Thursday, April 20, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday Colin!

Happy 8th Birthday to our beautiful little boy Colin! I am always so thankful for Colin's birthday as it always reminds me of where we all were when he was first born and just how far we have all come today. I couldn't imagine my life without Colin as he is truly one of the best people I know. He continues to work so hard every day in becoming this grown up little person that he is today. We are so proud of Colin and all of his accomplishments no matter how big or small. Happy Birthday Colin! We love you with all of our hearts!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Making Memories Over Spring Break

We're wrapping up a fun and *mostly* relaxing spring break tonight and I am sad to see it end. We tried to keep busy this week and find some fun things to do and I think we were successful in doing so.

Our first day was a beautiful one so the kids and I spent the morning outside doing some yard work. We ripped out a pricker bush and planted a new hydrangea that I was very excited about.

We also started potty training Cody which went shockingly well over the week (more on that in another post)!

I also had a cleanup in "aisle 3" as one shelf in my china cabinet fell when Kailey ran by shattering most of our wedding items.

Later that day, Colin had an eye doctor appointment and we took a walk up to the beach after he was done. It was much chillier on the beach than it was 5 miles inland!

We were all so excited to get our feet in the sand and start talking about our summer adventures ahead.

On Tuesday, we took a ride up to the Turtle Back Zoo and met my mom. It was beautiful out and so it was super crowded (it was probably our quickest walk through yet!).

Wednesday we met our friends Lauren and Landon for a swim date at the local YMCA for open family swim. We were all splashing around in the pool!

Thursday wasn't necessarily fun but we did make great progress at the dentist. Colin did great for the first time ever and Cody also had his first checkup and did pretty well!

On Friday, we bought a lawnmower and then headed to the boardwalk for the first rides session of the season!

By this past weekend, it was back to soccer, we went to our first BlueClaws game of the season (I shockingly left my phone in the car and didn't get any pictures!) and then it was Easter! We had a very fulfilling spring break and I'm sad to see it end!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sensory Relief

It has seemed to be that throughout the years, Colin has had certain habits that would provide some relief for some sensory issues that he has had. He seems to be "under sensitized" where he seeks out certain actions that will give him input he is looking for. In the past we have seen things like chewing on his thumbs, rubbing his fingers on eyelashes/strings, rubbing his hands on his socks and tearing them apart and sliding on the floor. Sometimes some of these things on the list reemerge here and there but for the most part, he has moved onto other "sensory seeking" behaviors.

Throughout the course of this school year, the two biggest sensory related behaviors are teeth grinding and picking at his finger/toe nails. For a long time, Chris and I tried our best to ignore these behaviors as many times, he wouldn't even be aware he was doing it. At the end of the summer, I had talked to the dentist about it and he had explained that sensory wise, there is a lot going on in his mouth at this time (loose teeth and growing teeth/shifting/etc.) and it made a whole lot of sense. I am anxious to go back over spring break to ask more questions because he basically seems to be at a point where he is grinding his teeth more than he's not. It is really hard to ignore now as I worry about what his newly forming adult teeth will be like if he keeps this up AND because it is the MOST irritating noise. I think it's really getting to Chris and I now. The rational part of my brain understands that it must be providing some relief to him but the irrational side wants to just scream "stop the grinding!!".

If he's not grinding his teeth, he is also picking at his fingers and toes on the nails. This clicking sound is just as irritating as the teeth grinding but for different reasons. Again, we understand that these behaviors provide some relief to sensory needs that he may have but it is hard when these are sounds we hear nonstop these days!

It's a good thing he's cute!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Step by Step

This picture showed up in my memories on Facebook the other day reminding me of one of the biggest milestones Colin reached as a young child and left me feeling pretty emotional. This photo was taken a month shy of his third birthday and he had just accomplished the skill of walking independently. This particular day we were elated watching him cruise down the boardwalk all on his own. It was the culmination of years of hard work on Colin's part (and ours too) and we were so proud of reaching this point. We had waited so long for this moment and it had finally arrived. The possibilities of what this newfound independence would bring were endless.

In many aspects of Colin's life, we "walk" through the acquisition of skills, often times slowly, but with a lot of hard work and patience. Sometimes like the other day, it takes a picture memory to pop up to remind us just how far Colin has come.

We have been so proud of Colin and all that he has been accomplishing this year. He has shown growth in so many ways academically, behaviorally, socially, and emotionally and we love watching him change into the boy he is becoming. There have been times when growth seems so slow and then all of a sudden one day, the change is evident, like a picture on a screen.

You can never prepare for the unexpected, but that unexpected has been a blessing in disguise. Step by step, day by day, moment by moment; there is no one else I would rather be on this journey with than Colin. Celebrate all progress, no matter how big or small.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Adding a New Food to the List

A few weeks ago, Colin was attending the youth group at our church when our friend sent us a picture of Colin eating macaroni and cheese. We were shocked because each time he attends, we have to send with him food that he will eat since the options are not typically something Colin would choose to eat. Not only did he eat what everyone else was eating that night, but he had several helpings on top of it.

Fast forward to tonight; our dinner selection was homemade macaroni and cheese and broccoli. While I was making it, Colin told me he was going to have both for dinner. Typically, things will look appealing to him but then when it's actually on his plate he will change his mind at the last minute. Tonight was different; he TRIED the broccoli (didn't like it) and ate his plate full of the macaroni and cheese!

We have literally spent 8 years of feeding struggles and I can honestly tell you that today felt no different than when we finally got Colin to eat more than 2 ounces at a time as a baby, or to try a new food with some texture, or like today, adding a new food to the list. I am so proud of Colin! Little by little, slowly but surely, we are adding items to his list!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day 2017

Today on March 21st (3/21), we celebrate all of our loved ones who have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome in all cells of their body. It is caused by a random error during cell division called nondisjunction in which both copies of the 21st chromosome go to one cell instead of splitting into two cells. This error is then copied to all cells in the body.

When Colin was born, doctors highlighted all of the possible symptoms and effects that Colin could experience as a result of Down Syndrome. At the time, it was easy to get hung up on all of the possibilities of things that could go wrong or be different. However, what we have learned more than anything was that Colin wasn't just a statistic, number, "side effect" or even developmental delay; Colin was a little boy first and foremost and that still rings true today.

This boy that you see here today is happy, loving, observant, strong, independent, talented, funny, athletic, empathetic, and caring and he lives his life in a way that shows he just a boy not defined by limitations. He continues to make progress in all aspects of his life and so we celebrate all of his accomplishments, as many of them are a result of a lot of time, patience and very hard work on his behalf.

World Down Syndrome awareness day is a special day to spread understanding, acceptance and inclusion for people with Down Syndrome. They are more than a diagnosis; they are family members, loved ones and friends. See the possAbility!

Happy 3/21 day! Today we celebrate love and friendship, inclusion and respect for our special loved ones!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Happy 6th Birthday Kailey!

Today our beautiful little girl turned 6 years old and we were left wondering how time moved this fast. We are so proud of her for all that she has become and accomplished over the past 6 years. She has added so much spunk and sass to our lives and we are so grateful for all of the ways she makes our hearts happy. She is smart and funny, nurturing (especially to Cody) and caring, helpful and loving. She is all girl in that she loves clothes, accessories, dolls, Barbies, and crafts but also loves soccer and dancing too. We love our Kailey girl so much!