Zoe has been getting more excited and less patient as we get closer to the baby's due date. The other day we washed and folded all of Zoe's old infant clothing and blankets. Zoe was so excited she kept signing "baby." When it became clear that the baby was not coming, she got very upset. Zoe can sometimes perseverate on a certain thought or action. She kept repeatedly signing "Mommy all done baby. Zoe wants baby. Zoe angry at mommy." She was so upset that I finally left her alone with Gavin so that she could focus on something else other than me and the baby. We didn't talk much about the baby for a few days to give Zoe a chance to focus on other things.
Yesterday our friend Riann came over to visit with Zoe. Riann is "on call" to rush over here to take care of Zoe while Gavin and I go to the hospital. Zoe has been told this so she got very excited when she saw Riann. She kept signing baby and walked to the back of the house to where we are setting up the baby's room to show Riann. She didn't get upset or angry, but did keep signing about the baby. She shouldn't have to wait much longer since I am 37 weeks this week. We'll see...
Zoe and mommy talking about the baby. It's so hard to wait when you are 4!
Zoe finally strong enough to face front in the car!
We've kept Zoe rear facing in a special car seat that allowed her to stay rear facing despite her growing height. Her paediatrician recommended keeping Zoe rear facing longer due to her low muscle tone and her light weight. Now that Zoe is taller, staying above 20 pounds on a consistent basis, and has increased her muscle tone we were finally able to face her forward! So far Zoe thinks it is very funny to be able to see us while riding in the car. She is not able to grasp toys long enough to keep them on her lap so this has been frustrating for her. Before, we cut rest the toy on her lap and the back of the seat prevented it from falling. Zoe loves pulling on strings so Gavin tied a few ribbons for her to play with. So far this seems to be working.
Obviously Zoe is quite comfy in the car these days! And she looks like such a big girl facing forward. Zoe insisted on wearing this Maple Leafs outfit to school. It was the day after the Leafs definitely lost any chance to get into the playoffs and Zoe kept signing that the outfit would make daddy happy.
Zoe's New Highchair
Zoe has been flinging herself around in her old highchair to the point of almost knocking the chair over. After much thinking and debate, we decided to go with another commercially available high chair that straps on to one of our dining chairs. The new high chair has a five point harness so Zoe is not able to fling herself as much. It is also higher in the back so if she does bang her head, it is on the soft cushion. We chose another high chair that is light and easy to travel with since we still need to bring a chair any time we eat out. We looked at some other special needs options but felt this was the best option at this time. Zoe seems to feel secure and happy in the chair. She flings herself less (which means we are happy since the flinging behaviour and chair thumping sounds were starting to drive us mad!) and focuses on her self feeding that we continue to work on.
Zoe modelling her new chair.
Standing, standing, and more standing
We try to fit free standing practice into Zoe's daily routine. This is actually harder than it sounds since we are always working on so many things at once. We were disappointed and frustrated when Zoe's weekly physio stopped due to her not making enough gains. So we are determined to keep up the hard work at home and give her a chance to once again show everyone that she can do more than the low expectations everyone seems to set for her. For the most part, Zoe enjoys free standing at the couch even though it is a lot of work for her. She is not able to maintain standing for long but we expect her strength to increase over time.
We are also working on training Zoe's brain to be able to side step while holding on to the couch. Cruising comes so easily to most kids but Zoe's brain just doesn't understand how to do it. We had to train her brain the same way with walking forward and now she is a great walker. So we know that eventually cruising will feel less scary for her and come more naturally. It will take all of us some time and a lot of patience but we will get there eventually.
Zoe standing free style at the couch while playing. She is even using her hand and arms to prop herself these days which is a great step forward.
Gavin has become a real handy man around the house. We both want to get several projects done before the baby arrives. The big project (putting in a large sink/raised tub to bathe Zoe in) has taken a lot of our time, energy, and money but Gavin has been learning a lot about plumping. In the midst of working on several projects, the kitchen sink (which admittedly had been leaking for months now) suddenly started pouring out water. So Gavin quickly fixed that.
I just needed to put in a brag here about how amazed I am at all Gavin can handle. He continues to do most of Zoe's physical care since I am not able to easily lift her at this time. He also continues to work 12 hour shifts in the emergency room, cook most of our meals, do all of the grocery shopping, and has been fixing up the house to get us ready for the baby. And after all of this, he still has time to push Zoe on the swing for 45 minutes when she demands it! He is such an amazing dad and an amazing husband and I know how lucky I am that we are in this together.
Gavin underneath the kitchen sink taking out the old pipes. This (like most projects these days) ended up taking more time and being more complicated than expected. But now we have a wonderful new tap that doesn't leak!