Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kayla Started Cruising, Crawling and Signing

Just after I updated the journal on October 22nd (14 months, 3 weeks old) Kayla took her first steps along the couch in what I like to call “couch walking” or “cruising”. There was a favorite toy of hers that was at the end of the couch and she took small, very wobbly steps towards the toy and once she got it in her hand she looked so amazed and proud of herself. It is such an amazing milestone for little Kayla. The doctors didn't expect Kayla to survive the first year let alone begin hitting such milestones so early. After all this little girl has been through she keeps amazing me every day.

In the beginning of November Kayla started blowing kisses. She has been giving kisses for a few months now but not blowing kisses until now. Kayla has also started learning simple commands. If I hold her up to the light switch and say, turn the light off, Kayla will reach out and flip the switch. She is so smart! She understands sit and stand as well. Sometimes she will stand and the bottom of our staircase that goes into the kitchen and with the gate at the bottom shut, she will hold onto the gate and sit and stand and sit and stand. She thinks it’s really fun and will giggle as she’s doing it. It’s awfully cute!

On November 15th Kayla started signing the word Mom. She had previously said Mama but did not start saying it again until recently. She still says Dada about every 15 minutes now.

On November 16th, our PT brought Kayla a walker to try out and Kayla took to it pretty well. She walked; a little unsteady, across our kitchen and seemed so excited to finally be mobile. We will try out several walkers to see which one works for her the best and then hopefully we will be able to order one for her. We are also looking into whether or not she will need a wheelchair in the future and are researching all of the options.

On November 21st, Kayla started pulling up from a sitting position to standing on her own. She also started signing the word ‘want’ so she can tell us if she wants something now.

On November 28th, on her 16 month birthday, Kayla started crawling for the first time without support. We were at her sensory motor gym class and she just got up and started crawling across the room. It was a beautiful moment and not without a few tears of joy. I think I used up a whole box of Kleenex and made the entire group of mom’s and therapists cry too. Ever since then, Kayla has been crawling more and more and now can easily get across our large family room and pull up on the baby gate at the entrance. She also likes to crawl into her blowup play room and now dives into it head first and thinks that is so funny. Kayla has the most infectious laugh. I’ll have to capture a video of it and post it for you to hear.

Kayla has added a few new signs to her vocabulary and now knows a total of 12 signs: milk, more, hi, bye, high five, big, eat, dog, want, again, all done and mom. Kayla is starting to clap more and more and can now do the gestures to the song, ‘If you’re happy and you know it….” Kayla is starting to try and vocalize a little bit more now too and can say Dada, Mama, Up, All done, and Baba (bottle). Of course she still can't talk without her purple speaking valve that covers her trach. The valve allows her to breath into the trach but won't allow her to exhale out of it so the air has to go past her vocal cords and out of her mouth which allows her to make sounds. It's still a little strange to see her cry without the valve because she makes all of the gestures and tears but doesn't make any sounds. We are still hoping that if she gets through the winter without getting sick, that the doctors will allow us to have her trach removed in the early Spring. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

That's all for now.

Please stay healthy and keep in touch.


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