Friday, May 25, 2012

Discovering Olivia

I've tried a number of times to capture the look Emmy has on her face while looking at her new baby sister.  The problem is, I can't run and get the camera for fear Em will whack Liv on the head in her attempt to give a "lovey".  Just recently, maybe within the last couple of weeks, Emmy has really started paying attention to Olivia.  She constantly checks on her in the car, smiles at her while she's in her bouncy chair and wants to touch her any chance she gets. 

This week we were outside on our back stairs and Olivia was in her car seat on the top step.  Emmy and I were talking to her and Liv was giving smiles.  Kinda like this...

All of a sudden, without any prompting, Emmy put her hands down on the step and very slowly crawled up to the car seat!  It was awesome!  She used to be able to crawl up the whole stair case at our house but that stopped once her hands wouldn't cooperate anymore.  Ava and I cheered her on and once she reached the top it was very obvious she was proud of herself.

Once she gets in a position to touch Olivia she always goes straight for the binky.  She will isolate her pointer finger (also a skill that has almost completly disappeared since her regression) and very gently touch it.  Then she looks up at me with the funniest look on her face.  Emmy sucked her thumb and never took a binky.  She is totally perplexed.  She wants to know what the heck it is and why Oliva has it in her mouth.

I am amazed at what Emmy can convey with her eyes.  She is becoming pretty skilled at communicating in this way.  And we're getting better at reading her.  I've also been meaning to write a post about our new PODD book we've been using.  When I was first trying to figure out the whole communication thing with a totally non verbal kid who can't control her body, I was really lost.  It's taken a long time and there is a lot of learning we have yet to accomplish, but at least we've got a tool to use.  Emmy now looks at the book when she wants to tell us something.  I love that!  Eventually we want to get her an eye gaze computer to communicate but that will be down the road.  She has trialed the eye gaze 3 or 4 times and quickly figured out how to focus her eyes on a picture to convey what she wanted.  She even scanned through multiple pages to find the Barney song she liked!  Again, another whole post for another day. 

But for now we are just trying to drown out all the extra noise and demands and enjoy our little family of five.  Sorry Cho, six.  Rett Syndrome gets in the way occasionally but we don't let that stop us.  We just keep on keeping on.     

Sunday, May 6, 2012

7 Weeks Old

This didn't last long but we were all cracking up!  Olivia didn't mind at first but after the stroll from the family room to the kitchen, she began to protest.  Our sweet Olivia was 7 weeks old on Saturday.  She is starting to really focus on our faces and even give us some smiles.  With the first two girls I didn't stress if they weren't hitting milestones exactly when the books said they were supposed to.  This time around I find myself checking baby books to see if Liv is doing what babies should be doing at this stage.  I know it's all out of my control and the odds of us having another daughter with Rett is so slim but I still let the doubts creep in once in a while.  One good thing that has come from Rett (and there is not many, believe me) is that I am able to really enjoy Liv for who she is...right now.  We understand that we are not guaranteed anything.  I don't spend a lot of time thinking about how fun it will be to hear her first words or watch her take her first steps.  It really frees you from living in the future as we so often do in life.  We enjoy the present, and that is a gift Emmy has given us.