3.11.2005

Start of a Loverly Weekend

Leelo has been having so many great things going on; it's wonderful. I hope it lasts but am happy even if it doesn't.

He is definitely generalizing "I want to (go) play." He uses it in a variety of situations (at home, at playgrounds, at Iz's school with the big play structure right outside her classroom). It's a fairly abstract concept, don't you think?

Lots and lots of interactive singing, and requesting for us to sing. Loves singing and doing the actions for "Criss cross applesauce."

Lots of initiated interaction, coming up to people and saying "Hi, X" spontaneously in a way that means "pay attention to me, I want something."

Unique new phrases/commands he's using on us: "Come here, get off the bed!" "Follow me" "Get out of the chair" "Stand up" "sing, Mommy!" All but the last are spontaneous; I'm still coaching him on asking me to sing rather than starting the music and looking at me expectantly.

Getting a kick out of playing chase. He'll come up to me and say "I'm going to get you!" meaning that I need to repeat the phrase and then go after him. He'll prompt me through the whole circuit: "Here I come!" "I got you!" This results in several loops around the living room and peals of laughter.

Very very affectionate and snuggly, more so than usual--"I want a hug," snuggling his head right into the hollow of my neck, wanting kisses. Just so much more present.

Fascinated by the fruits and vegetables that Therapist L has been using to help him practice saying "no." During breaks or during non-therapy hours, he now asks for these items and spends a good like while examining them (limes, ginger, garlic, etc.). Okay...

Physically things are getting better too, in terms of coordination and gross motor skills. He can now balance on one foot while taking off a sock, without having to steady himself with the other hand.

There's more going on but it's all happening so fast that my sieve-brain can't track it all.

And then there's the why why why all this progress? Of course, just our luck that four things are (again) overlapping here--Babysitter A and no days without intense interaction, B12 shots, no soy/veggie booty, and a reduction in gluten (again, we tried the GF bread to see if he still liked it--and he's pretty much refused to eat anything else since).

I don't think it's the dietary changes, but his need for a carefully monitored diet is certainly gaining more credence, at least to me. I let him have some Pyrate Booty at the park two days ago (note: first ever park experience with my sprog trio*), and yesterday let him have some naan bread/simple starch. Starting yesterday his diapers have been foul smelling and voluminous, and he's had a rash. The rash might be due to the last two days' heat wave.

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Iz is not here. Her friend Blue invited her over to their ranch in Saint Gregory for the night. After it was all arranged I then realized that this will be our girl's first sleepover. She's had kids sleep here and has spent oodles of time at my folks' place, but hasn't been on an overnight play date before. I hope she doesn't explode as she's been very tired and hitting the wall a lot this past week. And I hope she has a fantastic time--apparently there is a stream that they can muck about in, and the neighbors have horses.

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Mali is even cuter today than she was yesterday. Geeky all day, happy happy happy and so very interactive, so keen on checking out everything and everybody around her. She is suddenly into lying on her tummy, and will happily stay there, propped upon her elbows or pushing up on her hands, looking around, for several minutes.

I front-packed her for a walk with Leelo and Babysitter A this afternoon. I forgot that she isn't really old enough to be turned around frontward and so positioned her facing out. She did just fine, didn't bobblehead much at all.

The MYND Institute called again today with details about their infant study program. Mali is to be evaluated at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, and 42 months. Each visit will be 2 - 2.5 hours. She will be monitored closely. If the doctors have any concerns, they will tell us right away. If we have any questions or concerns between visits, we are welcome to call. And they're even going to give us $20 per visit. Maybe there will be a pony waiting for us when we get there, too.

*Ep and I got a kick out of the not-even-thinly-veiled horror on the faces of all the first-time toddler moms at the park who were watching Merlin and Iz rampage through the water/sand pit (Iz naked except her underwear), while Leelo ran around in circles and occasionally knocked food out of my bag onto the ground (where he then ate it before I could unlatch the baby), while we mostly sat beatifically on a nearby bench, observing.

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