I'm not even sure where to begin as far as with what's happened over the last FOUR MONTHS.
I suppose a little update is in order.
Mason is now almost 17 months old. At what point to we stop using "months old"...? I think I'm giving myself until 18 months, then I'll switch to "a year and a half". Keep my baby a baby for a tad longer. :)
At his most recent appointment, at 15 months, he was just shy of 26 pounds and a hair short of 30 inches. Imagine that... our little peanut is now in the 87th percentile for weight! He's come a loooong ways from the single digit percentiles when he was younger. I'm telling ya, once he could eat "real food", he meant business! Dude still loves to eat!
He's still just sitting at the 10th percentile for height. Neither Adam or I are very tall people, so that's not surprising.
I guess the biggest thing to note that we've been dealing with is Mason's delayed Gross Motor Skills.
At his 15 month appointment, Dr. Pflaster confirmed our concerns with Mason's lack of ability to sit up from laying down. He had JUST started army crawling the month prior to his appointment (at 14 months old) and was getting around pretty well... but the fact that our 1 year old couldn't sit himself up was concerning to me. So many people continued to tell me that "babies develop differently and on their own timeline". And while I agree with that, I could just tell something wasn't right.
I FOR SURE thought that his pediatrician would refer us to physical therapy and we'd go from there.
Well, we did get a referral... to see a neurologist. I was taken aback by that. It wasn't what I expected to hear. But in my heart, I felt it to be unnecessary. I knew nothing major was "wrong" with my perfect boy. He was excelling at his fine motor skills, his vocabulary was advanced, his social skills were on point. I KNEW neurology was unnecessary, but I followed our peds lead and called to schedule him an appointment.
Now, keep in mind, we had Mason's 15 month appointment on Valentine's Day, February 14th. After a ton of back and forth and miscommunication with Children's Neurology, we finally got an appointment scheduled for April 14th.
I was slightly frustrated with that. I knew there had to be something we should be working on with him in the meantime. So, I pushed for a physical therapy (PT) evaluation. Luckily, our pediatrician was very receptive to that idea and agreed that it could only do good to work on some stuff with him in the meantime. He also let us know that if Mason starts sitting up and pulling up by the time the neuro appointment rolls around, we can cancel it.
Fast forward to March 13th, we had Mason's PT evaluation scheduled with Children's Rehab in Minnetonka.
It was an AMAZING appointment! Not only was the PT student who did the evaluation amazing and so patient with Mason (as was the PT who came in to help wrap up the eval) - Mason was able to do some things we had NEVER seen him do before!
For instance, during his eval, he pulled himself up to kneeling on a few stacked mats. We were shocked, he had never done that before. Adam and I got to talking about it... and it's probably because at home, he didn't really have the opportunity to! We don't have anything that was low enough to the floor for him to easily pull himself up onto. We were very impressed with our little dude!
He did a great job at his evaluation, though there were a few points where he was frustrated to tears. I imagine it was a hard appointment for him - a new place, a new person, and being pushed to do things that he just can't do... or didn't think he could do!
It was heartbreaking for me at points when he would turn to me, crying, reaching his arms up for me to pick him up and console him. Of course, I didn't want to get in the way of the eval, so I took the PTs lead on when I could swoop in to "save" my boy.
It was kind of funny and sad at one point, Adam was holding him and Mason was pointing at something and Adam asked him "what do you want, buddy?" (or something to that effect) and Mason just said "bu-bye!" Ohhh.. I'm sorry honey, we can't leave yet. Damn, those kiddos sure can tug at your heart strings!
At the end of his PT eval, even before she "scored him", she could confidently confirm that Mason's gross motor skills were indeed, delayed. She said he would likely benefit from weekly, 1 hour PT sessions. So that's where our PT journey began.
It took a few weeks to get reoccurring PT sessions on the calendar (those places book up FAST). Especially since we opted to attend PT in Maple Grove, which is just way more convenient for us, location wise, than the Minnetonka location.
Mason officially started his weekly PT sessions last week, on March 27th, at Children's Rehab and we have been SO incredibly please with his therapist and his progress!
At his first session, he was so good! We only saw tears once during the appointment and it was because at one point, he kind of fell down... and I think more than anything, it scared him. So he needed minute to regroup with mama before getting back to business. We were very impressed at how well he did, especially since his therapist said she was just getting to know him and was pushing him harder than she normally would, just to get a grasp on what he was capable of.
His therapist told us as his first appointment that she could see the delays, but that she felt super confident that with a little guidance, Mason would be excelling in no time!
|Having a little taste of milkshake after a tough PT session :)|
We worked on it SO much between his first and his second PT session. We also worked a lot on getting him to pull himself up to his knees and then from his knees to standing.
He did GREAT at pulling himself up. It's like he just needed the confidence to know he could do it and then he was doing it all the time! I was SO impressed with him! Every time I'd turn around, he was up and standing next to something!
One day, he wandered down to his bedroom and after a minute or two, I went down to peek on him to make sure he wasn't getting into any trouble and this is what I saw...
Big boy! Just standing up! Obviously unassisted! It blew my mind... just two weeks prior to that, he couldn't pull himself up to his knees, let alone to a standing position. This completely reaffirmed that getting him into PT was the right decision.
He still needs plenty of reminders to sit up. When he's positioned in a way that he can easily sit, we'll ask him, "can you sit up?" 9 times out of 10, he'll shake his head no. Haha! But most times, he does it. So that is going really well too. In fact, on the morning of his 2nd PT session, when we'd have to report back on how our "homework" went throughout the week, I went into his room that morning and there he was, sitting up in his crib. That was the FIRST time I ever walked into his room to see him sitting up in his crib. I was so happy, I could have cried! It was fun to tell his therapist that news.
We had his 2nd PT session on Monday and it was another really good appointment. This time, he was a little grumpier though. You could tell he was getting frustrated and he would smack at toys or the exercise ball to show his frustration. We try to tell him "we don't hit", but I guess that's how he gets his frustration out, because he did that quite a bit. Luckily, he never hit his therapist. Haha! And his therapist is great and recognizes when he's getting frustrated and allows him to take a break. She strongly encouraged us to "let it be" when he starts getting frustrated and to just let him be so that therapy and working on these new skills continues to be fun and not a chore. We don't want him to get to the point of not wanting to practice or not go to therapy because it's more work than fun. Of course there are going to be moments when he struggles and gets frustrated as he's learning new things, but we want to keep this fun and light for him so he's encouraged to continue.
Grandma came with us to this last appointment, which was nice since she's the one that spends most of his days with him. It was good for her to see him in action and hear first hand what we need to work on this week.
A couple pieces of homework this week include encouraging him to sit up from his right side (he always sits up from the left), encourage him to be weigh bearing with his hands (using his hands to push himself up and support himself), encourage him to stand from sitting on our laps. I know there were a few other things, but I'm drawing a blank.
I'm confident that with enough practice this week, we'll have another good report for his therapist on Monday. :)
Overall, physical therapy has been incredibly helpful for our little guy. It's fun to see him learning how to do new things and grow more confident in the skills he is learning.
What else is going on with us...?
Not a lot, really. Just the beautiful mundane of everyday life with a 1 year old. :)
I'll work really hard to keep updating the blog in a more timely fashion. It really is a tool that I'd love to look back on one day to see what we were up to at certain points in our life.
I know I never even came back and did a recap of Mason's 1st birthday party.. and now, 5 months after the fact, I'll probably just skip it and look forward to future updates. :)
Here's a peek in pictures at some of our shenanigans from the last several months...
|Seeing Santa... he wasn't a fan. HA!|
|First time seeing Santa vs Second time seeing Santa|
|Mason LOVE LOVE LOVES books!|
|Playing at the MG play place|
|Me and my Valentine|
|Daddy and Mason at Han's bakery after getting shots at his 15 month appointment. Donuts made him happier. :)|
|"Put the toy RIGHT HERE and no one gets hurt..." Haha|
|Mason loves Dexter. Dexter isn't sure about Mason. Hahaha!|
|First Haircut - it was traumatic.|
|Trying to use Siri to distract him (he loves Siri) - it didn't work too well.|
|Handsome boy after his first haircut!|
|Baby boys locks.|
|Cousins! Grant and Mason|
|He looks SO big here!!! I love this picture of him.|