Thursday 27 February 2014

Learning to walk & fork

Last week we had a visit from Rosie's physio who said she'd noticed a big difference in her, which is so encouraging to hear, especially from a professional as I often lose sight of how well she is doing – mainly because of how slow Bud is to develop physically (plain lazy like her Dad!).

Every now and then I sit wandering (and worrying) whether we are doing enough ourselves to help her develop, but the truth is there really is only so much we can do without losing sight of the fact that we have two wonderful Sons who also require Mum & Dad time.

As any parent of two or more children will know, dividing time and attention equally and fairly amongst siblings is no easy task, but having a child with additional needs makes it all the more tricky. I think we manage okay in general and the boys do love to be included when helping encourage their little sister but it is something I’m constantly aware of. I’m hoping this will become easier and balance itself out naturally in time. ANYWAY I digress...

The physio left us with a new walking aid to help motivate Rosie to her feet. It enables her to hold on whilst increasing leg strength and confidence. As you’ll see from the picture below we certainly have our work cut out making such a contraption appeal to her. There were some excellent suggestions over on the Facebook page of how to ‘bling it up girlie style’ with balloons, ribbons and resprays! Unfortunately it doesn’t belong to us so modification isn’t an option. Although I have taken on board the genius suggestion by one commenter and named it 'C3PO'!

Our challenge now lies in how to make it appeal as a game or as something fun. You’ll have to watch this space (not too closely though) as we have yet to find a winning solution!

Last Sunday, whilst relaxing and enjoying a family roast dinner we were treated to another fairly significant development by our clever little Bud. For the very first time we witnessed Rosie holding her fork, pushing it into her food and bringing it to her mouth. This might not sound like a big deal but to us it really feels like a huge leap forward in her understanding of eating. For months we've tried teaching her how to bring food to her mouth with a spoon but she usually gives up after a few attempts leaving a complete mess everywhere. Her food is still mashed as she struggles to get the concept of chewing so seeing her go for the solids we put in front of her in itself is wonderful progress – although quite why she chose cauliflower when carrots were on offer I will never know, she got that bit all wrong surely?!

If you enjoy reading about Rosie it would mean so much if you'd take two seconds to click the link below and nominate us in the 2014 MAD Blog Awards. It would be great to see Down's syndrome represented and recognised there again. Please enter the web address to the categories you think it fits best. 'Blog of the year' and 'Best Writer' for example ;) Thank you  x

2014 MAD Blog Awards Nominations

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Friday 14 February 2014

Two today!

Remembered at the last minute that the blog is two years old today and seeing as I haven't prepared anything to mark the occasion here's a little 'off the cuff' and if I'm honest pretty naff poem:

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

It's Valentines Day

And 'The Future's Rosie' is Two!

I really must thank you all for your constant and seemingly endless support, your words of encouragement and wisdom. It all really does mean so much.

I'm raising a glass to you all tonight

Much love.

Tom & Rosie

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Neither up nor down

I'm happy to say that Rosie's biting and face grabbing has subsided quite considerably. Whilst it hasn't stopped altogether it's certainly a step in the right direction and we anticipate it disappearing completely in the coming weeks – wishful thinking maybe but we can certainly hope.

Since Bud has learned to climb down safely from the couch she seems to have gained a lot more confidence in attempting more physically demanding challenges. I've made no secret of the fact that I get quite anxious at the prospect of her being unable to walk as she never shows any interest. As soon as she learned to shuffle about on her bum it was as if she thought she'd 'made it' in life – after all she can get from A to B and for those 'out of reach' items her ever doting brothers are constantly on hand. Well I'm delighted to say that my anxieties have been kicked into touch a little recently!

A couple of weeks back Karen texted me at work to say Rosie had just pulled herself up on the side of the couch and managed to stand upright for a short time. She has only done it a couple of times since and sadly I have yet to witness it.

However last night Rosie treated us to the biggest and best surprise of all when she figured out how to get up onto all fours with her legs locked. We couldn't contain our delight as we clapped, cheered and made a general fuss of her – which of course encouraged her to do it again...and again...and again giving me time to rush upstairs and grab the camera to get shots of her (below) through the various stages. The technique she uses looks quite painful as her legs seem to bend backwards! It's ridiculous how bendy she is and I guess, as a result of her hyper mobility, she has to find her own unique way of getting onto her feet no matter how awkward it appears to us!

We're so proud of little Budlington and I see this as one of, if not her biggest, physical achievement to date. Clearly there is a long long way to go before she's confident on her two tiny feet unaided but this is a monumental leap forward to achieving that goal.