MOPS finally started back up this week! It was a long summer without it. MOPS is Mothers Of PreSchoolers. It is the best ever. We have around 100 women in our church's MOPS group this year! We meet every other week. There is a place to check in the kids so the moms can relax, chat and hear about God. Lauren gets to join me this year because the pediatrician doesn't want her in the nursery through RSV season. She is a wild animal now and was grabbing at everything, pulling my hair, giving kisses and of course being adorable. And distracting. Luckily my amazing mother in law works at the church and came and got her for a little bit! Ryan absolutely refuses to leave church after MOPS until we've seen her. He marches himself back to her office and of course knows right where she keeps the candy :) He wanted to stay with her all day and then spend the night so he was quite sad that we had to go home for a nap first. Adorable!
At MOPS someone mentioned that they were surprised to learn that Lauren had Down syndrome because she didn't "look like it". That wording doesn't offend me at all but the idea does surprise me! I think it's very obvious. Is it just because I know? I'm not sure. It kind of caught me off guard, we don't get the "Really?! Are you sure?!" comments as much now as when Lauren was a newborn. We get a lot more stares in public now and I can see the questions in peoples' eyes. I would always rather people ask although I realize it would probably offend a parent of a typical child to be asked.
That's something I've been thinking about lately. To us it's been much more obvious lately that she has Down syndrome. I thought it might bother me a little more than it does. It does a little bit to be completely honest. Every once in a while I'll look at her and wonder if that's all other people see. Can they see past Down syndrome and just see Lauren? I get a little sad about it sometimes. She is so much more than her chromosome count. I forget that she's small for her age until somebody acts surprised that she's 7 months old. She is doing so well for her that I forget to compare her to typical kids. Definitely not a bad thing!
She is doing so well with the things that her Early On teacher is teaching us about helping her sit up and helping improve her muscle tone. She will be getting Hip Helpers soon! They are like little spandex bike shorts sewn together in the middle. They'll help her hips to not froggy out so much. We're working on sitting up with minimal support. She can actually fit in her high chair now since we have it filled with foam.
She sees her helmet doctor next week. Hopefully they can do something to make it not as big, it makes her head red where it rubs. We only make her wear the helmet at night for this reason. We could've gone back to have them adjust it and add more padding but it's only been 6 weeks. Her head does look a lot rounder already. It helps that she's become a tummy sleeper and she rarely lays or plays on her back. Honestly, we don't have time to make another trip to Ann Arbor when we have to go back anyways. Between preschool for Ryan, home visits for Lauren and doctor's appointments for Lauren- then adding in work for both Greg and myself....life is so busy here!
It looks like (fingers crossed) that we don't have to go back after that appointment until her audiology appointment (for her hearing) on the 26th!! She'll see an ophthamologist for an eye evaluation at some point but we need a referral and approval from insurance first. I don't at all mind if Lauren needs glasses. I'm blind as a bat without mine! But I would love if we could hold off on them until after we're completely finished with her helmet therapy. I like to travel light and if I have to remember a bunch of stuff there is a 100% chance I will forget something. The same goes for hearing aides. I don't mind if she needs them but I would love if we can wait until after we're done with the helmet. And I hope that her ear canals are big enough. I've had one doctor say her ear canals are typical sized and one say they are very tiny! It seems to me that her hearing is perfectly fine for now. My mom said she noticed with me at a younger age than Lauren is now. I had moderate hearing loss as a kid. Luckily for me ear tubes helped a ton and I sat in the front at school. In hindsight I wish I would've had hearing aides even though I would've been embarrassed at the time. It would've been better to know what the heck was going on! Now my hearing is fine unless I'm sick and I'm really good at reading lips.
We're having family pictures done on Sunday!! I am SO excited!! Our photographer is extremely talented- she did Lauren's newborn shoot. I can't wait. I dreamed about getting pictures done of the four of us while Lauren was in the hospital. I worried we'd never get the chance to do this. And fall is my absolute favorite time of year!
Doesn't she look ready for a photo shoot??