Life with Ella and Emerson

This is a blog dedicated to my beautiful daughters, Ella and Emerson. Emerson was diagnosed with a rare, genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome when she was 5 months old.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Super Speed

Life is going by so incredibly quickly. I feel like I have so much to write about, but little time to do it. Emerson continues to do amazingly well. She seems to be developing in leaps and bounds. Crawling has just opened up her world. She is exploring the world around her with gusto! She loves to get into whatever Ella is playing with. She tries to grab away any toy that Ella has in her hand. Needless to say, Ella has not
been too pleased with her baby sister lately, but we are thrilled. Check out Ella's little grump face above. I should get her in acting lessons. :) Emerson is no longer the little girl who sits contently with whatever we put around her. She has also started pulling herself up to a kneeling position and then to a stand. You can see the effort that it requires, but she wants it and is willing herself to make it happen. She is also so much more engaged in all the baby games we have been playing for months. Now she will play patty cake, peek-a-boo, so-big, and "If you're happy and you know it". Can you tell we are just beaming over here!!

Other great news is that we are having a Summer Solstice party to raise money for WS research. And well, it has taken on a life of its own. We are in the throws of planning this event and could really have a few hundred people attend. I have been contacting local families with children with WS, collecting items and services for a silent auction, and praying that we are not in over our heads!! We are going to be giving the money to Dr. Bonnie Klein-Tasman out of UW-Milwaukee. Here is her link to show her current research:
We are so lucky to have her so close to us and we finally got to meet her this past week. She is incredibly smart and has vast experience with children with WS. My husband and I were peppering her with questions and she had explicit answers with research to back it up. Emerson was a hoot in Dr. Klein-Tasman's lab. She was babbling up a storm, looking around the room throwing sweet smiles and in general was just plain showing off. Brian and I were like, "Who is this child?" Normally, she is pretty quiet, but here she decided to have a little babbling conversation with the
researcher. Dr. Klein-Tasman told us how wonderfully Emerson seems to be doing. She is very engaged with both people and objects. Exploring freely, but checking in with us once in a while. Brian and I just shrugged our shoulders and thought, "You know, she really is doing well." It is always just so nice to hear and frankly, you can't hear it enough. A few months ago, Brian and I were very frustrated. We were not seeing any progress and Emerson seemed so disengaged with us and the world. Boy, have things changed. Anyway, Dr. Klein-Tasman is going to attend our fundraiser along with a few of her graduate students and give a short talk. Wish us luck with this fundraiser, we will need it!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Big Day!!

Well, today was certainly a day I will never forget. We had Ella's 3 year old birthday party and she was just in her element. It was a princess themed birthday party which was very appropriate for our little Cinderella. Ella is just such an absolute joy and she just knows how to light up a room.
Everyone is her friend and she wants all to have a good time. The most memorable moment for me is when she sang "I'm three-ee years old" with the utmost conviction.

The other most wonderful thing happened today is that Emerson started crawling!! This morning out of nowhere she crawled from one end of the room to the other. She is so proud when she gets to where she wants to go. It is the sweetest thing I have ever seen. She is now officially into everything and I will have to give my house a once-over to see if my baby-proofing is up to code. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about her. What a great day!

Emerson is really on a roll developmentally. Even before crawling today she has been just moving so much more. She is also now babbling much more. We are also starting to get some varigated babbling which makes me happy. She can imitate just about any single syllable. She also loves to make clicking noises, raspberries, and she and her dad have lots of fun with him twiddling her lips. She just thinks that is so cool.For some reason also after her dad does that with her she babbles so much more.

It's great oral motor stimulation for her. Overall, she is still a pretty quiet kid, but she is starting to like the sound of her voice. Emerson is also starting to sign "more" with lots of cues when we prompt her with some sweet treat. We are having so much fun as we are starting to see some progress after months of not too much. All of our hard work is starting to pay off.