It's funny how, as parents, we constantly talk about the milestones our children are reaching while comparing them to other children to be sure they are "okay." Jordan has been delayed in many of her milestones from the beginning which led us to consistently wonder if there would be more to her differences than just those apparent from the outside. As time has gone on and we've seen her progress we feel confident that cognitively she is up to par even though physically she is a bit behind - all due to the challenges she has had to overcome. One giant milestone for her was rolling over. She didn't roll over from back to front until she was nearly 10 months so when she finally got those legs and arms over we were overjoyed. She is finally pulling to standing and even climbing up stairs. Many of her milestones haven't been just coming naturally so this means work for us and for her.
One milestone we weren't sure she would ever achieve, as funny as it sounds, is sucking through a straw. I figured I was destined to skip the straws and sippy cups and head straight to a real cup. I assumed that her palate would never be repaired to the extent that she could actually form a suction strong enough to get juice, milk, water, whatever out of a cup or juice box. I even wondered if her lips would be able to form a tight enough seal to make it happen if the palate worked well enough (sometimes the muscles don't work after a lip repair and it effects the smile, facial expressions, lip movement, etc.). Through much effort on our part along with Jordan's speech therapist and her occupational therapist she now drinks from a straw! She drank from Noah's sippy cup with a straw last night and it was so exciting. A small percentage of those reading this post can truly relate to this. When you aren't sure your child will ever do a "typical" thing it's a pretty big deal when it happens, especially when so much time and effort has been put into helping them get there. So a pretty minor uneccessary skill has been mastered in the Gray household but it is a huge milestone for us. :)
Along the same lines as the suction is her ability to blow air out of her mouth enough to blow out her own birthday candles. I am certain Noah would be happy to blow her candles out for her for the rest of her life but I'm guessing Jordan will, one day, want to blow out her own. This is another one of those seemingly small steps that really isn't a big deal but it's huge for kids with clefts. Jordan's surgeon told me at the last visit that his hope is for her to blow out her birthday candles someday. I can't wait to tell him that she sucks through a straw already and that we are aiming for Jordan to blow her own candles out on her 2nd birthday. :)
Hope you enjoy the video!