Haven't posted more than a few random things about either Ellie or Josh as a of late and I want to make sure I capture the things they were doing when they were __ (fill in whatever the age).
Ellie's speech is beginning to improve ... a little. Not enough for me to be excited about. I sent an email request to the local college's speech program but have not heard back. I need to follow up with a phone call. We get insurance again on December 1 and at that time we are going to schedule a hearing consult to rule that out. Clear as a bell the other night she stood up in her crib and yelled across the hall, "MOMMY". That was a new thing. She is calling me mommy and Kevin daddy and she says it very frequently now. Tonight, while we were celebrating Kevin's birthday (early), we tried to teach her the Happy Birthday song and she was able to say "Happy" and "Daddy". Birthday was just mushy, but she tried. She says things very randomly, and as her mom I know what she's saying but no one else would. She doesn't really seem to want to call Josh "Bubba" but instead tries to say "Joshua" with pretty good successs. I've been trying to work on "up" "down" and "open" quite a bit lately and while I know what she's trying t communicate, it's not coming through well. She has learned and uses the word "OP!!" frequently, meaning "Stop!". It's been quite an interesting experience and I can't wait to get the results from a hearing test. Then we can move forward in attempting to get a referral to the speech therapist. I know it's early, but I say the earlier the better. There is no sense in her being any further behind just because of her age.
She continues to test her bounds on a daily basis and has gotten really good at ignoring us when she wants to and doing what she wants. She is certainly a strong willed little girl. What served her well during her time in the orphanage is not serving her well now. She can take a room apart in seconds just by picking up and dropping. She's taken to dropping things quite loudly or throwing them now -- doesn't matter what it is. I'm finding she has to be physically removed from a situation a lot because she just won't leave if you say no. She has a predication to screaming at the top of her lungs as if were were killing her when we try to put clothes on her. What's up with that???? You never know if it's going to be a fight or just fun and giggles when you put her clothes on. Same with the carseat. She HATES being put in it -- and not for the reason you might think. She wants to get in the front seat and play with all the buttons and "drive". I've tried explaining early on in the process that we are leaving, where we are going and that she is going to need to get in her car seat and she will not be able to drive this time. Still no good. So, if you see us out and it sounds like we are killing her we are not; we are simply strapping her into her carseat.
She continues to love the cats and dog and will go to the door with me and "call" them by making kissy noises and saying, "Cat". If she thinks they want to go out, she comes to get me so I will let them out.
She loves to watch "Dora", "Barney", "Elmo" and her Bible series DVDs. She loves to dance along with anyone who is playing music or singing.
After thinking we might be ready to take on some potty action, we have decided it isn't time for her yet. She is very interested in pushing the music buttons on the seat and taking it apart and running through the house with it, but not ready yet for potty action.
She was doing very well with her night time and nap time rituals until lately. We had broken the routine of someone sitting in the room with her and she was sleeping through the night with no wake-ups. I'm not sure if her cold/allergy-like symptoms are the cause but she has started waking up screaming a few times in the middle of the night again -- much like night terrors, honestly. After a period of time, she'll settle down and take her bottle and go back to sleep. Today at nap time, she only slept for 30 minutes before waking up screaming. All very odd and hopefully will pass quickly. She loves her "Mona Monkey" (a build a bear creation) that sleeps in the bed with her. We kiss Mona every night and have Mona rub Ellie's face for a little while. It's funny that she never wants Mona outside of the crib.
She continues to astound us in the gross motor skills department. She loves to color (herself, the furniture, paper) and write. She has begun to play with the Little People sets we have for her. She climbs constantly -- up on chairs, onto tables, into any nook or cranny she can find. She is going to certainly be a gymnast!! She also loves to help clean-up anything (good thing, considering ...). Today she helped me unload the dishwasher, stood on a chair to help me "wash" the dishes (we made a bigger mess than we washed dishes, but a girl has to learn sometime!!), and helped me pick up her Little People toys when she accidentally dumped them all on the floor.
We've started making a big deal out of praying at dinner to teach her. She will close her eyes for just a wee bit. Usually she has them opened and is eating before we are done, but as soon as someone says "Amen", she starts to clap. It's sweet! She's fascinated with watching the process at this point.
She is still fascinated with "shoos" (shoes) of all kinds. Her (multiple) pairs of shoes are kept in a drawer low enough for her to reach and she has begun to enjoy looking through them, picking out a pair and wanting me to put them on. Of course, it doesn't matter if they match what she is wearing (or even each other for that matter), she just likes them on her feet.
She has definitely hit a recent growth spurt in her height as the 6 and 9 month sleepers that were fitting her just a few weeks ago will no longer fit her length. She is finally comfortably in 12 month clothes and I suspect she will hit 18 months pretty soon. I think she might eventually end up pretty much on target for her age.
That's pretty much it for Ellie's update -- we'll call it her 20 month update as she will be 20 months in about a week and a half. Look forward to a Joshua update in the next little bit as he will soon be celebrating his 12 year old birthday!!