Saturday, February 28, 2009

I haven't been nearly as good as I intended to be in keeping up with this blog. This is so sad, because Elli has little miracles happening every day, and I know I need to be keeping a record of them. So, for the month of March, my goal is to post EVERY SINGLE DAY on either this site or our family website. Go ahead and remind me if I ever start to slack in this endeavor. (:

Yesterday morning when I went to get Elli out of her bedroom, she was laying down playing with a toy. When she heard me come in, she bolted up and said excitedly, "a drink, a oatmeal, a bath, a rock-a-bye!" It was so cute and so amazing. Definitely the first time she has strung words together like that. You obviously wouldn't really call it a sentence, but still! She knew the morning routine and said it in her own cute way.

Unless you really know Elli, you can't imagine how far she has come in the last few months. She seriously only had a handful of words, and she was never consistent in using them. At our last IEP, which was a couple of months ago, we went through all the words she had used and it was less than ten. She would repeat words that we said, but we're talking about words that she would use on her own and knew their meaning. It wasn't just that she wasn't talking, she also wasn't understanding very much. And, like I said, she was never consistent in using her words. You cannot imagine how wonderful it is to now be able to ask a question like, "What do you want?" and have her answer it much of the time, even if it is usually food! (:(:(:(:

One milestone we have crossed is that she will now consistently point to her body parts when asked. She has known them for awhile, but not understood to point to them. Also, we are progressing on the goal of spoon feeding herself!!!!! It's important to know that when we listed this goal, we had had zero success with this. She hated if you tried to put a spoon in her hands and would fight it tooth and nail. It was a fight I had given up on, until a few weeks ago when, miracle of miracles, she let me put the spoon in her hand and help her put it to her mouth. Now, for the last two weeks, she has eaten her entire bowl of oatmeal BY HERSELF! Ok, I guess that is a stretch. She still needs help getting the oatmeal on the spoon. But she picks the spoon up, brings it to her mouth and puts it back in the bowl all by herself. I just have to make sure that the spoon is loaded before she picks it back up again, because the concept of scooping the food is still missing. STILL!! Our girl is eating by herself! (:(:(:(: When we first adopted Elli, at age two and a half, she had no concept of putting food in her mouth. She LOVED to eat, but you had to put the food in her mouth for her. It took about six months to teach her the concept of bringing her hand to her mouth. She was that delayed. And then for over a year, if you would hand her, say, a piece of bread, she would take a bite and then throw the rest of it across the room. It wasn't that she didn't want more-- she just couldn't get the concept of taking a bite and putting the rest down where she could find it again. Now, this isn't a problem. So even though the feeding progress has been slow, it is significant and wonderful.

Well, this is all I have time for, but know that there is much more to come! Also, I have quite a few words to add to the sidebar-- YAY!!!

We love you dearly, our sweet Elli-Belly!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pray she doesn't get fat... ;)

It's really sad that I haven't been keeping up on this--  and I am determined to do better.  I just read my last post and was WOWED!  I had almost forgotten just how much Elli was screaming, and am so happy to say that she is doing SO MUCH BETTER!  It took a week or two, but now she so rarely has a screaming fit that lasts longer than a few seconds.  YAY!!!!  :) :) :)

Now when Elli starts to fuss and you ask her what she wants, she will almost always respond.  Amazing.  The downside is that 98% of the time she is asking for food.  LOL  At first, we were so grateful she was answering us at all that we tried to give her what she asked for.  We soon learned that it is impossible to keep up with her food requests.  Every few minutes she's asking, "Cake?"  "Cookie?"  "Applesauce?"  "Hamburger?"  What was a miracle (and ok, it still is) has quickly turned into constant battle over when to give in, and how much to give her.  This girl can pack it in!  I am telling you, she could seriously eat as much as any of you reading this!  She is a bottomless pit, and is going to eat us out of house and home.  So lets all pray for her to ask for some NON-FOOD things-- like reading a book, or going on a walk.  So far, the only thing she's asked for that isn't food (besides the one-time "bear hunt") is to rock-a-bye-- and she does ask for that a lot.

Last week I showed Elli a balloon, and she held it for a short minute.  Yesterday I saw another one, though a lot smaller, and wondered if she would remember what it was.  I put it in her hands and asked "What's that?"  She immediately said, "balloon!"  This was crazy amazing, because she has only labeled a handful of things ever.  So, I thought it would be cool to keep a running tab on the sidebar of things she can identify by touch and actually say the word.  My goal is to have five new things a week-- and believe me, that is a lofty goal.  :)

As always, thanks for your comments and your faith in this blog.   She is a different girl than when we started it.  We know that all things can happen through Christ!