Tag Archive | milestone

The Next Goalpost of Milestones

Since Little Miss Minion starts pre-k in a few weeks, I figured I would go through the CDC milestones for 5 year olds and see how she’s doing. I posted a while back for the 4 year old milestones and she’s met all but one (catching a ball), so I wanted to see her progress toward meeting the next set. The following list is from the CDC’s website with my own notes after each entry.

Social and Emotional

  1. Wants to please friends-yes. She’s fairly good at sharing with others and plays with other kids at school.
  2. Wants to be like friends-yes. She likes to note similarities between herself and others, like hair color, shirt color, likes and dislikes.
  3. More likely to agree with rules-yes. Mostly.
  4. Likes to sing, dance, and act-yes. She constantly sings in the car and always gets up to dance whenever there is music. She is starting to frequently make up little storylines when playing with Mr Minion or myself, like “I’m eating soup (out of my pretend ice cream cup) because its cold outside. Brrr.”
  5. Is aware of gender-yes. She mixes them up sometimes (mostly for indeterminate things like a stuffed animal or cartoon character).
  6. Can tell what is real and what is make-believe-mostly.
  7. Shows more independence, such as visiting a next door neighbor by themselves-have not tried this, as I do not trust her to be outside near the road we live on by herself. She will happily go and talk to neighbors if they are outside.
  8. Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative-100% yes.

Language and Communication

  1. Speaks very clearly-I don’t generally have trouble understanding her, but I think other people sometimes do.
  2. Tells a simple story with full sentences-yes, I’ve been happy to see that she almost always speaks in full sentences (it’s the English teacher in me).
  3. Uses future tense-yes. She likes to explain what we are about to do. “We are going to have dinner and after that, we can watch a movie.”
  4. Says name and address-she knows her first and last name, but only remembers her middle name about half the time. We don’t really use it, so I am not surprised. We never say our address either, so I guess we need to work on this one too.

Cognitive

  1. Counts 10 or more things-yes.
  2. Can draw a person with at least six body parts-not frequently. She usually gets a head, eyes, mouth, and body, but sometimes adds feet, hands, shoes, fingers, etc.
  3. Can print some letters or numbers-she can reliably trace all her letters, but can legibly write several on her own. She can recognize all the numbers and letters. This is one that will we will be working with her on this year.
  4. Copies a triangle and other geometric shapes-yes-when she feels like it. This will also be something that we work on this year.
  5. Knows about things used every day, like money and food-yes. She got really excited the other day because I had some change in the cupholder of my car. “You have MONEY, Mama!!”

Movement and Physical Development

  1. Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer-no
  2. Hops, may be able to skip-can definitely hop. I don’t think I have ever seen her skip
  3. Can do a somersault-she is close—I’m worried about the rolling part putting pressure on her shunt and causing pain.
  4. Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife-yes, she has started requesting a knife to cut her own food.
  5. Can use the toilet on her own-yes.
  6. Swings and climbs-yes!

All in all, I think we are in pretty good shape to start pre-k!

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Pre-k starts soon…

Little Miss Minion will be starting pre-k this year at school, which means that next year, she will be starting kindergarten! In an effort to make sure that she is ready next year, I took some time to go through the CDC checklist of things most children do by the time they turn 4. Since LMM is 4 right now, I figure this will give us plenty of time to get official assessments if we need them. Our school district requires an assessment before kindergarten anyway, but since LMM has had some delays before, we want to make sure we catch any issues before they get too big.

According to the CDC, this is the list of things most children are doing at LMM’s age. I’ve added my own notes after each one.

  1. Enjoys doing new things. LMM loves new things! She is always excited to go somewhere new or try a new food.
  2. Plays Mom and Dad. She has started carrying around one of her baby dolls and shushing it or giving it a bottle and a nap.
  3. Is creative with make-believe play. The other day, she told me she was playing with her friends at school and then there was a dragon and everything was on fire. I think this qualifies 🙂
  4. Would rather play with others than alone. She spent 45 minutes over the weekend playing doctor/vet with Mr Minion, myself, and a collection of stuffed animals. We are all healthy.
  5. Cooperates with other children. I think she shares as much as one would expect from a small child. She has several close friends at daycare and a Best Friend.
  6. Often can’t tell what is real or make-believe. See dragon story above.
  7. Talks about likes and interests. She likes to announce her preferences for things like food, colors, drinks, and activities. She also remembers which of those things are liked or disliked by myself or Mr Minion.
  8. Knows some basic grammar. She occasionally messes up past tense verbs, but is getting better. We never baby talked her (its against my DNA, as an English major), and I think it shows.
  9. Knows songs or poems. She is always singing to herself in the car on the way home. She also likes the Daniel Tiger songs about everyday activities and will sing when appropriate.
  10. Tells stories. Its sometimes a little hard to get her going, but then she will just talk and talk. She likes to tell stories about what happened at school that day or something that happened in a movie we recently saw.
  11. Can say first and last name. Yes, and working on middle.
  12. Can name some colors and some numbers-Yes, she is very good at this.
  13. Understands the idea of counting-Yes, can count reliably to 15, knows some higher numbers, but not able to put in order.
  14. Starts to understand time. She understands “yesterday” means the past, “tomorrow” means sometime in the future, and is starting to know morning, afternoon, night (in terms of progression of time).
  15. Remembers parts of a story-yes. We read stories before bed and then she gets a turn to tell it back to us.
  16. Understands the concepts of same and different-yes. Every day, she will compare and contrast our shirts or outfits.
  17. Draws a person with 2-4 body parts. Yes. She draws about as well as I do 🙂
  18. Uses scissors-yes.
  19. Starts to copy some capital letters-Yes
  20. Plays board or card games-She likes Chutes and Ladders, Pretty Princess, and memory games
  21. Guesses the next event in a book-Yep.
  22. Hops/stands on one foot-Yes
  23. Catches a bounced ball most of the time-No
  24. Pours, cuts with supervision, eats own food-Yes

The only thing from this list that we really need to work on is the catching a ball. Not too shabby for a former 28 weeker.

An Announcement

I cannot believe that Little Miss Minion will be 4 in a few weeks! Looking at her now, you would never guess that she started out fighting for her life at less than 2 pounds. Our journey began four years ago today in 2015, when I was admitted to the antepartum ward for observation of suspected preeclampsia. I remember being torn between complete denial that anything was wrong and terrified at the idea that something was. When Little Miss Minion arrived at 28 weeks, weighing one pound and fourteen ounces, my life was put on hold. Every day, Mr Minion and I would go to the hospital, scrub in at the NICU, and spend as much time as we could in our room there with our daughter. After 84 days, we were able to take our multi-million dollar baby home and I never wanted to see the NICU again. 

 

After about a year, I started to feel like I needed to give back to the place that had given me back my daughter. I began volunteering at the NICU that Little Miss Minion spent her first three months of life. I go into the unit, visit each room and speak to any parents who happen to be around. I’m also a board member of the organization. It’s something I’m very passionate about. 

 

About a year and a half ago, Mr Minion and I had a long talk. As corny as it sounds, I had been feeling a calling from the NICU. Not just to visit the parents and drop off goodie bags. To actually become one of the nurses who make such a difference in the lives of these babies and their parents. I’m proud to announce that I have been taking classes at our local community college in pursuit of a degree in Nursing. I have two more semesters to go before I can begin nursing school, which will take about two years of full time classes. After that, I hope to get a job working as a nurse in the NICU that started this journey for me. 

 

I would like to give Mr Minion a digital standing ovation. He has been so supportive of me during this venture and has willingly taken on the extra slack I leave from being in class and studying. Between books and fees and tuition, this little adventure isn’t cheap either, so it has been stressful trying to make the finances allow for it, especially for the upcoming period of nursing school. Little Miss Minion deserves some credit too. I take evening classes right now, so sometimes I only see her in the mornings and she doesn’t get to see me before she goes to bed, since I come home a little after she is asleep. 

 

Once I am accepted into the nursing program, I will qualify for nursing scholarships, which should lighten the financial load considerably. I applied for general scholarships this semester, but there are a lot more available once a person is accepted into the program. I’ve got Anatomy & Physiology I this fall, A&P II in the spring, and right now, I am finishing up Microbiology. I took Chemistry before that, and my first class in this little adventure was Human Biology. The rest of the degree requirements transferred from my Bachelor’s Degree in English Education. I only had 5 classes to take in order to shift my Bachelor’s in English into an Associate’s in Nursing. I’m just taking it 1 semester at a time. 

 

Sooooo, that’s my little announcement. Surprise! I wanted to really commit to this path before I announced anything, so very few people in real life actually knew about this. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to call me Mrs. Minion, RN. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

Three Years of Blogging

Three years ago, I started this blog as a way to update friends and family about what was going on with Little Miss Minion. Our cell phones were blowing up with messages and phone calls, all wanting to know the latest on our little family. It was nice that so many people wanted to know how we were doing, but cell phones are a NICU nightmare for germs. I created this blog as a way to update everyone at the same time, reducing our need to touch our phones while in the NICU, and cutting out the time it took to answer everyone individually. This let us have more time to spend together, sitting on the couch in our room in the NICU, staring at the tiny little human growing in the incubator.

To everyone who reads this, thanks for being a part of our NICU journey.

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Little Miss Minion turned three about ten minutes ago. It’s hard to believe that we started this journey three years ago with a one pound fourteen ounce 28 weeker and now we’ve got a little kid who just graduated from all of her therapies and loves to give hugs and eat cheese its.

We are so lucky.

End of an Era

A few weeks ago, Little Miss Minion had a special education evaluation through our school district. They did a series of tests to see how she performed in several areas, like speech and gross motor skills. This morning, we got our answer. Little Miss Minion has been disqualified for further services. This means that, according to the school district, she is caught up with her peers on gross motor skills, speech, language, and cognition.

It’s a strange feeling to know that we don’t have to schedule weekly speech therapy and physical therapy anymore. We’ve had someone come to our home to work with LMM ever since she came home from the NICU. So many appointments, tests, clinics, screenings. Part of me is a little in denial. How can my one pound fourteen ounce 28 weeker NOT qualify for additional services? She’s had five brain surgeries! She has actual brain damage (called periventricular leukomalacia). She spent the first 3 months of her life under 24 hour care in the best NICU in our area.

She caught up. That’s how she doesn’t qualify. Not only did she have to consciously learn to breathe on her own, how to suck, swallow, and breathe while taking a bottle, how to regulate her own temperature, how to regulate her heartbeat, how to live in the world three months too soon, but she did all that and more. 36 months after her dramatic entrance, she’s caught up to where she should be. At this rate, who knows how far she can go?

Our next steps are to come back for another evaluation (if we feel like she needs it) in about 7 months and to continue to be utterly impressed by our little rockstar.

1000 visitors!

Whaaaaat?!

Yep, this little blog has reached over 1000 people. There’s something like 3800 views and 1000 unique visitors. Wow.

Thank you, dear readers, for coming by and seeing my little slice of life. I’ve had a ton of new email subscriptions and I don’t know any of you! Say hi!