Sunday, April 25, 2010

Squeaky Shoes

I bought Stella some shoes that squeak when she walks and she just loves them. I have seen much more activity since she started wearing them. Hopefully they will help encourage her to walk independently.

Check her out:

And these are the shoes we bought her:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two Steps

Stella took two steps on her own today during physical therapy. How exciting! She had her shoes on, which I think provided just enough additional stability to make it possible. She was so pleased with herself, and so were the PT and I :-)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Stella started crawling today! It's kind of funny, because we have spent very little time working on this, she has been much more interested in standing, cruising, and walking, so that is what we have been focusing on. I figured she would just skip crawling, and maybe we could go back and teach her later. But then, out of nowhere, she just started crawling. It's like something must have clicked for her. She's so tiny it's adorable watching her scoot around on the floor. I'm surprised at how careful she is too. She reaches out with her hand before moving forward to make sure nothing is in her way. Or sometimes, it's like she senses things with the top of her head, and stops right before she runs into them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First haircut

Stella got her hair cut today for the first time. I took her to Cookie Cutters and she was great. She found the steering wheel on the little car quite entertaining. I just had a little trim done - she still has lots of curls!

Check her out:

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It's official - we have a cruiser. It's so exciting to watch Stella learn how to move and she is having a blast. She can now pull herself up on the couch and cruise from one end to the other. She also loves to walk around her little table. She does better going to her right, but can also go left. She's moving!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

17 Months

This past month has been so much fun, and has been filled with a lot of work and doctor’s appointments. Stella has made huge gains in her balance, coordination and mobility. She is so excited to be moving! Usually all she wants to do is to get down and move. She loves to stand at a table or couch to play and to walk while holding someone’s hands. We have tried using a push toy a few times, but she is a little insecure with it. It’s probably time for us to get one. She is trying to figure out crawling, and it’s pretty funny to watch her get stuck in downward dog. She has been working so hard in OT and PT and it is finally paying off.

We started speech therapy last week, and it was so funny because the entire hour Stella did not make a single sound. She is babbling more, but still not very many words. She does understand a lot. One of her newest things that I love is when I say, “Good girl Stella,” she claps her hands.

As usual, Stella was a good little traveler for Thanksgiving. We spent Thursday with Michael’s family and the rest of the weekend at my dad’s. Stella loved the Thanksgiving feast. It was her first time trying many of the foods and she just gobbled them up. She was such a mess afterward!

Sebastian is having a lot of fun with Stella now that she is more mobile, but I have also had to deal with my first real sibling conflict. Sebastian got upset when Stella found her way to one of his toys and he said, “Stella, no that is MINE!” and grabbed it from her, knocking her over. I’m actually happy that we have reached this stage. It’s cute to watch them play together though – I especially love when we all wrestle together and everyone laughs.

I am very frustrated with the lack of progress with Stella’s conformers. It seems like we are moving backwards and the ocularist doesn’t really know what to do. She did suggest surgery to expand Stella’s sockets, thinking then it will be easier to fit her for prosthetics. We met with the surgeon for a consultation and now we are researching it and thinking things over. It’s just hard to know what the best decision is.

We met with a developmental pediatrician and an endocrinologist this month. The pediatrician confirmed that we are on the right track with everything, and also referred us to a neurologist, who will help provide us with more of a big picture and help us set realistic expectations for Stella. He is well known in the community and was very informed and helpful. I look forward to working with him as Stella grows. The endocrinologist was also very helpful and ran some tests, which confirmed that Stella’s growth hormone levels are very low. No surprise there. We are going to do one more test in January, and then probably start her on synthetic growth hormone. The endocrinologist is optimistic that with the right doses Stella will still reach an appropriate height. All of our appointments have been at the Riley’s Children’s Hospital – I’m very impressed with the facility and the staff there.

I’m excited to see what’s next for Stella!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

16 Months

Stella has been so much fun lately! She is quite the wiggly little girl, and doesn't like snuggle or be held unless she is tired. Stella wants to move! She loves to scoot around the floor, gets in and out of 4-point, rocks, gets in and out of sitting, and has started to pull up on things. (Last night she scooted over to the train table and pulled herself up all by herself!) She loves to hold on to our hands and walk around, and is just starting to get the hang of cruising and walking behind a push toy. She smiles and laughs and it is the cutest thing! I was really starting to think she would never want to walk. I am so pleased with the OT and PT that we are using. I do think working with them has a lot to do with Stella's progress, and I think she is finally ready. It's funny to watch her, because she has that age-appropriate stubbornness and independence. If someone is trying to help her she will push the hand away. And she doesn't like anyone touching her hands.

Stella is babbling more, but still doesn't say any words. She does say Mama and Dada,but I'm not convinced she knows what they mean. I have seen her use the "more" sign a few times too, but again, I'm not convinced it was on purpose. She understands a ton though. We are starting speech therapy soon,so hopefully her words will come soon. I'm content with the progress in movement and I know she will talk eventually. At least she doesn't get frustrated by her inability to communicate verbally.

We've had a busy month, with a road trip back to IL and me being out of town a couple of weekends. Michael did great with the kids. It's so nice that they have such a good connection and that I feel comfortable going away for a few days. It gives me a much needed break! Stella is weaned now too, which makes things easier. That is bittersweet for me, but she was obviously ready. She got to a point where she preferred the bottle and she kept biting me. She is a wonderful eater, as long as it's finger food she can feed herself.She has no interest in being fed or in using utensils yet. And we haven't made much progress with a sippy cup - she still uses a bottle, but she does feed herself. Speaking of biting, Stella has 11 teeth now and is currently working on that last molar. Poor thing, these molars have been tough on her. Maybe after this she will get a break for a while.

Adjusting to a new Ocularist (Kathy Hetzler) has been tough, and she finds Stella to be challenging because of the way her sockets are shaped. We have had many instances of the conformers falling out, or twisting around, and Kathy has yet to find a design that fits well and that she can get in and out. The last couple of weeks Stella had one white conformer and one clear one, then nothing in the left eye for 1 week. Ugh. I hope this starts to go more smoothly soon. I am very much looking forward to the day when she has pretty painted eyes - probably brown.

Life is busy, and about to get busier with adding speech therapy and all the appointments I have lined up with specialists to find out why Stella isn't growing. She has gained a little weight, but not gotten any longer since April. I'm guessing she will be starting growth hormone soon. At least I'm familiar with that, as my brother was on it when we were growing up.