Sunday, April 29, 2007

It's Called "PlayDate"

Hi friends,
This morning my Mommy took me on my very first play date. A play date is a prearranged meeting when mothers of newborn babies spend time together. (I'm not sure if these are reserved for newborn kids or if they are available for all kids.)
This play date was with Boruch Shneur, my newest friend. Boruch Shneur also has Downs-syndrome and he is one month (five weeks to be exact) older than me.

Well what should I say? We had a pretty good time getting to know each other.

Then Mom said, "Hey look at the camera guys!"

Before long we were deeply involved in quite an animated discussion!

Y'know for the first time ever in my life I felt that I had met someone I could really talk to. We understand each other, we are almost exactly the same. Here I'll show you what I mean. Watch as we look at each other while our heads bob up and down almost like a dance!

Before we knew it it was time to take leave of my new found friend and we parted ways with one final, warm handshake - I'm going to miss you, I said.

Back at home all that Mommy and me have left are the great memories of fun times... and we just can't stop talking about them.
I had so much fun on this first play date that Mommy arranged another one for me this time I'm going to spend an hour with Avremel - the son of my Mommy's old classmate.

Yeah we've met before. So, I'll keep you abreast of any developments... Don't miss me too much, or we'll have to make a play date!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hello Everybody

Arrlm, mmpht, hhmpt, pppt, pptr, uh?
Oh, hello everybody!

Now, I know it's been a long time but my arms are so tired from all my therapy that it's a real sacrifice for me to do this for you.
Well, we left off in the middle of Pesach down south.
Here is my Tatty explaining to me how he changes my diaper. First the right then the left...
It was a long lesson...
By the way I made more friends down here like this fuzzy, squawking ducky. I also played with a stretchy red thing with spikes and goo inside that lit up when my Tatty made it light up.
I also met my cousin from the west, with whom I got to spend some quality time.All in all, chol hamoed and the days that followed were quite pleasant!
Unexpectedly cold... ...but pleasant nonetheless.
On one of the chol hamoed days my aunt presented me with a very special gift - an hour with one of the most accomplished therapists of her city!
First she explained to my parents and me about some of the things we can do to make sure I will speak well, when I do begin to speak.
Bottom line, and this applies for all parents of any kind of kid, speak, speak, speak and speak some more! Tell us about everything you do tell us about everything we touch. The more you speak to us now, the more we'll speak to you later!
Then we read some picture books one about barns, cows and chickens and one that was full of cute baby pictures.
By the time we were done I was zonked!
Oh here's another fun thing I did here in the south. My Tatty tried to fix a broken washing machine and I got to help him!Yeah we always have so much fun together, my Tatty and me. In this shot I am demonstrating the one feat of which i am most proud:
Well, all good things come to an end and after Yom Tov we had to go back home. Here I am on top of all my luggage.
And when we got on the plane I found that it was so huge and had so many people... I couldn't help it... my jaw dropped open!
The trip was uneventfully and we're now back in NY.
Back in NY the government granted me my therapy sessions, Boruch Hashem. Every week I get three session with Ms. Lesley and two with Morah Chanie. Ms. Lesley is working on my physical therapy. Here I'll show you some of the things we've worked on and some of the things she's taught me to do.
In this photo Ms. Lesley, my physical therapist, is helping me practice my grasping:In this photo she is helping me learn to roll over:
In this shot Ms. Lesley is helping me learn to reach out for things that are not put right into my hand:
In this one I am sprawled out on one of the toys she always brings. This is supposed to help me strengthen both my arm and my neck and back, all in order that one day soon I should be able to crawl.

See, since I don't understand English just yet I have to listen to Ms. Lesley's instructions very carefully. I must concentrate!

And then we start: 1,2,3...24,25, whoa! 26...Oh! When I finished with that exercise I was so thirsty I could have drunk an ocean!
But I had to leave some for the fish.
Back to business. I learned to put things into my mouth (notice how I grabbed that chain with both hands ;)I have been practicing my conversation skills:

I do some strenuous exercises on my own time too. In this shot I am working frantically to inch my way over to that chain. Oh to get my hands on that chain!And inevitably... I fall asleep.

Morah Chanie works with my mouth. Here she is working to convince me to keep my tongue inside.

That thing she is holding looks kinda like a toothbrush but it actually is meant to strengthen my jaw muscles. One day I'll show you how it works.

In this shot my Tatty keeps me balanced as I practice carrying my own weight on my own legs (though you can't see it that's really what I'm doing.) I'm up to five full seconds now!

Anyways, it's late and I haven't eaten the meal that comes after the meal after supper. So, I'll catch ya later, Bye Bye.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

PT & more

Mendele had 3 PT sessions this week. He was so exhausted that he slept a double nap after each one! It's not that he is being worked so hard, but 30 minutes of nonstop movement can be tiring. Day 1: we worked on his stretching, grasping and reaching. Day 2: head control and rolling. Day 3: all of the above. Ms. Leslie also gives us homework to do with Mendel twice a day. So far Mendele has been responding well and is a little more active with reaching.

Now that Mendele is 3 months old, his delays are more evident (all newborns are helpless) so we know better in which areas he needs the most work. Although Mendele is doing everything the chart says a 3 month old child should, he is much weaker and can't do them as long. For example his grasp only holds for a couple of seconds, instead of for a few minutes.

You can imagine why we snap pictures of everything Mendele does that is outstanding or new!

Mendele will be starting Speach Thearapy this week, and we are looking forward to our new homework! The more we know, the more time we make to do it;)

Mendele is also very excited for his upcoming playdate with a little boy about a month older than him who also has Down syndrome. We'll keep you posted on that one!

Pictures will Bli Neder be on their way (I don't have the camera with me now). For some reason, they didn't show up in the last post. But we got lots of great new shots!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Rest of Pesach

I made even more friends over my stay here in 'Bama!

I was treated like royalty by my cousins and their friends. The company at my uncle's house was quite lively - way livlelier than anything I have every heard in my three month old life!! They were loud and rowdy and it was just fun to watch from my vantage point in the car seat.

The trip back to NY was something else. We sat on a huge plane that was going to Bombay, India!

We got back just in time to visit my friends at Yeled Vyalda. My parents had to meet with a government official to determine how much therapy I would b receiving. It was raining when hard by the time we had to go. Thanks to my great aunt Henya, who accompanied us and was ready to fight to the bitter end for me to get as much therapy as possible, we didn't have to stay out in the rain very long - She drove us there and back in a nice warm automobile! A silver automobile (and my parents think I don't know the difference, Ha!)
When we got there we were assigned a very sweet government lady and really liked me a lot, she thought I was soooo cute! At the end she gave set up so many therapy sessions for me every week and she suggested that I be evaluated for even more!
The total number of sessions I will be having (as of now) is P.T. x 3 and Speech x 2 every week. And the wonderful lady suggested that i be evaluated for O.T. as well.
By the way:
P.T. stands for physical therapy. This therapy is meant to strengthen my whole body with special focus on my back and legs so I should be able to learn to walk soon.
Speech therapy is really kinda weird for me right now, being that I am not speeching. But this therapy will help to strengthen and exercise my jaw, lips and tongue in order that when the time comes for me to talk I will me able to formulate words without sounding like Moshe Rabeinu (I remember that from when Michael taught it to me- I guess he didn't hit me hard enough!)
O.T. stands for Occupational therapy. This is meant to help me fine tune my fine motor skills like holding things and putting my thumb into my mouth without poking my eye (gross motor skills like walking and rolling over are part of the physical therapy).
Well, I was evaluated right away for O.T. and they think I'll be able to get some of that too. Oh Goody! so many new friends to make and so much great motor stuff to become skilled at! I just cant wait!
I'm Giddy!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Happy Pesach

HI, Happy Kosher Pesach.
My Tatty is not as strict as he looked when I came out for the first time! He let me post again!
Anyways, my family and I have traveled to my Father's brother down south.
In the airport, due to my newly acquired fame, my mother worried that people would recognize me and ask for photo ops or autographs - or maybe even want to sit next to us on the plane! Therefore Mommy dressed me up in a disguise - a pink outfit. As awkward as that was for me it sure did the trick. I was called a pretty little girl by more than a few people.
Still... I was not ecstatic about the idea- I was feeling rather blue in the pink!
We were up at 5:45 am - need I say more?
I am pretty sure that even the people in first class don't have the comfort or the service I got in Mommy's lap.
While here, I have made some southern friends:
The strawberry guy,

and the blondie - just to mention a few.
The weather here Whoa! It's hot. I love it. I would like to publicly thank my great aunt and uncle for the wonderful bib. I will never have an identity crisis again!
OK, the angel told me that on chol hamoed weekday things have to be done with a shinuy - I'm only posting seven pics.

Happy Moed!