Showing posts with label Milestone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Milestone. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Learning disability week 2014

To celebrate this years learning disability week, Mencap have chosen 'firsts' as their focus topic. Wonderful stories of first days at school, first dates, first homes, jobs and other milestones have been shared by people all week. 

It's made me realise that we still have so many 'firsts' to look forward to experiencing and celebrating with both our girls as they grow and develop.

With them both still being so little, we celebrate their firsts quite regularly - Ella is now for the first time jumping properly on her trampoline (sometimes even in her sleeping bag!) and Lucy's first this week is cruising the furniture...



For me, the 'first' that I remember most clearly was Ella's first smile. I knew from reading the information we were given after she was born that she would meet many of her milestones behind her peers. 

And looking back now, it was that first smile that I longed for the most out of her baby milestones. She was around 14 weeks old when we got out first glimpse of her mouth beginning to turn upwards, but it was always so fleeting and we were never quick enough to catch it on camera. All we knew was that our little Ella was going to have the most amazing smile when she decided she knew what to do. 

As her mum who was with her all day every day at that point (spending most of my time singing, pulling faces and making silly noises in an attempt to get a smile) I was convinced I would get her first beamer. But no.

Should have known from day one she was a daddy's girl. Every evening when Ian returned from work he got all the smiles (still not full smiles but definitely happy to see daddy). And this continued for a good week or two...


By 16weeks old she was smiling properly but we still hadn't managed to catch it on camera. Then one evening, I managed to take a snap on my phone. It's grainy, not great quality but it speaks a thousand words. My favourite ever picture of Ella that I've taken. Her first smile finally caught on camera...


Well worth the wait xx

What firsts do you remember?









Sunday, 26 January 2014

Living Arrows 4/52 - sweet dreams

This weekend we decided to move Ella out of her cot bed (which we need for Lucy) and into a proper single bed.  I had no worries about the transition (other than she's growing up too fast!), Ella's been sleeping with the sides off the cotbed for a year now. She's still quite a mobile sleeper so the bed will give her more space to move around.

New sheets and a pillow are in place (she says 'pillow' in a very cute way!). She settled and slept really well, so far so good! And of course there's cat and snuggle too...


Lucy seems to like the cot bed, although not enough to sleep in it beyond 6am! So here she is wide awake in our room one morning...


           Sleep mummy??! Hahaha!


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Looking back...

I know it wont be the same for everyone, but for us, on the whole 2013 was a good year. This time last year, I was announcing my pregnancy, Ella was just taking her first steps alone and the house was in absolute chaos as we renovated the downstairs rooms.

Now we have a 7 month old baby, a walking/talking/signing whirlwind of a little girl and a house that's now a home.  And all that via hard work, too many sleepless nights and a lot of tears and laughter (in almost equal measure!).





A year in pictures...


12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days condensed into just 12 snapshots.... It's been good looking back at 2013.  Choosing and looking through all the pictures from the past year got me thinking.  If I could choose just one picture to sum up 2013, which one would it be? 

It's strange to think that one captured moment could define an entire year.  This year, it was an easy one to pick out from the hundreds I had to choose from.  In fact, I knew as soon as I'd posed myself the question which one it would be.  For me, it doesn't just represent 2013 - it's a split second that defines so much more and one that I'll remember forever... 

It's that first cuddle between two special sisters.  A big sister who literally grew up overnight and a little sister who seemed instantly content in the arms of her sibling.  I took many pictures of Ella and Lucy's introduction but this one is my favourite.  It's not perfect in many ways -no smiles, Ella's hair is a mess, Lucy is asleep... but the look on Ella's face sums up the old saying perfectly...

'A picture is worth a thousand words'

What picture would you choose to sum up your year?

2013 on the blog...

I finally got around to writing Ella's feeding story - it's the post on the blog that I've received the most comments and feedback on.  It's good that sharing our story is having a positive impact and giving hope to others.  I wish I'd been able to read other people's stories and experiences when we were going through all the struggles in the early days with Ella.

In March we raised a lot of money for our local DS support group during Down's Syndrome awareness week.  It was all with help from a lot of you and your odd socks - thank you again for your pictures, time and donations!

  
I was honoured to be part of raising awareness when asked by Mencap to take part in their Learning Disability Week - you can read my 'Superheroes' post here



A Different View is also now linked with the NHS choices initiative - 'Talk Health'.  They publish all my posts so that they are available to anyone wanting to find out more about Down's Syndrome.  That could be a student, health professional or, more crucially a new parent or parent to be.  

It was also a lovely surprise for the blog to be recently featured on the Down Syndrome Centre (Ireland) website. A big thank you - you can read their feature here

So, very briefly, that was our 2013.  And we can only hope at this point that 2014 will be another good year.  We already know we have some challenges ahead of us in the coming year - all helps to keep life interesting!  

Happy New Year everyone xx 






Thursday, 21 February 2013

And she's off!...

Walking is now Ella's chosen method for getting around...

Our intrepid explorer

She's wobbly but determined and at the moment I'm grateful she wears a nappy as her poor bottom makes frequent contact with the floor.  The crawl remains her trusty back up - only put into action when she wants to make a speedy getaway (generally when changing her nappy or trying to brush her hair)...

She's been fairly confident walking short distances around the house for a few weeks now but less so outside. Or so I thought. A trip to visit Martin Mere last weekend allowed her to improve her confidence and practice walking in unfamiliar surroundings...


She did really well and walked most of the way round.  Getting her back in the pushchair was a battle of wills but her efforts were rewarded with beans on toast from the cafe.

With Uncle Henry & Granny

I don't think so...

With mummy, bump & Suz

Making a break for freedom!

Quack!

And as the weather was so lovely, Ella was introduced to the off-side rule by Uncle Henry.  Her first footie training session!...





Even though Ella has begun letting go, my hand will always be there for her to hold and there will be many more treasured moments to come... 

So now I really do need eyes in the back of my head...
















Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Messy business...

It's taken some time but Ella has recently started taking an interest in feeding herself.  At the moment, this lasts for two to three spoonfuls and then she reverts to using her hands.  Which is all well and good, unless you're attempting to eat porridge... mealtimes can get rather messy!...






Who said you can't eat porridge with your hands?...






It still amazes me how far Ella has come with her feeding.  We struggled from the very start.   We are here today via NG tube, oral aversion, open heart surgery and a gastrostomy.  She will get there, she's come so far already!  

Most amazingly development wise, she can now drink from a straw.  She never sucked as a baby and it's a really important skill required for speech and language development in all children (uses and tones the muscles used for speech).  I was up for the challenge of teaching her this skill and decided to introduce her to it and see how we got on.  

No teaching required.  She just put it in her mouth and knew what to do with it (along with some gentle squeezing of the carton by Aunty Vicky to start with). 

We will never get tired of watching her do this - there was a lot of heartache at the very beginning over not being able to breastfeed and the struggle with bottle feeding that led to her being NG fed...


In other news, Ella continues to communicate well and I find myself adding new signs and words to her display every week.  Her most recent sign is 'baby/doll' which I didn't know she knew.  We got home from nursery and she pointed at her doll and did the sign for 'baby'...

I have also spent an entire evening cutting and laminating the 'see and learn' picture card resources.  We have started using them with the suggested activities and so far so good...


She's also been standing unsupported for a few seconds, still loves being on her trike and has been having fun with herself the mirror...






We've also been witnessing a new style of 'crawling' recently...

And a lot of 'oooops'....

Thanks for reading xx





Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Little mover

 Nothing is safe any more! 

I knew this time would come but I've become a little complacent having had a non-mobile baby for so long.  Everything now has to be moved up a level out of the reach of small hands...  It's a big learning curve (for me not Ella!).  Even strapped into her pushchair she today managed to empty the contents of the chemists shelf onto the floor as I had left her in reaching distance of the items on the shelf.  So there I was, on my hands and knees in the packed chemist picking up boxes of Immodium instants off the floor... 

Babies with Down's Syndrome are generally born with low muscle tone (hypotonia) which makes them quite floppy.  This means that it takes them longer to roll, lift their heads up, sit, crawl or walk  than other children.  Add a heart defect and major heart surgery on top of that and it can really delay a child's physical development.   This is why physiotherapy is important in helping babies with Down's Syndrome improve muscle tone and develop their motor skills.  

I have had it in my head all along that Ella would possibly be walking by the time she was 2.5 years old.  This may still be the case but we have been surprised by the sudden leap in her physical skills.  So, maybe my wish that she will walk before her second birthday could happen?  If there is one thing that Ella has taught me it is that anything is possible... 

So, after weeks of trying, Ella is now crawling! It's almost a proper 4-point crawl (she uses one knee and one foot...).  The commando crawl has most definitely been forgotten...


She is also pulling to stand on furniture, boxes, me (anything really) and beginning to cruise....


I have to confess to getting a little emotional when she started to take steps with her walker the other evening - she does need a little help from mummy and daddy for now but I have no doubt that her determined/independent streak means she'll soon be confident enough to go it alone. 

She was very proud of herself too (and so she should be)...




As Ella's newest word is Duck ('Du') we made the most of the (short-lived) good weather and went to feed the ducks.  Ella had a lovely time and enjoyed throwing bread...










We also went on the swings...



I will leave you with some pictures of Ella & her friend Daniel having fun in the ball pool...




I am off to baby-proof the house! xx





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