Friday, 24 October 2014

Sisters #4

Through the recent sleepless nights, two poorly girls, temperatures, tears (including mine!) and snot there have been lots of (mostly) lovely moments between my little ladies.  Seemingly small, trivial and fleeting things that don't mean very much on their own but when you add them all together they become much more significant...  

Lucy asking for Ella as soon as she wakes from her nap

Ella bringing Lucy her dummy when she's upset

Lucy stealing Ella's food at meal times after she's finished her own (Ella is a slow eater!) 

Playing together (normally consists of Ella quietly playing by herself and then Lucy sidling in shouting 'share' at her)

Arguing (well, lots of shouting 'No!' at one another and tears!)

Blowing raspberries together and giggling

Giggles as they (illegally) bounce on mummy and daddy's bed

Lucy shouting for Ella when she disappears upstairs

Ella giving Lucy her cat and snuggle  

Lucy asking for Ella all the way to nursery at home time

Ella asking For Lucy to be on the swing with her

Ella randomly giving Lucy kisses and cuddles 

Lucy turning off the TV while Ella's watching Mr Tumble

Ella washing Lucy's hair in the bath

Lucy copying her big sister and trying to walk down the stairs

Both wanting to be sat on my knee if the other one is

Reading a book together

Lucy charging in and breaking Ella's latest sticklebrick masterpiece

I'm loving watching their relationship and bond grow. My two little girls, sisters and friends xx






And as October is Down's Syndrome Awareness month, I'll leave you with a picture of my girls from this time last year...













Tuesday, 21 October 2014

{Proud Moments} - October 2014

There's a lovely little thing that happens every month in the 'Future of Downs' Facebook group. We celebrate our children's milestones and share what's made us proud. We do this on the 21st to represent the three copies of chromosome 21 present in Down's syndrome.And there's no such thing as an achievement too small. There's a whole lot of love and pride bursting from the members every month - and quite rightly! Proud moments happen everyday.  I'll be sharing ours on the 21st of each month. 

This month, (and following on from September's proud moments), we've had Ella's first recognisable picture.  She still loves to draw at any opportunity she gets.  At nursery, they have a box with a folder for each child's drawings so parents can take home with them.  I can tell which is Ella's slot from the other side of the playground - literally bursting with paintings and drawings...  She needs her own box!

So here's her first masterpiece...



She said 'pink' for the pink crayon she was holding and then 'look mummy, piiiig'.  It was a bit more defined before I managed to get a pic of it.  I had to prompt her to draw the legs, but she put them in the right place.   She's not drawn anything recognisable until now although she often tells me what she is making a picture of - 'horse' 'sailboat' and 'car' get mentioned a lot during her furious scribbling! Her speech is also improving at the moment (post soon) and she's started walking up and down the stairs instead of using her hands and knees.

Lucy has started being very assertive and very cheeky.  Answering back already (generally a 'NO!!' with a cheeky grin).  She's definitely going to be a very mischievous child, I just know it! It's really lovely to see her character and will developing (most of the time).  I've also noticed some imaginative play over the last couple of weeks, trying to dress baby or doing teddys nappy.  

1
They suit her!



Monday, 6 October 2014

Pre-school begins

We are already 3 weeks into Ella's first term at pre-school.  Time is flying by!

And I'm happy to report that she seems to be loving it and has settled in really well.  I was able to drop her off on her first day and she happily left my side, making an immediate bee-line for the sand pit.  She already knows the nursery and the staff as she's been attending one of their opportunity groups since we moved to the area 2 years ago.  This has definitely helped with her transition into the nursery and feedback from the staff is that she is doing really well.  I had a lot of anxiety over this change for her.  It's a new era, a new setting and it also coincided with Ian working away.  Other than her waking once or twice during the night (very unusual for Ella) she seems her normal, happy self and has taken all the change in her stride.  Not that I'm worrying any less mind!  

I've been off this week so have been able to drop her off - she's correctly picked out her name off the board when she arrives and can almost find her peg to hang her coat on (although she's so keen to get into nursery that she just throws it at any peg as she charges in!).  And she knows where the nursery is too - every time we drive past the end of the road where it is, a little excited voice in the back seat pipes up 'Charnwood!'. 


I've shelved the attempt we tried over the summer at starting potty training. She's definitely lost interest for now so we will try again when everything has settled down a bit for her. I don't want to overload her and put her off. Having said that, she did manage to use the toilet once at nursery a couple of weeks ago and I was awoken at 5am yesterday morning to her crashing about in the bathroom putting her toilet seat onto the toilet saying 'wee wee, toilet'. She didn't do anything but we will keep trying when she asks and then go for it properly in a few weeks time.  I'm very keen to get her out of nappies, at her own pace obviously but it would be nice to have her dry (at least during the day) before she starts school next year. The other issue I have is changing her nappy out and about is now nigh on impossible as she is too big for the baby changing tables in public places. I don't think it's right or dignified for her to be changed on the floor or not in a toilet environment.  She will get there and I have lots of advice and experience from others to draw on, I just feel now is not the right time to be pushing it.

For now, she's concentrating on putting more words together and practicing pronunciations. She's started storytelling during her imaginative play and is also confidently walking up and down the stairs instead of on her hands and knees. Quite enough to be going on with! 



Happy Monday everyone xx

 





Monday, 29 September 2014

My Big Girl and I, Part 2

This is my last Monday with only Ella while Lucy is in nursery. Then it's back to normal from next week. So today I thought we'd do something that would be nigh on impossible with both of them and that (more importantly) Ella would get the most out of...

I've had this activity in mind for one of my Monday's with Ella ever since I discovered it a few weeks ago. And as daddy was here as well, it seemed a great opportunity to try it out. 

You'll know by now that Ella loves her trampoline and is very good at jumping properly and bounces whenever she can (including on the beds and sofa...).

With that in mind, today we paid a visit to  'Jump Nation'. It's basically a massive trampoline arena of 139 connected trampolines (including some semi vertical ones on the walls). Ella heaven!! 


The staff were great and were very accommodating, taking into account Ella's extra needs. They went through different options before we paid and offered to show us the arena so we could decide what was best.  We decided upon daddy being with her as a carer which was £2.50 - the price of a pair of trampoline socks (but he couldn't bounce, just supervise). The lady on reception said they were hoping to organise some sessions for children with special needs/disabilities and she recognised Ella was using makaton which always wins brownie points with me!

So, kitted out in her jump nation socks, wristband and bright orange tabard off she went.


Our very own little 'Tigger'!!

They have an under 6's area cordoned off, which she spent all of about 5 minutes in before venturing out into the main arena with the teenagers and adults (this didn't surprise me at all!). Thankfully daddy was there to supervise while I had the hard job of sitting in the cafe with a latte and slice of carrot cake...

Unsurprisingly, she absolutely loved it. We're even contemplating Jump Nation as a certain little lady's 4th birthday party venue! 

All bounced out xx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

{Proud Moments} - September

There's this lovely little thing that happens on the 21st of every month in the 'Future of Downs' Facebook group. 

We celebrate our children's milestones and share what's made us proud. We do this on the 21st to represent the three copies of chromosome 21 present in Down's syndrome.

And there's no such thing as an achievement too small. There's a whole lot of love and pride bursting from the members every month - and quite rightly! From first finger feeding or first steps to first days at school or first sleepover with friends. Anything goes. 

So, I'm hoping this will be a regular post on the 21st of the month where I can share Ella and Lucy's recent achievements...

Ella's had a lot of change in the last few weeks with Ian working away and with starting her new nursery. But, in true Ella style she has taken it all in her stride, is loving nursery (post soon!) and although she still looks in our room every morning for daddy, she's happy with the explanation that he's at work in his helicopter. She's suddenly putting 2 and 3 words together much more naturally and is now holding her crayon properly when drawing. 


Lucy is now walking very confidently indoors and out. She also is a little chatterbox and continues to learn words and signs everyday. And she's ridiculously cheeky!

It's good to take a moment to appreciate the little things and to define what's made me proud. 

What will you share for the 21st? Feel free to leave your comments below xx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

My Big Girl and I, Part 1

To cut a long and rather boring story short, for the next few weeks Lucy is going to nursery on a Monday meaning I get a day a week with Ella by herself.

This Monday was our first day together.  After dropping Lucy off, we got home to greet the builders and to see the skip being delivered. 



Along with next door, we are squaring off the back of the house as it's currently 'L' shaped. Next doors is slightly more ambitious than ours (large kitchen/diner) but we will end up with a utility and a downstairs toilet when it's all finished.  Ella's enjoyed waving to the builders from the window and watching them dig, lay bricks and pour concrete.  

She then spent most of the morning sat at her table drawing.  She asked for the paper and got the crayons out of the cupboard by herself.  Lots of scribbling, drawing and concentration...




I've not known an activity hold Ella's attention for so long, or keep her so quiet.  And not having Lucy, I didn't know what to do with myself! So I got a cup of tea and sat and watched her.  She did ask me to join in and draw a face, but for the most part she was happy drawing by herself.  I noticed she has moved away from simple mark making to more of a colouring in action with some circles and other shapes - not just straight lines.  The way she holds the crayon is getting better too, using her fingers rather than her palm.  She's getting good with her colours now, as she named the colours of the crayons she was using (I had no idea she knew 'brown'!). 

After lunch, we headed to The Lowry at Salford Quays.  Our destination was the 'Here's one we made earlier' exhibition, all about the history (and future) of childrens' television broadcasting.  


We both had a great time, Ella spent ages reading books and playing with the soft toys in the ‘CBeebies’ window, she shook hands with a teletubby, met Gordon the Gopher, Morph, The Clangers and Bagpuss too!  






She enjoyed running through the exhibition space, which was fine as it was relatively quiet now it’s term time.  It was good to be able to let her loose and have a bit of freedom – you forget how much easier just having one child is!  

After the exhibition we went for a stroll through the shops and I treated Ella to a chocolate babyccino from Costa.  She helped to eat my cake too!

It was then time to collect Lucy, who had also had an exciting and fun-filled day with her friends.  

Even though they were both exhausted, Ella resisted bedtime to get in some more scribble time...


Now to decide where to go next Monday!...


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

I Heart my girl

Just a quick post. 

Ella had her yearly cardiac review today. It soon comes around! I know I've said this before, but it's still the appointment I worry about the most and the one I lose sleep over. I doubt that will ever change. 

Ella was a star, she waited and played nicely in the waiting room and didn't get too stressed having the tests done (thanks to the handy distraction of a Mr Tumble DVD and mummy posting chocolate buttons in her mouth during said tests!). 

We had left Lucy at nursery so I just had Ella with me. It was lovely to be able to spend time with just her and also to give her my undivided attention - something she very rarely gets.

After an ECG, ECHO and a quick chat with the doctor I am pleased to report that all is fine and we don't need to go back until February 2016! 



Go Ella! Xx


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