Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Can Kick, Stretch, and Kick! I'm 9 Months Old!

This post is going to be all Ellie, all the time. I just wanted to post an update on how she's doing, what's been going on around here lately and of course lots and lots of pictures.

She turned 9 months old on the 4th of October. It has been the fastest yet craziest 9 months of my entire life! She had her picture in the newspaper, started saying "dada" and "hi", participated in her first Buddy Walk, punished me for going on a business trip (see videos below!) and had her 9 month check-up with her Pediatrician.

First, I have to share this funny photo of her doing toe-touches in her sleep. She loves to do this! I am thinking we have a future ballerina or gymnast on our hands! "I can kick, stretch, and kick... I'm 9 months old!" 

Doing her high kicks.
Secondly, the DSNO asked if I could send them a photo of Ellie, they wanted the one of her crying with her big brother Will.  It was going to be for an "ad" but in my mind I just figured it was some sort of internal email or something for the Down Syndrome Network. I received an email from my co-worker that said "is that Will or Luke in the picture with Ellie in the paper?!?" She emailed me a photo of the ad in the Portland Tribune. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen! I got a copy so that I could keep one for her baby book. Ugh darn it that just reminded me that I still haven't written anything in there yet. This blog will have to do!

Look at that face!

Leaving the kids for the first time during my work trip was hard because I was so worried about how they would do without me at home, and I also worried about how Jesse would handle everything by himself. Well Will and Luke did great with daddy, and they had a lot of fun "guy time". Jess was a rock star Mr. Mom, all the mom's at soccer were impressed with his skills of juggling the 3 kids at practice. I wasn't really worried about Ellie, I told myself "she's 8 months old, she won't even know I left!" Boy oh boy was I wrong. I underestimated her big time. She was so upset with me. It makes me feel like I can never leave her again! She couldn't even look at me without her bottom lip sticking out a mile. Check out the video here:

Ellie Mad at Mommy

It took her a few hours before she would smile at me again. Later that day she was jumping in her jumperoo and being her cute self, and I got her on video saying "hi", see if you can hear it! I felt like she grew up so much in the 8 days I was away! And please excuse the house, we are under construction :-/

Ellie Says Hi

Then she said "dada" on video, I couldn't believe it! Our little girl is growing up and meeting milestones. We are so proud of her.

Ellie Says Dada

Here are a few more of her milestones she's been reaching:

Holding her own bottle, she can only do it for a little bit but it's a start.
Sitting up unassisted and getting stronger every day. 
We walked in our first Buddy Walk, it was so much fun. When we arrived at the park, the first thing I noticed was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It's a Wonderful World" was playing over the speakers. I had instant tears (and goosebumps) as did my mom, mom-in-law and sis-in-law. This song reminds our family of mine and Jesse's wedding. If you know me, I'm always looking for "signs" and hearing this upon arrival was a good and happy one.

The date of the walk was postponed a week due to horrible Oregon rain, and the new date couldn't have been more perfect weather-wise. 10 or so of our walkers couldn't make it but we still had such a blast. I got to see a lot of my new friends from the Ds community and introduce them to our family and friends. Seeing our two worlds come together felt right, like puzzle pieces falling into place.  There was magic in the air that day, and I felt especially grateful for our support network. 

I had set a goal of $1,000 for our fund raising, thinking it was lofty, and was blown away that we ended up raising $2,900! My employer (Columbia Sportswear) matched employee's donations and it put us over the top. I was absolutely amazed by the love and support that poured out. Our hearts are so full.

Team Ells Bells!
Family picture :)

New but lifelong friends.
Famous Iris, Ellie's mentor!
Love this one of Grandma and Ellie
Ellie also had her 9 month doctor's appointment. Every time I take her in I brace myself... will there be something wrong? Why oh why do I do that to myself? The lady at the front desk gave me a "9 month milestones" questionnaire. I felt my heart sink. I wanted to say "is this for typical babies, or babies with Down syndrome?" Then I realized I was doing "it" again! Stopppp worrryyyinnnnnggg and stoppp doing THAT! I sat down and filled in the questions, and to my surprise Ellie is doing great. There weren't any questions about crawling (no she hasn't mastered that one yet!) but lots of questions about playing with her toys, saying "dada or lala" etc. And she's doing all of these things! Dr. Craft was awesome as always, he's so sweet with her and genuinely cares about her. He also told me that babies that are breech (and female) tend to have issues with hip dysplasia. She had an x-ray just to make sure all is well, and so far so good.

Those hips don't lie! :)
Oh and she continues to be a long string bean, I can't believe how tall she is. These percentiles are on the "typical" baby chart. I think she is as tall as the boys were at this age!!

Height: 29.5" (96th percentile!) 
Weight: 16lbs 6oz (10th percentile!) 
Overall doing amazing. I'm so so proud of you baby girl. Keep up the good work and happy 9 months!!!
Wearing my dad's boatin' hat!
You like my Halloween costume?
When choosing the song for this post, I asked my husband to come up with one... "what sums up this post, about life in general, and our awesome family and friends?" He wanted me to use "Family Tradition" and I thought it fit great. This is a song we put on our wedding CD that we handed out to our wedding guests (another wedding reference)! OK honey- that'll work!