Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Piper's 12 Month Well Baby Appt.

Piper had her 12 month appointment with her pediatrician yesterday. She did great! Here are the stats:

Length: 29 1/4 inches (55%)
Weight: 22 lbs 12 oz (77%)

Her weight was down from the 85th percentile at 9 months and her length was previously in the 69th. The doctor was happy with the growth curve overall. She did great during the actual exam and all checked out fine.

She is also on track developmentally. Because of Morgan's delays, I was extra sensitive about her language development. She has a few words, "more" and "Hi." She makes "Mama" and "Dada" sounds, but doesn't especially use them yet. The doctor was fine with this. He says he expects 3-6 words by 15 months, so we hope she is well on her way to this. Morgan did not gain more words during the 12-15 month time frame, so I'm sure we'll be keeping a close eye on Piper.

Piper is continuing to be our sweet roly-poly girl! She definitely knows what she wants and lets you know if you are doing something doesn't like. She holds her own with a sister who likes to push her over (playful? We're not sure) and sit on her. She has accomplished climbing up the stairs on her own and walks with a push toy and with us holding her hands. She is gaining balance and agility each day, so actual walking may not be too far off.

She is eating table foods well and feeding herself most of them with her fingers. She has adjusted well to whole milk as I am starting to wean her from nursing. I made my goal of a year!! Yippee!! We love you little Biscuit! You make us proud!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Candid Moments

Throughout the day I will pull out my phone and take pictures of something funny or cute. Here are a few from the past few weeks. I know some of you have seen these, but I wanted to share them with everyone. Here are our cutie pies:

Waiting patiently with Daddy in the security line at OAK. Aunt Ali bought Morgan her very own Dora's Backpack. She had a few toys in it for the plane. She looks so cute when she wears it.

Morgan was playing in her kitchen and Piper crawled right up and barged in on the "cooking" session. Doesn't Morgan look like she's saying, "Hey, I was playing there!"

I painted Morgan's toenails for the first time! It was a challenge. I plunked her down in front of Nick Jr. and held her feet tightly to paint them and let them dry. She sat there JUST long enough for me to put one coat on and let them dry. I added another coat a few days later. She asks me "Piper, pink toenails too!" I think that will have to wait for a while. Piper is way to squirmy to let me do that.

While I washed the dishes, David had a Tea Party with the girls. If you remember from one of the California trip pictures, Morgan liked to play Tea Party in my parent's playhouse. We've continued this a home and Piper's gotten in on the fun too.

One day Morgan said "Pooping!" and I hurried to put her on the potty (BTW, she never pooped). As she sat there I went to do a few things in the kitchen and this is what I came back to. Piper was the culprit with the TP and Morgan grabbed it just as I took the picture.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back on the Roller Coaster

Not that we ever really got off it. I had a frustrating conversation with Morgan's speech therapist on Friday that completely threw me for a loop. As I have included in this blog, we took Morgan to see a child psychologist last May because one of her therapists recommended it. She said she saw something in the way Morgan "processes" things and that it was "subtle," but we should have her evaluated. Immediately my mind went to Autism. Admittedly, Morgan is a quirky kid, but some kids just are.

Anyway, we were relieved when the psychologist ruled out any "Pervasive Developmental Disorders" such as Autism, Asperger Syndrome, etc. For whatever reason, Morgan is delayed in her speech development and is behind socially. We are continuing to work on these areas with therapists and she starts a preschool program in September.

So, on Friday at the end of Morgan's appointment, I asked the speech therapist some questions on Morgan's progress and how she's doing. I am puzzled by the fact that Morgan does not learn a lot of basic language skills socially (i.e. she doesn't pick up on a use pronouns like "my" and "your"). We are having to teach this to her more directly. I've asked the speech therapist about this before and she said "I don't know why." This time I brought it up again and she said, "well, Amanda (the physical therapist) and I were talking yesterday and we think when Morgan's older she'll be diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome or something like that." HUH?!! A cold chill went down my spine. I thought "what is she saying?"

It's kind of a blur to me what she said next, a few things that were positive on how once we are able to teach Morgan directly, she gets it. But then (as she's walking out the door) she says, "everybody has stuff with their kids, I had it with mine." Well, I know none of her kids were diagnosed with life-long, life-changing developmental disorders. When she left I think I was in shock for a bit. And let's just say this weekend just SUCKED! Sorry to those who don't like that word, but it's all I can say. David and I argued about this a lot. We went from being upset with the therapist to just feeling lost again to what is going on with our daughter and could the psychologist's opinion be wrong?! I feel like we are right back where we were the last time a therapist made a comment.

One decision we've made is getting another opinion. I've put calls into two other people that I was referred to last time, one other psychologist and a developmental pediatrician. They probably have long waiting lists, but I'll make an appointment anyway. It can't hurt to do this. It will be great if they agree with the first doctor, but if not we can make sure we have Morgan in the best therapy possible for whatever the situation might be.

Not that it changes Morgan's diagnosis (or non-diagnosis), I also felt it was important to speak with someone at the therapy clinic about this. I thought it was inappropriate and really somewhat careless to say something like this to a parent. Someone made a comment to me that possibly these therapists get a little desensitized to how this might emotionally impact the family. Yes, but it's still not OK. The owner was out this week, but I spoke with the office manager. She was surprised that the therapist said this to me and said she would speak with both therapists and get back to me. I'm supposed to hear from her in a few days.

Up and down we go on the roller coaster...trying to hang on tight.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

California Dreamin'

We are home from almost two weeks visiting family and friends in California. We had a great time! I wish I could always have my camera with me, but I think I got a few good shots that sum things up. Here's how our adventure went...

Morgan and Piper did GREAT on the flights. I do think two hours is tops for flights for a while. Piper was so squirmy on the flight down that David and I switched her back and forth on our laps every 15 minutes or so. We really hyped up the "fun" for the plane journey so Morgan would be comfortable. I was concerned about her sensitivity to loud noises. She did so well!

Even David sucked it up and pretended he was having fun on the flights...though I could see the tension when we had turbulence here and there. We made it!

Morgan with Grandpa B (in red with camera around his neck) at the Lafayette Reservoir. They have a great playground area for toddlers.

Looking tentative at the top of the slide. I think Grandma caught her on the way down.

David took this sweet shot in the tunnel. When I asked Morgan later what she did at the playground, she said "tunnel!" This must have been her favorite part.

After a few days in Lafayette (and David's 25th HS reunion...he had a great time), we journeyed into the mountains to Twain Harte. Here's Piper at "The Lake" with Grandpa A. She sucked poor Grandpa in with her sweet charm. He was smitten!

Morgan's favorite thing in the world, swings! We joked that the lake must be like "heaven" for her...water and swings.

We hung out on the "baby beach" this time. Lots of families and kids having a blast!

Morgan had the best time jumping off the "dock." She even jumped a few times without holding on to David's hands! Our brave girl! She loved her new "puddle jumper" life vest. She even learned how to float on her belly completely horizontal, and sort of swim a little. We just had to keep telling her not to drink the water...ick. She also loved pushing Piper around in the floaty bear.

Morgan with her cousin Keilah. They took turns "jumping" off the fireplace hearth. Cousin Jack liked to play this game too.

Look at these big kids!! Morgan , Keilah and Jack. Last time they were all together they were eight, five and seven months old. Now all 2 1/2....what a fun bunch they were!

Cousin Keilah shared her alligator float with Morgan, who chose to call it a "dinosaur."

Floating into shore. She had so much fun on that toy. You also should have seen all the other fun floaties at the lake, a HUGE duck, a shark...Morgan would point all of them out when she saw them.

Back in Lafayette...giving her best scrunchy face while eating lunch. Piper really made some strides with her eating during the trip. Bye bye baby food and hello table foods! We had her eating Grandma's lasagna at the end of the trip!

This is "The Playhouse" in my parents' backyard. My Grandpa built this for my sister an I when we were about 7 or 8 (is that right, Mom?). My parents spent a lot of time fixing it up before we arrived for this trip. Morgan LOVED having tea parties in here with anyone who would participate.

My parents also hosted a lovely "Open House" at their home for us to invite our friends to. We had a nice group of guests who enjoyed yummy food, refreshments and the California sunshine. It was so nice that week. Usually late July and early August is hot, hot, HOT. But, this year it was unseasonably cool, but still warm. Perfect for us!
David and I were able to enjoy a few jaunts and meals out and about without the girls. The Grandparents loved getting more time with the girls and we had a much-needed break or two. Of course we ate too much, but how can you pass up home cooked meals as well as "home town" favorites that we cannot get in Spokane?! Thanks for every one's hospitality and it was great to see all our families! We look forward to seeing you all again soon.