Tuesday, October 18, 2011

winners and losers

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 ?!

21 comments:

babypelly said...

Abby does do the 4-pt crawl but she also does the thing where she tries to walk (holding on) without bending her legs. I swear she's got the strength of a pro-wrestler in her arms but almost nothing in her legs.

The grass is always greener, patti! :)

cathy said...

Lily will do what she wants & when she wants!!!!

xoxo
cathy

Pam said...

Hi Patti....Ally looked like a little twirling tornado when she use to crawl:) She never did use the four point crawl but she sure could get around quickly with the technique she used :) She went from her own little crawl straight into walking. We used the little hip helpers that your therapist is bringing for Lily and they did help Ally alot. Here is a website that carries them: lhttp://www.hiphelpers.com/ittle

Rachel said...

No 4 point crawl here. She scooted around on her tush. We tried for months and extra therapies and she finally would break down crying when the OT came and the hole session would be crying. (we switched to PT and a new therapist and then she was fine). While it isn't important for walking, it is important and they noted it in her file at school. Good news is that she is crawling NOW! Her and the baby have races and I got a tube or tunnel that the girls crawl through. It's good to get the big kids involved at this point.

She also had the stiff legs and as she got more comfortable walking she eventually relaxed and did more bending.

Elizabeth said...

Artem is over 10K!! Woot! Woot!!

Mrs. K said...

Patti, I noticed in more than one of the videos of one of the little girls being adopted that they walked stiffed legged. When I was teaching "special ed" one of the boys who was 9 or 10 was going through PT for crawling. The PT said crawling helps with cognitive skills. Gets parts of the brain working along with the muscles of the legs and arms. Can't really say if it worked as the PT started sometime towards the end of the school term and I left teaching that summer.

Tears of joy came when I saw Artem's total. I am with Elizabeth 'WOOT! WOOT! and God bless all who gave and are praying.

Julie said...

My oldest never did the "four point crawl" either, and she does not have Ds. She slithered around on her tummy until she finally learned how to pull herself up to standing. I happen to think that makes them smarter. :)

Melissa said...

Claire does 4 pt crawl. She never army crawled at all. And Claire had that one stiff leg that she swung to the side too. We've done lots of super fast walking (almost running) and she is getting better and better about bending those knees!

bb,tonya and cam... said...

camden struggled with arm strength too in fact i have seen a huge difference in all things arm related since he mastered the crawl...here is what we did, since nothing else was working for us either. stairs. i know it sounds weird right? but we worked really hard on going up the stairs in a crawl one step at a time to get a desired object until he mastered it, this not only gave him the arm strength he needed but it gave him the movements to a four point crawl he started army crawling up the stairs first, using his upper body instead of his arms, but he got better and better and really started to like the stairs, now he never lets me carry him up. cam actually learned to crawl upstairs before he learned to crawl on a flat surface. interesting? good luck!

We Can Do All Things said...

Adeline does the scoot but I really wanted her to crawl. We did a lot of upper body strenthening using a peanut ball and bearing weight on arms. Later I would put her into a hands and knee position and sing the alphabet while rocking her a little at the hips, or look in a mirror. She will now crawl if I do it with her. There is a bunch of stuff about this on my blog.

Amy said...

Are you talking about hip helpers? Those would be great support to keep Lily's legs from splaying. Evan had no trouble crawling, but we have the opposite going on here. He is SO efficient and super speedy fast at crawling that he has no desire to walk. He can cruise furniture quick as can be, but as soon as he gets to the end he is DOWN.

Marci said...

:( How come when I look at Artem's total it still only says $9215.00? Where do I go to see the updated total?

Patti said...

marci- because something happened to that donation. either the donor changed his/her mind, or their bank did :( waiting to hear back from michelle z, as she's looking into it. praying it gets resolved and he still gets it!!!

Marci said...

Oh no! Praying with you!! -- But either way, I just know he will get more than the $10K by the end of this month--- cause we have a Big God!

Patti said...

I believe it! :)

thebauer4 said...

love the new photos of Lily!!! She is just too cute. Soo happy Artem is over $10,000.00, now to get him home!!!

Shauna said...

we have the same issues over here..Reagan doesn't want to bear weight on her arms

Race Bannon said...

Does she do upright rows? They're good for strength and definition...(name that movie)

Gwen S said...

My son w/DS never did crawl "properly." He did the army/snake crawl. Then he did the butt scoot, sitting up. Then he did the bear crawl -- rear in the air, hands and feet on the ground. He mastered walking this summer, though he occasionally reverts to the bear crawl. He will be three in November.
I remember praying for him to walk, wondering if it would ever happen. Now I am chasing after him in his funny Frankenstein run/walk, wondering why I was worried. Hugs!!!

cara said...

Oh Patti- Lily just cannot get any cuter!!!! The pictures are just perfect and now I cannot ever choose my favorite because they are ALL beautiful and perfect.

Benji did begin crawling by doing the 4 point crawl, and we were excited that he was doing it. But he soon began to bear crawl. SO, now he bear crawls everywhere he goes. Although he sometimes sits up and scoots with one leg. We have now given up on the fact that he will possibly go back to the 4 point crawl. But I guess he could always surprise us. He is working on walking now too, and I think he will do that first. He is walking with a push toy now with lots of work. He gets really tired!! He is still not standing up by himself like Lily does in the middle of a room. He has to pull up on something by him. So, one of the next goals is to get him to stand up by himself. He is in PT, OT, and ET once a week each. And they are getting ready to add another PT, which will make it twice a week. Plus, they are going to soon begin speech therapy once a week as well. It is A LOT, but I am SO thankful they do come to my home because I do not know how I would do it if they didn't. He LOVES all his therapists. It is SO sweet. I bet ALL the therapists fight over Lily!!

I am spreading the word about Artem. His smile just lights up a room- that is obvious. My heart breaks for him. I am praying his family will be found FAST.

Race Bannon said...

Wrong. "Just one of the Guys" filmed at Scottsdale High School...