Saturday, January 29, 2011

Landon's First Steps!!!

Yesterday morning found Landon & I at the pediatrician's office.  An awful cough hit Landon hard.......the result......STREP THROAT & CROUP!!  Ugh!  We were so close to making it through a whole month "sick free"!!  Ok, so we'll try this again in February!!  And we'll keep our fingers crossed that he at least remains "sick free" until after his 2nd birthday (Feb. 11th)!!  If you recall, he wasn't so lucky for his 1st birthday:(  Although we got some not-so-good news.......there has to be some GOOD for every not-so-good, right??!!  Well my friends, Landon has officially joined the 20+ pound club!!  That's right, he weighed in at 20lbs. 11oz!!  AND......he did it exactly 2 weeks BEFORE his 2nd birthday!!  YEAH!!!  BUT......(yes, there is always a BUT in there).....his pediatrician feels that it is best if he remains rear-facing until he gains a few more pounds......ha!......so we are hoping he will face forward by the time he is 3!!!  lol  Oh well, we are one step closer!!

A few posts ago, I mentioned how Landon has been sporadically taking some independent steps.  It always happens so quickly and it has not been easy trying to catch it on film.  BUT, (see, there's always a BUT), I have been determined to catch his first steps so that I could share it with everyone.  I don't have to tell any of you just how hard Landon has been working to achieve this milestone.......MOST of you already know this.  But I know that ALL of you can appreciate his hard work and know what a BIG moment this is for Landon AND for us!!  What better way than to share & celebrate this moment than with our closest family & friends!!

Landon DID IT!!  He just might be running around the backyard with his brothers this spring!!!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Happy" Water Therapy

Although the holidays brought lots of chaos, they also brought Landon a much needed break from his busy therapy schedule.  We were at a bit of a stand still where water therapy was concerned.  When Landon began water therapy, he was very receptive to it.  But as time went by, he became quite stubborn and pretty much made his PT work MUCH harder than he did.  We tried pretty much everything, turning off the lights, talking softly (to avoid the echo) and keeping his ears covered with a "swim band".  It was just enough to pacify Landon into getting in the pool where he would then turn to complete "mush".  It was pretty pathetic!!  lol

I guess............absence REALLY does make the heart grow fonder!!  After a 4 week break from the pool, Landon gave us all a BIG surprise!!  Not only did he just tolerate his session......he actually worked (willingly) & ENJOYED it.......with the lights on & no swimband to drown out the sound!!








Note to Self:  When times get stressful, take a break, regroup and TRY AGAIN!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ds CLINIC!!!

This past Thursday, Scott, Landon & I hit the icy roads and made our way to Children's Hospital Boston for Landon's appointment with the Ds clinic.  Landon sees a team of therapists and a pediatrician (all who specialize in Ds) about once every 6-8 months.  I guess you could say that Scott & I use this as a "checkpoint" to see how Landon's weekly EI therapies are helping him to achieve different goals and to see if there are any other recommendations that the clinic might have to offer.  After all, this clinic is specifically designed for children with Down syndrome.

I am happy to report that Landon did extremely well and Scott & I were able to have some questions that we had, answered.  Landon's day went something like this:

Pediatrician:

Landon had his exam with Dr. Davidson and everything looked good overall.  She charted his weight/height/head circumference......and GUESS WHAT??  Landon is officially "TOUCHING" the Ds growth chart for weight.  He was 19lbs. 11oz. and was in the 1 percentile.  lol  I'm just so happy his weight issue is heading in the right direction.  (Looks like his feeding therapy is working.)  His height was in the 10th percentile and his head circumference in the 25th percentile.  Dr. Davidson felt that although Landon is on the small side, he is growing in proportion.  Yay!!  She also gave us a "Follow Up" plan on testing that would be coming up.  It helps having it written on a form with all the info in one place.  She gave us some highly recommended websites to check out (most that we are already familiar with).

Two areas of focus right now are: speech & walking.  Although Landon has 2 ST's a week, I know that this is an area in need of much help.  Dr. Davidson recommended the Augmentative Communication Program as additional help in this area.  Once we figure out Landon's preferable way of communicating, we can tackle this area more directly.  Landon has about 30 signs he uses consistently, we use many different apps on the iPad and he enjoys using picture symbols.  Although he is attempting to put his lips together to make sounds, he is having a difficult time following through. 

PT:

We met with Priscilla (PT) for about 45 minutes.  She pretty much did a therapy session with Landon to see what he could do.  As I stated in a previous post, Landon is sporadically taking about 3-4 independent steps now.  I like to say that this skill is EMERGING as he is not doing this consistently yet.  However, we have been watching Landon's feet closely as it appears that he tends to roll in on his ankles.  We have been debating about AFO's with his EI therapists but the con census has always been to let his feet strengthen "naturally".  At this point, this thought process remains, seeing Landon is just now spending more time on his feet than on his hands & knees, we need to give him the opportunity to develop on his own.  With that said, we will monitor his feet closely over the next couple of months and go from there.  Landon has already self-corrected a couple of things in this area......first his right foot turned in, and was later corrected......then it was his left foot, same thing.  His feet are now straight when he cruises.  We just need to give his ankles a little more time to see if Landon can correct it on his own.  With that said, we don't want too much time to go by that could cause any other issues, so we will watch him closely.

Priscilla also noted that Landon would benefit from a lot of sit to stand activities.  This will help him to keep his hips aligned in the correct position while strengthen his legs and ankles at the same time.  Note taken!!  Another thought would be minimal sensory input (via Spio Vest).  Only to be used for certain activities.  Not an absolute necessity, but another option.  If anyone has any input on this vest, please share!!

Dental:

Landon now has 7 teeth and we were informed that an 8th tooth is making its way down.  Although Landon's teeth have come in, in random order, they appear to be coming in straight and even.  They are slightly jagged on the ends and his molars do have a semi-deep groove.  I am pretty faithful in the brushing area and Landon seems to be OK with this.  His two front teeth are straight but they appear to be very close together.  Possible crowding later on??!!  The recommendation at this point is: if & when we choose to offer Landon juice........stay away from apple juice.  In liquid form apples are super high in sugar.  And because Landon's molars tend to have deep grooves.......stay away from raisins!  Because they are sticky in nature as you chew them, they tend to get caught in the grooves which is a very difficult area to brush.  INTERESTING!!!

Nutrition:

This is one of the 2 areas (nutrition/speech) that I was a bit disappointed!  After giving the nutritionist a run down of Landon's daily feeding schedule and an overview of what he has been doing with the Feeding clinic......there really wasn't any recommendations.  Hmmmm!!  I'm not really sure if it was because we are doing everything that needs to be done at this time (with Landon's feeding specialist)??  STRANGE!!  This session took all of about 15 minutes:(

Speech:

Another disappointment:(  After giving the speech therapist a rundown of Landon's services and what he IS and IS NOT doing, there really wasn't any distinct recommendations!  Not even confirmation that Dr. Davidson's recommendation of the ACP (augmentative communication program) was a great idea!!  WEIRD!!  She sat there making "m", "b", "d" and "l" sounds with Landon to see if he would copy her (hmmm, didn't I just tell her that he does not do that??)  Landon does make all of those sounds.......when he wants to!!!! 

Audiology:

We took a pass on this session, this time around.  Landon will see the clinics ENT, Dr. Lee next month (February 14th).  It had been a very long morning (about 4 hours) and Landon was getting very hungry & tired.  (Mommy & Daddy too:)

Opthamology:

Landon is due for his follow up eye exam next month!!  Stay tuned:)

I would like to state that this clinic generally has about 4 different therapists in each area (and 1 pediatrician).  However, depending on your appointment date and the cycle rotation of the therapists, you just don't know who you are going to get.  Although we were disappointed (this time around with speech and nutrition), we generally have been extremely happy with this clinic.  The information provided has always been extremely informative.  I still feel very fortunate to live so close to Children's Hospital and I am grateful to the Ds clinic and all that it has to offer!!

We would love to hear any of your thoughts/ideas/recommendations regarding any of these issues that your kiddos may have experienced!!  PLEASE SHARE!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SNOW DAY!!

The snow finally made it's way to MA, and we got a decent amount.......enough to cancel school & work.....so we'll take it!!  It was nice to have a day off, ALL 5 of us, and just hang out.  That doesn't happen very often.  I have to say, I LOVE the snow, just not a fan of driving in it.  It has snowed about 3 times this winter and EVERY time it did, Landon has been sick:(  BUT, that was NOT the case today!  Today, I have 3 healthy boys!  So we hung out, were lazy, played games, read books, watched movies, had hot chocolate and sweets and, of course, we played in the SNOW!!!

We were a little disappointed earlier this morning as we looked out the window and saw that the plows had actually done their job.........I know, the nerve I have complaining about the streets being plowed!!  lol

You see, we live on street that ends in a cul-de-sac, so traffic is minimal.  And the street that runs right into our driveway has a GREAT slope (for kids).........to go SLEDDING!!!  Well, you can't sled if the streets do not have snow on them!  Fortunately, the snow decided that it wasn't ready to part with us and gave us a few more inches.  So, we waited until lunch time (when we knew the plow drivers would be taking their lunch) and we ran outside for some fun!  TRICKY, huh??!!!

Guess who finally had their very 1st snow day??  And he LOVED it!!







After Landon mastered the "bunny slope"......................

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He was ready to tackle the "black diamond" with his brothers!!!  lol

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A few more years and we will be hitting the REAL slopes!!! 










Monday, January 10, 2011

Feeding Update (2)

Someone has been making some semi-great gains in the "feeding" department.  Landon is slowly becoming more tolerant of different textures and is a little more open to new table foods.  And this mama couldn't be happier!!

For the past two months, each feeding session has begun with a palette of flavors.  Landon wasn't all that crazy for the "palette" which generally consists of: chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, caramel, lemon juice and maple syrup.  At the beginning, Landon was very resistant to most of the flavors.  But I am happy to say we are having a major breakthrough.  Not only is Landon tolerant of "all" the flavors, he actually enjoys many of them.  He definitely has his preferences, but he is always willing to impress Miss Chris.  So with his handy little chew tube, Landon will dip the tube in the sauce and give it a great big chew (or lick).  And on some occasions, Landon feels like the tube is way over rated and reverts back to old faithful.....his hands!!  lol




Next on the list was to begin to add in some textures.  Honestly, I was so happy that Landon accepted new flavors..........BUT........I thought there was going to be MAJOR resistance to the textures. Well, what do I know, I'm just the "mommy"!!!  Not only did Landon "accept" the toothette.........he was chomping on it and dipping it in the palette like it was a lollipop!  Say whaaaa???!!!  Who's child is this anyway?!





All this practice is really starting to pay off.   S-L-O-W-L-Y......but we're moving in the right direction.  I am happy to say that Landon's menu is gaining some new items which consist of: veggie stix, cheese curls, Ritz crackers, fishies, graham crackers, pudding, rice krispies and kix cereal!!!  Although Landon is tolerant of all of these items.......he is not quite at "consistently" yet.  But we are working on it.  

Scott & I are constantly offering Landon new foods.  But I assure you, Scott & I are "always" put in our place.  Landon is the "BOSS" of this feeding thing!!!  But like any good boss...........on occasion, they surprise you with a bonus..............and Landon didn't disappoint...........


(a whole dinner role)

AND..........



(a small order of french fries)!

Next plan of attack is the bottle-sippycup-straw thing!!!  Wish us luck;)




Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SILLY BOY!

So, I guess we are starting the New Year off right!!  Someone is feeling MUCH better and is back to his silly self:)  And I have the proof..............


Landon is finally becoming more of an active participant in role play & imitation.  You can pretty much bet, that any time you ask Landon to make a silly face, you will see one of the last 2 faces.....and if you're really lucky, you'll get both:)  I must confess, the last pic is one of my favorites........it's not very often you get a really good look at Landon's teeth..........I didn't realize how "BIG" his 2 front teeth are..........they remind me of that gum we used to eat  as kids.........CHICKLETS!!  lol  




Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year (2011) & a Surprise!

I still can't believe that it is a new year.....2011......WOW!!  In just a month & half, Landon will be turning 2!!  Yikes!!  Time sure is flying by!  Another year of crazy schedules and of course NEW milestones!!  I have been hoping to share one of Landon's latest, but it always happens so quickly, and frankly, I don't want to miss it.  It's random, and is done, ONLY when he feels like it.  Don't bother asking (that only worked the first time, has happened about 4 now), the boy will be down right defiant!

One day about a week ago, Scott was holding Landon and stood him up on the floor and "told" him to go for a walk......and guess what?  HE DID!!  He took 4 quick steps and sat down just as quickly!  On occasion now, if you tell Landon to go for a walk, he will stand up (in the middle of the floor), get his balance, and take 2 quick steps.  It's done at lightning speed, not sure if the camera was in my hand, that I would still be able to capture it.  The joke in our house, is Landon is good for 1 a day!  I am not one to be defeated so easily..........I will catch it, and I promise I will share!!  Words cannot describe the feelings of having a front row seat to this HUGE milestone..........but something tells me, a lot of you already know!  It's bittersweet...........just knowing how hard Landon has worked to reach it!!  There was a time when I wondered if he would be walking by his second birthday.........POSSIBLY!!  But even if he doesn't, he is taking steps in the right direction!!  I could not be more proud of my baby boy!!

I am so excited to see what 2011 will bring!

I thought I would also share a few photos of the boys who begged to stay up until midnight!

                               This little munchkin was sleeping by 8:30pm, now that's a late night for him!!
This little boy (Elijah) fought to stay awake (and almost made it), was snoring by 11:45pm! lol
And my true night owl (Mason), keeping his energy up with the Wii! (He literally played until  2 minutes before midnight.)

A quick toast of eggnog, and off to bed we went!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!