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Bye Bye Walker!

IMG_0936Yesterday Peanut said good-bye to the walker our Physical Therapist gave her about a year ago.  We walked into therapy with it, walked out without it!  No…this doesn’t mean she is walking on her own now!  But we transitioned to another “walker”  Even though she walked like a pro in her walker, our goal with Peanut has always been to move her into something that is more of a toy (baby stroller, cart, wagon) instead of the medical walker.  This will give her more independence as well as not draw huge arrows to her to show everyone that shes “different.”

Last week, while hanging out at our friends house, we had Peanut try out her daughters shopping cart.  I was worried it was going to be too tall or even tip a little and then she would be scared to try it again.  But nope!  It was perfect!!  She voluntarily pulled herself up on it and took a few steps.  Instantly we knew we needed one of our own!!

So we purchased the Melissa and Doug Shopping Cart  It is a little more pricey than we would normally pay for a toy.  However, it is super sturdy, wont tip and realistically because of her size, Peanut can use this for years!

I took it with us to Physical Therapy to show Betty and she loved it!!  She is even planning on purchasing one for her to use there.  Since this has been the only thing Peanut has ever walked with on her own, it is worth transitioning her to it full time.  So now my job kicks in!  We are helping her use the cart as much as possible.  Planning on taking it with us wherever we can and encouraging her to be more independent with it.

I was so proud that she has made this progress!!  I feel like we have been pushing her for this for forever!  This past month she has really found her strength.  There’s no way to determine how long she will still need assistance to walk, but she is heading in the right direction.  Part of me is terrified of her fully independent and running around everywhere!  She’s hard to keep controlled as it is 🙂

So be on the look out for us at the store if your a local.  You might just catch Peanut shopping on her own 🙂

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New Shoes

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So today I purchased these lovely shoes for peanut.  Even though she has literally 15-20 pairs of adorable, stylish shoes (that she hardly ever wears truthfully) sitting in her closet, I had to go purchase these plain white stiff high tops.  They obviously scream baby orthopedics and I’m sure many families purchase these for their little ones.  They are just not our style.  So why did I buy them?  Here’s why…

On Monday at physical therapy, Betty was going over her progress again with me.  We are focusing a lot of getting her to army crawl consistently but recently she has been getting up on all fours to try to crawl on her own!!  She is also been trying to pull herself up not only to her knees (like we had been working on) but also to full stand!!  Every time she does it she gets so proud of herself.  Its so awesome!!  Because of this, Betty suggested I purchase high top shoes with laces to help her little ankles out.

FullSizeRender-1Here’s the issue: typically when your child starts walking, the last thing that is suggested is putting shoes on their feet that will prevent foot movement.  Typically we them to feel natural and allow their toes to move and develop as they walk.  Which is why the moccasin shoes are such a hit (that and the fact that they are pretty cute)  Barefoot is always best!  Kids like Jana however, often have poor muscle tone in their feet, therefore, they will often curve their ankles and even walk on the sides of their feet instead.  Betty informed me that all of her children she’s worked with who have Down Syndrome have some type of issues with their feet.  Currently, Jana has a good arch (flat feet is pretty common), she does not have a wide gap between her toes (surgeries are often needed to help align the feet better) her feet naturally point up and straight the way typical kids do (pigeon toed)  So why worry about the support now?  To hopefully help prevent her from needing braces as she gets older.  This support now will help her feet stay in place the way they need to and allow her ankles to get stronger as she continues to develop.   FullSizeRender

The plan is to have her wear them throughout the day.  When I am working on her standing, when she is trying to crawl, when she is napping!  All this time will allow her body to one get used to the weight of these bulky shoes, and also, keep her feet in the correct position.  Truthfully so far she is not a fan of them.  I’ve had them on her now for 30 min and she hasn’t stopped pulling at them or trying to eat them lol!  It took me about 5 min to put them on her because she kept pulling away!  I’m hoping the more she has them on, the less of a struggle that will be.   IMG_5474

So for now, I need to put away her adorable squishy Vans, her soft leather moccasins and her tiny little ballet flats.  She will be rocking these and I’m sure will be looking as cute as ever!!