In addition to all the 'big' things Ella has been doing lately (putting herself to sleep, walking outside, generally being such a BIG girl) she has been doing so many small things too that sometimes I forget to notice if I don't take a minute to stop and look around.
First of all, she's gotten much better at feeding herself. As with most things for Ella, it's not like she couldn't feed herself, just moreso that she wouldn't always. And she is SUCH a SLoooOOOOOWWW eater that most the time it's just easier to spoon feed her like a baby than let her take the time to take a bite every 10 minutes on her own. When you have a failure to thrive diagnosis and multiple doctors monitoring her every ounce gained or lost, just getting your child to eat suddenly becomes way more important than how they eat.
She's a pro at putting the forkful of food in her mouth if we stab something on there for her, but lately she's also gotten better at getting it on herself and even scooping up peas by herself. (Our 6 and 8 year old still struggle with this soooo.. I think she's doing pretty good). She's also gotten a little better at staying in her own chair at meal times instead of sitting on our laps or wandering around the house while getting walk-by spoonfuls of food.
|Yes, we're wearing a nightgown. And rain boots. At lunch time. Big deal.|
She's also started holding her own cup and taking her own drinks instead of us holding it for her. This might not sound like a big deal to some of you that my almost 4 year old can hold her own cup, but it really is to us. And again, she's had the ability to do this for awhile, but just like with other things (*ahem.. walking, anyone?) she wouldn't do it until she was sure she could do it without making a mistake or spilling a drop. She's confident enough now that she does it all the time on her own. And all this has led to... her drinking way more on her own.. which has led to
NO MORE MIRALAX!!!
*Warning: Poop Talk Ahead*
Ever since Ella was so so sick 3 years ago (3 years?? really???) when she came off the NG tube she got instantly very constipated. I think it had something to do with her getting too many calories through the tube, then cutting back so much it really just messed her up. Through the past 3 years we've managed to cut her dose in half, but every time I would try to cut it down more, she would immediately get backed up again. Then about a month or two ago our whole family got a little stomach bug which wasn't a big deal at all, but since Ella had diarrhea I wasn't giving her MiraLAX (obviously). Every day I would wait on pins and needles to see if she was going to get backed up, MiraLAX in hand, ready to administer at a moment's notice, and every day she would continue going, even after the stomach bug had passed. It's probably been 2 months now that she's been LAX-free. I have no idea why that stomach bug forced her gut back in order, but whoever we got those germs from, THANK YOU! :)
Before I could plan my much anticipated Miralax Burning Party where all us former Miralax moms would gather around a roaring bonfire deep in the woods and dump our unused portions of Polyethylene glycol 3350 into the flames while dancing around chanting, (too much?) another child of mine had to have an xray done for some leg pains he'd been having and the only thing that showed up.. was that he looked backed up. So what did the doctor prescribe? MiraLAX. Because of course...
Anyways, Ella has also been working on being able to help put her clothes on and take them off herself.
She's not real great at it yet, but she is sure cute trying!
She loves to color and is great at drawing circles.
(SOOOOO exciting for me since my boys absolutely HATED to color)
And for the girl who formerly refused to wear any kind of accessory on her head, have anything touch her face, or really wear anything that didn't absolutely need to be there.. I'd say she's doing pretty good.
She's really getting the hang of this dress up thing!
|check out the heels!|
Another thing I mentioned on Facebook, but haven't on here is that Ella has been going to the daycare at MOPS for a few hours every other week and.. LOVING IT! If you don't know how big of a deal this is, consider that Ella has never ever ever in her entire life been left with anyone other than a very close family member. Heck, just a year or so ago the number of people she would allow to touch her could be counted on one hand. When the first MOPS meeting came up and Papa wasn't able to watch her like he did all last year I wasn't even going to go. At the suggestion of a friend though who reassured me I could just keep Ella with me throughout the meeting, I decided at the last minute to go. As I dropped Hudson off in his room, Ella got up and started playing right along with him. She was having so much fun that even though I had never considered leaving her I decided to try it. She cried for a few minutes the first meeting, not at all the second, and by the third after I took her coat off she looked at me and pointed to the door, telling me to get out of there! HA! Now she walks down the hall on her own, turns at the right door, and goes right in to play. I would have NEVER expected her to transition so well to being left with complete strangers and a noisy room full of random children. Every other week I am completely shocked all over again. (Does this mean she might be getting ready to leave me for.. *gasp* school??)
A few other small things are that she figured out how to spit, so we can now brush her teeth with flouride toothpaste more often since she can rinse it out better. And her speech is really improving. Last night I dropped the boys off at CCD and called to ask JJ a question. Ella grabbed the phone and plain as day said "Hi Mom." Melted my heart.. Just before the weather turned so cold and winter-like Ella and Hudson got the gator out and even managed to take it for a little spin. In the past, Ella would have completely freaked out if something like this started to move with her in it, but she really enjoyed trying to make this go and even managed to do it a few times all on her own. She was still a little hesitant, but I'm pretty sure by next summer these two are going to be tearing it up!!