|This is how Ethan "works" during therapy. He really loves Debrah.|
|Ethan's telling Hannah (left) and Sophia (right) quite a story.|
|Ethan playing with Hannah and Sophia|
|Ethan hanging out with his friend Jackson at the library.|
|Ethan loves hanging out with Daddy.|
|He had a great time at Daddy's work party.|
I thought I'd share with you what a normal week looks like.
On Tuesday, Ethan had therapy. During therapy Debrah an Early Interventionist comes to our home, and teaches us how we can help Ethan. When Debrah first started visiting us, she focused heavily on helping Ethan gain trunk control. We did this primarily by doing exercises on a yoga ball. By having Ethan sit on the yoga ball, she could tilt him side to side, and front to back. This causes Ethan to work at correcting himself, and gives him a great ab work out. These exercises seemed to help Ethan tremendously in sitting up. Ethan also learned out to reach for things while on his yoga ball. While sitting on the floor, he never had any interest in reaching for toys. By placing him on the yoga ball, it allowed him to have a little extra movement without having to work so hard. This has given him a whole new interest in playing with toys. I never understood why it seemed like he had so little interest in "playing". Debrah explained to me that for a baby with low muscle tone, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to do something as basic as sitting up. He had to focus so much on that, he didn't really have much energy left to think about actually playing. Now that he's sitting up so well, he's become much more interested in toys. Now, our main focus is teaching Ethan how to get from sitting up, down onto his hands and knees. He's getting a lot better, but still has a very difficult time with it. His legs end up in a frog position, which is something we're trying hard to prevent. Something else that I've been really excited about is standing. Ethan has recently gotten interested in standing. It's been a lot of fun watching him gain these new skills, he's quite proud of himself, but I don't think nearly as proud as Mom and Dad are. We also work on babbling and really trying to encourage new sounds. Therapy is really hard work for Ethan, and he's usually down for a nap within a few minutes of Debrah leaving.
On Wednesday, we visited Sophia's house along with our friend Hannah. Sophia and Hannah are both great walkers, and it's a lot of fun watching them explore. Sophia was getting ready to go on a trip to Honduras with her family the next day. A small part of me can't help but to be sad watching other babies developing "normally". I know that Ethan will catch up eventually, but I think the thing that's troubling for me, is that there are still a lot of unknowns about his medical condition and development. Regardless, he is making progress and with each milestone, I couldn't possibly be more proud of him.
On Friday, we went to story time at the library. This is a really fun program where they encourage reading and singing with your baby. There are lots of fun songs that include sign language, animal noises, and lots of movement. In the past Ethan has REALLY enjoyed the library. This time he was a bit fussy, but got quite excited at the end when they started passing out shakers. They have home-made shakers that are made from plastic Easter eggs filled with rice and other various things. He really enjoys the shakers. Friday evening was Pipeworks (my husbands company) Christmas party. We didn't stay for too long, but Ethan had a great time hanging out. Eric really loves showing off Ethan, and Ethan seems to always know just the right time to ham it up.