Thursday, March 10, 2011

5 Months a Family!

Only 5 months? It truly seems like she's always been here with us!Caitlin continues to grow and blossom. It's amazing to see the difference that even a week makes! When I look back at where we were 5 months ago, it seems like Caitlin is a totally different child. In fact, her plastic surgeon, who has known her since October and hasn't seen her since before Christmas, was shocked when he saw her again last month. He kept saying "Is this the same child?!" She is so happy, confident, and outgoing!

We had Caitlin's big team meeting last month, where we met with 8 doctors and specialists, from her plastic surgeon and ENT, to a hearing specialist, speech therapist, dentist, even a geneticist. The basic consensus from all of the specialists is that, although Caitlin is still slightly developmentally delayed in some areas, in others she is beyond where she should be for her age. Overall, they are not worried and see no red flags.

The biggest concern in her speech; she is just not able to make certain sounds, so although she can say many words and phrases, most are not comprehensible to anyone but us. Her receptive language is excellent; she can understand almost everything we say to her, and even carry out two-part commands (i.e.- "Go get Libby's toy and put it in the box"). She can point to all of the basic body parts and a few colors (especially pink!), and knows most of the animals and the sounds they make. She also signs quite a bit, and she can put 2 signs together, such as "one more." So overall the speech therapist we spoke to is impressed that the language is definitely there, especially considering that Caitlin never even heard a word of English until 5 months ago; Caitlin just has to learn how to properly vocalize the words.

We just had a visit from our social worker last week for our 6-month post-placement review. Even though our 6-month anniversary won't be until April 10th, we will be long gone by then (we are moving to San Diego next week), so we had to go ahead and get our report done before we left. Our social worker spent a good deal of time trying to evaluate where Caitlin is developmentally, and she said that overall Caitlin is at or above where she should be for her age.

Caitlin is definitely a "girly-girl;" she demands a necklace and bow every day. In fact, one morning the first thing she said to me when I went in her room to get her was "bow" (as she pointed to her head). She loves to get dressed up,but she also really loves to wear overalls.
I'm not sure what it is about overalls that tickles her so much, but I think she looks adorable in overalls so I'm all too happy to comply!

Libby and Caitlin continue to be best of friends. Although they generally ignore each other when they are together, when they are apart they both worry about each other. Caitlin will continually ask for "Lala" when we are away, and Libby will continually take me to Caitlin's door if she is sleeping. And Caitlin keeps up with feeding Libby; she will bring me Libby's food cube at night to remind me it's time to give Libby her dinner! They are so cute together!

Caitlin's new favorite pastime is going to the playground. She loves to slideand swing.She wouldn't have anything to do with a playground until about a month ago, but now that she's discovered how much fun they can be, she's addicted! She knows where all of the playgrounds are in our area, and will excitedly point them out to me- even before we get there! I can't walk or drive anywhere anymore without her screaming "Mamamamama!" every few minutes, as she knows a playground is coming up.
She also loves the beach, which is important because I love the beach and I was a little worried back when she wouldn't let me put her down or even touch the sand. Now she's a certified beach bum! She will walk on the beach, even barefoot, play in the sand, or just sit and watch the waves.

Here are some more of my favorite pictures since the last update:

Our trip to San Diego; looking down on the harbor from Cabrillo National Park:
Playing at Balboa Park in San Diego:
Superbowl Sunday... Go Packers!
Caitlin was fascinated with this wall of bubbles at a restaurant we ate at:
Eating her first cookie this weekend (I never allow her to have sweets or junk food so this was a real treat!)