Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Em's Update

I haven't posted much lately as far as Em's developments or funny stories. Em will be 2 1/2 next week. She's still fairly quiet and doesn't have a whole lot of words under her belt but we're picking up speed. She's starting to combine words and signs to get her point across and we're getting very good at playing charades. She loves to "tell" stories about things that have happened and loves to make you laugh with a funny story. She'll tell the same story over and over again as long as she's getting a reaction from you.

What signs (sign language) does she know?
more • milk • eat • mommy • daddy • bath • drink • stinky • potty • big • flower • swing • table • ball • sleep • all done • cereal • baby • friend • play • red • blue • yellow • green • bird • dirty • orange • banana • car/truck • and I'm sure there's a lot more that I'm forgetting

What's she saying now? (In order of appearance)
Baa • Bow • BowWowWow • What is that? • What is this? • Wa-Wa (all gone) • Are you ready? • Cheese! • Josh • hi • bye • Whoa! • Wow! • Mom • Mommy • Dad • Daddy • RyRy • Papa • pst • Nana • Shell • Lalalalala (Laura) • Oww! • babies • uh-oh • no • Babby (Abby) • Babby (Debbie) • DooDoo (ChooChoo/Train) • Mommy/Momma (Amy) • bup bup bup weeee (up a ladder or steps, wee going down) • boom boom boom (going down each step) • beebeebee (school bus) • Deedee (Jesus) • away • ning-ning (ding-ding/referring to a bell or clock chimee) • nes (yes) • doedoe (donut)

Her new games (she's a big teaser):
• We frequently say the letters of the alphabet while we're driving somewhere. I say each one and sign it and she tries to repeat it and sign it back to me. We USED to be able to make it all the way through from A to Z and occasionally we still do. However, she's started a new game of following me and then a few letters in she seriously says/signs "WaWa (all done)." So I stop... she gives it a pregnant pause and then giggles and starts back at A all by herself.... then cuts me off if I join in again.

• Emily still loves to play under blankets. I was getting her clothes set out the other morning while she was playing in her crib and when I looked over she had her blankie draped totally over her body. I started playing along with her... "Where's Emily? Where could she be? Emily, are you in the living room?" I had to chuckle when I heard a muffled voice from under the blanket respond with a shaking head and "Noooo". I tried again with a few other answers and each was met with a "no" until I asked if Emily was hiding under her blanket. It got really quiet but the blankie was nodding yes in response.

• Tom loves teasing back with Emily. This involves another set of yes/no questions.
Tom: "Can I tickle your toes?"
Em: "Noooo."
Tom: "Can I mess up your hair?"
Em: "Noooo."
Tom: "Can I nibble on your ear?"
Em: "Noooo."
Tom: "Can I love you?"
Em: (Leans in for a big ole hug and/or kiss and now she's also starting to add "yessss".)

She likes:
• blowing bubbles • jumping in leaves • going up and down stairs • hopping on her knees on our bed • playing under blankets • trains and railroad tracks • lining her toys and food up in a row like train cars • watching Elmo, Barney (ugh!), SigningTime DVDs, and Baby Einstein • visiting with Nana's scarecrows each morning and night she's there • playing with the kids at the sitter's • re-enacting funny stories • building tall towers • building with blocks • helping with chores around the house • quiet time with books • playing with her dolls and stuffed animals • playing dress-up • looking at picture books, picture screensavers and videos of our family and friends on our laptops • playing and visiting at speech therapy and physical therapy • playing independently in her bedroom • ransacking her dresser drawers and then putting things back almost where they came from • babies (real ones) • Asian kids and people (probably remind her of her Kazakh heritage) • looking for the moon in the sky each morning and night • dancing with her daddy • loving and teasing our cat • wrestling with mommy and daddy • playing with the other kids at church • playing chase • playing with her cousins, Brooke and Logan and their parents • pointing out which direction we should turn when we go places (and she's usually right!) • and getting upset when we don't turn to go somewhere she thinks we should be going!

Speech and Physical Therapy Updates
We go to speech therapy and physical therapy (PT) once a week right now. She loves to go to both and gets a little worked up if she sees us going by the buildings without stopping in for a visit. The staff at both places are really sweet and Emily seems to have her own fan club at both places. As a toddler, it's hard to say how much of Em's speech developmet is due to therapy as much as it is just another phase in her life. Therapy sessions are currently a lot of play but Audrey, her therapist, is able to watch to make sure she's using the correct (and balanced) facial muscles and positions to form words as she's developing and learning words.

We've been blessed to receive early intervention funds recently through BCMH that are covering her therapies when our insurance runs out. That was a big problem for us last year because our insurance only covered 20 visits of each type of therapy per year. She ran out of PT coverage and then had a big growth spurt and got tight (tippy-toed) again and then we had to wait to pick up again after the new year started.

Emily is scheduled for her first Botox injections (talked about in my Aug. 26th blog entry) at Children's Hospital next week and I hear they might be increasing PT to twice a week after her shots. Em's doctor felt Emily would be a prime candidate for this type of treatment and I'm praying it's not painful for her and that it does the job. Since early this summer I've noticed her feet starting to turn in when she walks and she running with the telltale cerebral palsy "scissor gait".

We have been so blessed to be given the opportunity to love on this beautiful little girl! I thank God every day for putting her in our lives.


Michelle & Laura said...

She looks so grown up in the first picture and just like my silly little niece in the second! said...

Hi Jenni,

I have been meaning to stop in and say hello for awhile now, where does the time go? First I want to say your Emily is just adorable and so beautiful.

I adopted my son Henry from Uralsk last Oct/Nov. '07. I stayed in the same "Olga" apartment that you did. I remember reading your very detailed log in, in the guest book at the apartment. You are a great writer and all the infro you shared was so helpful.

Henry is from Baby House 1 group 6. He was 8 1/2 months when I met him and he came home a month later.

The main reason, I am finally stopping by is because I see Em has some speech and PT delays. Henry has speech delays as well. When I met him he was dead quiet, no babbling at all. He did not start babbling till 14 months and even then he was very rare. Just now at 21 months he can finally say Mama and hi and bye. Although you need to remind him. He is getting services through our state of Conn. They are not very good so, I have just started him private 2x a week. We finally have a GREAT speech person through the state and I am pushing really hard to increase her to 2x a week. They say Henry could use 4 to 5 x a week in speech help at this point. He may have Apraxia but still to young to know for sure.

When did you realize Em was delayed? Was it something you noticed at the baby house?

Otherwise Henry is doing great, he understands everything and plays really well with toys and other children.

Emily looks like such a love bunny. Aren't these Kaz cutie the best??

I look forward to hearing from you. My email address is

Carolyn- Mama to Henry B-1.22.07 A-11.07.07

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