First of all I wanted to announce the winners of our iPad giveaway for Autumn last month:
The winner of the iPad 2 is.....
Mary Oliver (#586)!
The winner of the Gigi Hill handbag is.....
Cathy Hedrich (#660)!
The winner of the Coach wristlet is.....
Kaleigh Anderson (#145)!
And the loser would be:
Me. For forgetting to post the winners. I'm sorry!! The Quinns did post the winners on their blog, Anticipating Autumn last week...and Sherry texted me to tell me...but I completely spaced posting them here. I'm sorry! Their grand total for the fundraiser was $3,070...yeehah! Thank you so much to all who donated to Autumn, and winners: if you haven't already, please contact the Quinns with your information.
And if you missed it yesterday, I am so excited to be hosting another giveaway, this time for my favorite little guy...
If you have already donated to Artem this month, please leave a comment saying you did, so that you can be entered in our One Thousand Gifts Giveaway...
Three random commenters will be the recipients of an autographed copy of this beautiful New York Times best seller! If you've never had a chance to read Ann Voskamp's lovely challenge to "dare to live fully, right where you are", you can take a peek at it here.
Just donate five dollars to Artem to be entered to win, and leave a comment saying you did so. And just because I am such a nice blogger, I will go hunt down all the comments on posts from the month of October to find out who has donated, so everyone can be entered to win. We are now $785 away from our goal for Artem of $10,000. If you've already donated, please continue to help spread the word that Artem needs a family!
Just a bit of news about Lily:
Last week we had a physical therapist come in with Lily's normal therapist, Karen, from Early Intervention, to take a look at her ankles...the picture on the right above shows what we've been a little worried about (notice the overpronation on her right foot.) Patsy, the PT, examined Lily carefully, to get a good idea what we need to work on. We've been wanting a PT to come in for awhile because of this issue, and then last week Noah (our seven year old!) noticed something on the video of Lily walking that I had just been noticing myself. It seems that her right leg is pretty stiff when she tries to take steps. She definitely leads with her left, and even when she is pushing a kiddie stroller or cart, she bends her left leg fine, while her right remains stiff and drags.
After working with Lily for just a little bit, Patsy suggested we add two sessions of PT in a month, so we can work on these issues, as well as other things...for instance, Lily has never done a four point crawl. In fact, she has almost entirely given up army crawling altogether, as she's found that it is easier to get around everywhere by the scoot and swivel.
What, you've never heard of the scoot and swivel before? I'm not surprised. Patsy never heard of it either. That's my girl, inventing new ways of getting around, just to show us she's nifty like that! I've tried to catch it on video but haven't really been successful with that yet...basically she scoots her toosh sideways and swings her legs around to the front and swivels her toosh to the side again..until she gets where she wants to go. Patsy said this is pretty ingenious- Lily does not like to use her upper body, so this is the most efficient way of getting somewhere by exerting the least effort. (Some people might call it lazy...I like this PT already. Way to win points with mom!)
Patsy said it is okay if Lily never masters the four point crawl and skips to walking instead. She will probably always choose to get around a different way, like the swivel and scoot. However, we would like her to at least try to do the four point crawl, and we definitely want her to learn how to bear weight on her arms. She's going to need to learn to catch herself on those arms when she starts walking, which is right on the horizon here.
Lily's arms have always been a point of weakness. I know this is typical of any child with Down syndrome- low muscle tone goes hand in hand with that extra chromosome. But while some kids might struggle with their core strength, or muscle tone in their legs, Lily struggles with using her arms. I've watched babies on other blogs race across the floor on all fours or swing their arms around wildly to dance or pound the floor aggressively in play...and I've always been a little amazed. Because everything Lily does with her arms is pretty slow and gentle. She is great with fine motor skills, like using a crayon, but lifting heavy things or placing weight on her arms is just not something she does well.
So hopefully Pasty will be able to help us to help Lily in all of these areas, and as much as I am cringing a little bit at the thought of squeezing two more therapies into our already full schedule, I am thrilled at the opportunity to get our girl all the therapy she needs.
And yes, that is a mini-ironing board. Got it at a yard sale for two bucks. Who says you need fancy-shmancy therapy equipment for PT?
So here's my question for you Ds mamas. Did your child master the four point, or did they find another way to get around before they walked? We have tried every trick in the book...suspending Lily from a blanket, and "walking" her across the floor in the blanket, only allowing her arms and knees to touch the floor...so that she is forced to bear her weight on her arms and knees. We've practiced on an incline, like the pictures above demonstrate, giving her objects to crawl up to, and supporting her hips with our legs, so that she can't splay her legs out. We've had the whole family get on all fours and crawl all around the living floor, trying to encourage her to join in. We do arm strengthening exercises, like holding her tummy down over our knees while we sit on the floor, so that she is supporting her weight on her arms.
Patsy did show me a new technique that Lily seemed to respond well to- a kind of vibrating "jiggle" that she did to her hips while she was in a four point...very firm, but with cupped hands so that it doesn't jar her bones. Patsy explained that this sort of wakes up the nerves in the hips..like "hello, time to work here." She's also going to bring a little skirt thingy next week...for the life of me I can't remember the technical term for it right now, but basically it holds her thighs together somewhat, so that she stays in that four point without relaxing her legs out to the side like a little frog.
Again, we are not focusing so much on this because she just has to do it before she walks, but it would be a nice skill to have. And it will definitely help increase her arm strength.
So...ideas here would be much appreciated!
And please don't forget about Artem. Five dollars might not seem like it will make a difference, but it is making a difference, multiplied by hundreds of like-minded hearts. And besides, how can you resist this plea ?!