my goal to heighten society’s awareness of the capabilities, value, and worth of people with disabilities.
-Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Here is the links to the two articles she is talking about.
On Friday the kids, my mom and I went to the park. The resident ducks were there in their little pond so we went down and visited them, when we would walk away they would quack at us. We kept doing the sign for duck and quacking at Ella, she would laugh and try to do the sign herself. So, the next day my mom, Ella and I were at a store shopping for stuff to decorate my mom's new house. My mom was carrying Ella around, the store had these little metal birds (decorations) and Ella kept making a sign and "saying" something. Finally it clicked with my mom what she was doing, she was signing duck and saying "quack quack quack" of course she called me over and asked Ella to do it again, and she did. I'm telling you it was the cutest thing, and even brought a tear to my eyes!! All weekend we have been asking her to quack for us. Last night we were watching a movie and Ella was laying on her daddy but kept giggling at me and was just being funny, it was 11pm. So I got out the camera and attempted to record her, here is the results..... ( the whispering noise she is making and the pinching her lips is her quack quack and duck sign.)
Hunter had his first day of Pre-K today!! His teachers said he did great (not that I had any doubts, ha ha) and he enjoyed himself!! He is going to a Montessori school and I think it is going to be a great fit for him!!
I don't know why he crossed his arms.
He looks like a model.
I had him hold up a 4 so when I look back I can remember he was 4!
Yes, my mind is gone.
"Can we go now?"
I only got to take 1 pic in front of his school because he was very anxious to get inside!!! And then he was off!!
As for the post before this, about Sarah Palin's speech, I am not trying to get all political here, I simply said that I liked, no LOVED her speech. Here is what she said....
"And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical.
That's how it is with us.
Our family has the same ups and downs as any other ... the same challenges and the same joys.
Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.
And children with special needs inspire a special love.
To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."
Yes of course I am talking about Sarah Palin's excepting speech, it was great. She is one tough cookie!! I LOVE that she said Trig is perfectly beautiful, and that parents of children with special needs will now have an advocate in the White House!
Ella had her 2 year well baby check up today. Everything looked good, she weighed in at 26lbs 9ozs, 50th percentile on the "typical kids" growth chart, completely off the chart on the Down syndrome chart. She is 31 3/4 inches tall, 6th percentile on the "typical" chart, and 50th percentile on the DS chart. Her doctor ordered the thyroid test and a test for Celiac's disease (recommended for 2-3 year olds with DS, not a worry of mine,) and wants Ella to start taking Zantac cause she is still a spitter upper, the doc said it probably won't stop the puking (due to low muscle tone and the little flappy thing not keeping the food down, technical I know : ) but will ensure that there is no acid in it so it won't erode at her esophagus. Any comments on Zantac??? Ella also got one immunization, she hasn't had any in a year, I am kind of afraid of them so I let them give her one. Anyhow, overall the doctor was impressed with Ella's progress in the past 6 months since her 18 month checkup, and I was impressed by the fact that we had only been to the doctor one time other than her checkup!!
Well, here are pics of Ella on her birthday, I realize she looks a bit rough. She has this reoccurring rash around her mouth the past couple of days, and she had just bonked her head on a cabinet in the kitchen, it's rough being 2!!!! Oh yeah, I wanted to mention how fun it was to watch Ella open her gifts. I have never seen a child so truly enjoy every aspect of opening presents. First she walked around with her gift bags, not caring at all what was in them. She also LOVED the wrapping paper and would tear off little pieces and stop and look at them, play with the tape etc...... Each present she would play with, even her books, she immediately took them around so someone could read them to her. It took a really long time to get them all opened, but it was so worth it!!!
She got her first present the day before, a kitchen from her aunt Tami. She loved the box : )
It took Daddy a really long time to put it together!! Her she is enjoying it, and Hunter does too!!!
Carrying her gift bags.
Making her ballerina elephant dance.
Enjoying the wrapping paper.
Signing "baby" while looking at her new Cabbage Patch.
Kissing her baby.
Drinking her baby's bottle.
She decided baby could have some too.
Reading a new book with Grandmom.
Enjoying her new tea set. Notice the pinkie sticking out!
Tea party with Bubba.
Ella's new laptop!!
A cell phone and some cash what more could a girl want?
Putting on her lipstick. This is really hilarious to watch, I'll have to video it for you to truly experience it!
My mom got her pegs like she uses in OT at school, this is what she did with them.
And then, they became a sword and she was attacking everyone, it was so funny.
When Good Babies Attack!!!
OK, so now she is 2, can we get the rest of the teeth???
I still can't believe Ella is 2!! I am working on a Montage covering the past year, but with thousands of pictures to chose from it's taking a while : )
PS- Mrs Deena from Texas, email me I lost your address!!!
I am a mother to two incredible children. Hunter is 8 years old and Ella Grace is 6 years old. My children are my life, my true joy. My life was turned upside down when my daughter was born and surprised us all by having Down syndrome. Since her birth I have come from sorrow and a sense of loss to greater happiness than I ever imagined and I owe it all to The Amazing Ella Grace! Contact me anytime by email firstname.lastname@example.org
My face may be different,but my feelings the same.I laugh and I cryand take pride in my gains.I was sent here among you to teach and to loveas God in the heavenslooks down from above.To Him I'm no different,His love knows no bounds;It's those here among you, in cities and townsthat judge me by standardsthat man has imparted,but this family I've choosenwill help me get started.For I'm one of the children,so special so few,that came here to learnthe same lessons as you.That love is acceptance, it must come from the heart;we all have the same purpose,though not the same start.The Lord gave me lifeto live and embrace,and I'll do it as you do,but at my own pace.-Unknown