It’s official, BOTH my kids are making their way around the house and discovering the many places that have yet to be baby-proofed. It sure brings joy to my heart to see Liam walking around so proudly and Karis crawling from room to room. As of 2 weeks ago Liam’s physical therapist said that he no longer needs his walker! That was great news!! Along with all that movement comes more work for mommy. Just when I think it can’t get any harder juggling life with them sometimes… it does! And yet I love it! They sure love opening the drawers and cabinets in our kitchen. Liam doesn’t care so much about what is in the drawer as he does the sounds the drawer makes when he opens and closes it. That’s my little drummer boy for you! Jeremy has begun to put latches inside the cabinet doors. He has had one cabinet left to latch for a few days now and Liam knows it, and grabs the knob and opens and closes it over and over…. ahhhh! Anyway here is proof of their curiosity…
And here is video of Karis crawling a bit to get a ball. She stops and does the sign for “ball” (you touch your finger tips together like you’re holding a ball) which right now is her clapping her hands. Then she does the signal that she needs help by raising her hand, which she learned from Liam. She is really picking up signs quickly and probably because we do them all day long with Liam.
Today I took Liam to speech therapy and occupational therapy. We go every week and he spends an hour with each teacher back-to-back. Last week he had a hard time focusing for 2 hours straight, most likely from just being away due to the holidays. Today he was much more focused and really showed off his skills! We have speech the first hour and he impressed Ms. Molly with all of his sign language. She read a few books with him and he would point to something on the page and then do the sign. He has been doing that for a while now but just recently his signing vocabulary has really taken off! He seems to be so proud of himself because he smiles every single time he does a sign or imitates Ms. Molly. It’s too cute! He REALLY loves books and could sit and read them all day long!
Within the last week he has begun to imitate many different sounds which is very exciting for me! For example, I was reading a book to him yesterday that had a picture of a snake on a page and I said, “Liam, look at the sssssssnake”. And he went, “ssssss” right back to me with a smile on his face of course. He also says “ba” when I ask him what a sheep says, “ooo” for a cow, and “ufff” for woof. Those are just a few of the sounds he is confident in. The speech therapist told me about a helpful resource for children with Down syndrome entitled, See and Learn Language and Reading. She also sent me to the website Up For Reading for helpful tips on teaching children with Down syndrome to learn to read at an early age. I am going to try and get the starter kit from the See and Learn site and start that with Liam! Karis will benefit as well!
Oh and just for the record… he did well for the most part at OT today! He is pushing and pulling all the things she gave him to do and is really starting to master a particular puzzle with animals and their sounds! But that is another blog altogether.
I’m very grateful for the many resources we have and all the wonderful therapists we have access to! I really enjoy the challenge of learning how to best work with Liam. What a gift he is!
We had the privilege of having our good friend Sara Harper come over to the hospital tonight and photograph Liam’s introduction to his baby sister. Click on the image below to see a slideshow of the very first family pictures we have (Erin’s parents were also in the room with us so we have some beautiful shots of Karis with her grandparents too). The slideshow will open in a new window. Enjoy – and thank-you Sara!
Liam is starting to recognize when we say “where is your head?” or “where is your tongue?”. He can find mommy and daddy’s nose but not his own quite yet. He also gets a kick out of us imitating him, so that’s what I’m doing on the other side of the camera. It’s too fun!! Also I’m still trying to figure out how to work our new camera so it’s a bit fuzzy.
Ok so here is the video. Liam has been crawling like this for a week now. Jeremy had just finished bouncing Liam on his lap… which is his favorite thing, and proceeded to set him down on the floor which he wasn’t too happy about. So that’s why he’s so expressive in the beginning of the video – he wanted to keep bouncing;). Then he gets his eye on the stick and crawls to it. We are so proud!! He’s actually crawling to many different toys today which he hasn’t done yet, so I think he’s about to be all over the place! Our physical therapist said she’s happy with the way he is learning to crawl in that he has seemed to skipped the army crawl stage, and the crawling on his hands and feet stage. It’s lots of fun to watch!
Well I finally remembered my camera and I’m glad it was on a day like today! The lesson after Liam’s canceled so we got to stay a bit longer, and I’m so thankful because he was having a blast!! This was his best lesson yet! I wish I could’ve recorded every moment. He started off with his usual “please don’t take me away from my mommy” mad cry, but then eased up and enjoyed himself after a few minutes of tears (and after I left his sight). We are so thankful to have the opportunity to work with coach Beth! She coaches for the Special Olympics and really has a heart for teaching kids with special needs!! We started lessons with her in September when Liam was 9 months old and he has definitely had his share of crying lessons but I think he has turned a new leaf… thanks to Beth’s hard work and daddy’s help!
I posted some pictures on Facebook but thought I’d show you some videos too. I took so many, so here are a few of the highlights I was able to capture today. You’ll notice he knows when she’s going to put him under water to he knows to take a deep breath… so cute!!
We had the opportunity to take Liam to Kevin Wimpy’s photography studio to have his picture taken with the most darling scene of Santa in his toy shop! It was Liam’s first time seeing Santa and I was a little nervous because he was overdue for his nap. But much to my surprise, he went right to Santa and actually enjoyed being on his lap! It was too cute! So now we are left with the decision of which photo to choose to have them print for us. Ahhhh! I can’t do it! So maybe you can help me. Plus I wanted to show you just how cute they turned out;)! These are the ones I have it narrowed down to…
So cute… Santa loves Liam and Liam loves Santa;). Let me know which one is your favorite!!