Monday, August 31, 2009

Developmental Therapy Update

Colin had developmental therapy today with Miss D, Daddy and Nana! Miss D was so happy that Colin has been so alert, attentive, and happy! He worked really hard today on tummy time and supported sitting and they read more books together! He is becoming such a big boy and is very attentive to "reading" the book and is starting to help hold the book and turn the pages!


Colin has one more session with Miss D for September and then he won't see her again until the end of October for his two sessions because she its going to be having a baby!


As I was posting the picture to go with this entry, I was thinking about the T-shirts I came across on this blog. You can read where the inspiration to these t-shirts came from by reading the entry on August 2nd by Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez. I watched their video of their son who said "I did it" when he accomplished a task and I was looking at this picture hearing Colin say "look at me mommy! I did it!"

I Have a Voice

I came across this through a blog I have been following and am very thankful for that. I think it's beautiful and just wanted to share it with those that have not seen it....

It Won't Be Like This for Long - Darius Rucker Video

This song and video reminds me to enjoy every single minute with Colin...we face our challenges now, but doesn't everyone? One day, these challenges will be a thing of the past and we will be on to new ones. I watch this and I think about how fast 4 months have already gone by and how much has changed in that amount of time! I am blessed to have Colin in my life and it will be forever changed because of him...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Look Who's Talking

Just wanted you to see our "chatty" baby after eating...



video

Physical Therapy Update

This update is per Daddy, Nana and Grandad because unfortunately I couldn't be there because of work...

Colin did very well! K was happy with Colin's progress with holding his head up and tummy time. It's amazing that in such a short time, Colin has come a long way! I was looking through videos today of Colin at 1 and 2 months old during tummy time. Colin was able to hold his head for periods of time, but not at all in the way that he does now.

This is how well he does on tummy time now!


In this position, K worked on rolling and reaching for toys so we have some new maneuvers to practice. She also has Colin work on rolling from side-lying. Sometimes he will roll onto his tummy from side-lying on his own, but other times we assist him by applying gentle downward pressure on his hips causing him to "pop" his head. He starts from this position:

Some skills Colin needs to continue to work on:

- Tummy time as much as tolerated to continue to strengthen his neck muscles.

- Using a towel roll under his right shoulder to assist his right arm to reach towards objects when lying on his back. He can grab objects with his right hand, but for some reason, his left arm dominates causing his right upper arm to stay down towards the ground when on his back.

- Rolling from tummy to back and from side-lying positions.

K wants to increase Colin's visits from two times a month to every week, not because Colin is falling behind, but to make sure he is staying on pace. Chris and I are actually very happy about this because we want Colin to stay on track and it also helps us to know what to work on.

Fortunately, K let Grandad videotape the physical therapy session so that I could watch it later on. It was a big help because then I am able to know exactly what and how I should work on the exercises and it allows me to see what I was unable to be there for (sniff. sniff.).

Because of that, Chris, Colin and I had a great "play" session today together!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Developmental Therapy Update

Colin had developmental therapy today with D and it's been 2 weeks since they've last seen each other! Unfortunately, mommy had to work today (sniff. sniff.) so she wasn't able to be there for it, but thankfully, daddy thought ahead and took some pictures!!

As per Daddy, Colin was excellent today! He reported that D used the word exceptional because of how well Colin did today! They worked on tummy time (which he tolerated well), sitting in the bumbo seat, sang songs, read a book together, and more. In D's words "Colin is going to steal hearts with his smile!"

I can see why she says that with this picture!

Colin and D also read a book together...


...and on reaching and grabbing toys in supported positions. Colin still needs work with his right hand because he definitely pays more attention to his left!

They also tried Colin's Baby Einstein activity center, but he isn't quite big enough to really sit it in it appropriately. Colin seemed interested though!


After every therapy visit, the therapists write out a progress report for the parents and this is what D wrote today...

"Today I met with Colin and Mr. Tobin. Colin did a great job!! He tolerated tummy time, reached with both hands (with a little prompting) and had lots of smiles! Colin also enjoyed sitting in the Bumbo seat. Today we read a book and sang some songs. Continue to work on reaching, especially with his right hand!"

...tomorrow: Physical therapy update!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our "Thing"

Colin and I went on our first run together today in the jogging stroller! I must say that it is MUCH more difficult than it looks! I took Colin to the reservoir which is 1.6 miles around (and completely flat!) and did 2 loops. I have to admit that I had to walk for a little bit (only about a minute), but I'm not that upset about it because running felt completely different pushing the stroller, trying to steer around turns (the wheel in front doesn't actually turn), and trying to get used to not being able to pump my arms. My breathing actually felt like I hadn't run in months when I started. I give those people a lot of credit that push older children who are heavier, and push them uphill!

All that being said, I look forward to the challenge and to improving! I also look forward to this becoming Colin's and my "thing"! I can see it now: running the Lavallette 5 mile race next June and finishing it with Colin. Now won't that be an accomplishment!
Here is my buddy and I after I finished the run...Chris surprised us at the reservoir as we finished up!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

4 Month Check-up!

Colin had his 4 month check-up today and he was such a good boy! Unfortunately, his normal pediatrician, Dr. Uma, was not there, but her replacement was a physician I had met before and was very happy with him. He was very impressed with Colin's development and reported that he is right on track!


He weighed 12 pounds 7 ounces and was 25 inches long with a head circumference of 41 inches! He gained a pound and 6 ounces from the last visit, grew an inch, and his head grew 2 inches! He is following his growth curves perfectly!


Here is our little (big!) boy on the table at the doctor's office with his scale showing in his weight in the background:


Monday, August 24, 2009

Still Working Hard!

Colin is still working really hard trying to get his neck muscles under control and stronger!


video

Not a Cry Baby

We are lucky because Colin usually only cries when he is hungry and when he's really tired. When one of these 2 things happens, this is what you get:


The funny thing is, the crying when he is hungry usually only happens at lunch time! Every other meal, he will eat his rice and veggies first and then drink his bottle (after waiting patiently), but for some reason at lunch, he needs to eat his bottle first and then the food. The other funny thing is that no matter how prepared we are (knowing that this crying usually comes), he always starts it a minute earlier than we are ready!

Friday, August 21, 2009

What's on the Menu?

I have to say that the transition into baby food has been going extremely well for Colin! He is doing so well eating new foods and so far we haven't come across a food that he wouldn't eat! I think Colin has adjusted so easily because eating these new types of foods allows him to be a "big" boy by sitting up and he is able to socialize when eating. You should hear him trying to "talk" as he is eating! He has been doing much better with his bottles as well (as long as he is not falling asleep) and it has made the process very enjoyable!

Here is the big boy getting ready to eat...

...I didn't say he was the neatest eater!

So far Colin likes: rice, oatmeal, pears, bananas, carrots, green beans (well, sort of), and butternut squash!

So Long Sweet Summer...

I know the summer is not officially over yet, but it sure feels like it with my return to work and my parents last day with the beach house today. We had a great summer and enjoyed spending it at the beach.


It's amazing how much Colin adapted as he got older. In the beginning, Colin had a hard time at the beach because of the wind. It was constantly taking his breath away and just made for an uncomfortable little boy. However, as time went by, he was able to get out of the stroller more, play on the blanket and even dipped in the ocean a few times! We look forward to all that is yet to come next summer!

Thank you Nana and Grandad for all of your hospitality this summer! We love you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy 4 Month Birthday Colin!

Colin is 4 months old today!

Happy Birthday! We love you very much!

If 4 months have gone by this fast...I hate to see what I'm going to feel like when Colin hits 1!

(I haven't been home in a few days so I haven't been able to put up pictures...more to follow!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Something to Keep in Mind

I came across this in a forward the other day and deleted the "nonsense" part of the forward. However, these words truly struck my heart because this is how Chris and I feel about our life with Colin...

'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence...

'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We Will Survive!

On the eve of my first night before going back to work full time, I have definitely shed some tears. The thought of leaving my baby boy behind devastates me, but I know our family will make it through this.

Before bed tonight, I sat with Colin in the rocking chair and cried to him as I told him how much I loved him and the reasons for going back to work (all for our family). The whole time I was talking to him, he just stared at me and smiled, while he touched my face with one of his hands. I think he was reassuring me that everything will be ok (and as I write this, the tears start flowing again!).

Here is our family on our last full day at the beach together...


It's Not Cap'n Crunch, but it's a Start!

Colin ate rice for the first time (using his new spoon with his name on it from Nana and Grandad!) on Saturday with breakfast! He was such a good boy because he ate all of it! His face after his first few bites looked like he didn't like it, but he still ate the whole amount and has continued to do so at subsequent meals! He definitely seems to enjoy eating more like a big boy than he does with the bottle!

Here is Colin all ready to try rice for the first time!

This is what Colin's face looked like after trying the rice for the first time...

...and here he is with some rice on his face (and notice the rice in his hair!).

The he showed us he's a big boy and held the spoon all by himself (he's also trying to make raspberries with his mouth...spraying us in this picture!)!

Trying the rice wore him out! He had to take a break before he could finish his bottle!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Therapy Update

Colin had developmental therapy today with D and it went pretty well. He had his friends Meredith and Mo there to watch him! He was very happy, smiley and talkative with D, but wasn't as interested in grabbing toys today. As she said, and as I figured, we don't always feel like doing the same things every time, so I guess he just wasn't in the mood to grab at his toys the way he is supposed to. He would still reach for different toys that she would hold up for him, but he would lose interest pretty quickly.

Colin and D sang songs today (he was much happier to perform these activities) and Colin was very happy to sing "The Wheels on the Bus", "Old McDonald", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and "If you're Happy and you Know it". Colin would even make some noises after she would sing as though he was singing with her! She told us that it's really good that he is imitating now (blowing kisses and making raspberries with his mouth) because it's really good for communicating and language development. It's funny because we have been trying some other sounds for him to imitate and you can tell that he is trying, but hasn't quite figured out how to make a different sound.

I feel myself smiling from ear to ear when I watch Colin during therapy because he is always happy and tries hard to do what he is supposed to do. I'm devastated because I will be missing some sessions due to student teaching and work (*sigh*) but it's something I have to do in order to make things better for our family (hopefully switching to teaching). Colin's daddy will be there with him...I will be there in spirit to support him!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting Stronger!

Chris and I are very proud of Colin for his slowly improving head and neck strength! We have really been working with him to improve on holding his head up and we are starting to notice big differences! He loves to sit on your lap and look around while holding his head up. We tried out the bumbo seat recently and he has made BIG improvements in the seat. Now, if his head drops down, he is able to lift it back up and look around!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Many, Many Blessings!

God bless Colin and Chris!

It truly was an honor today to be present for both my husband and my son's baptism. They make me so proud! It is so nice to be part of a church community where we feel so welcomed and comfortable...baptism means so much more to us to know we will be raising our child in this type of community. It is especially meaningful because we have a close relationship with our pastor and others in the church.

It was also an interesting perspective for me to put myself in my parents shoes to witness the baptism of my son, when 28 years ago they stood up in front of their church and did the same thing with me. Colin was blessed to have many generations of family and friends there to celebrate the day with him.
We look forward to raising Colin in His ways...


Thank you Pastor Bill for a beautiful baptism for Colin and Chris!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beach Baby!

We have been enjoying our days at the beach this summer as a family...and we are especially enjoying them now that "life" will be beginning again and I will be returning to work.

Here we are at the beach enjoying our time together:

As you saw in a previous post, Colin really enjoyed the pool he was in (of course the water temp. was in the 80s). We decided to try Colin's toes out in the ocean since it was low tide and the water was warm that day (in the low 70s).

Because I was so excited to put Colin in the water, I didn't take into account the fact that it woudl still probably be shocking if a wave (small wave, mind you) came up and got Colin wet as opposed to me easing him into the water. Even though he cried at first, he relaxed afterwards and was able to enjoy the water a little bit as you can see in this picture:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Physical Therapy Update

Colin had his physical therapy session today and did very well! In fact, he did so well, that he exhausted himself and cried himself to sleep afterwards (he had even taken a nap prior to the session).

While I enjoy physical therapy to see all that Colin accompishes, it does make me a little uneasy because we are reminded of weaknesses. However, I know they are just things to work on which we will continue to do (of course).

Highlights:

Colin did extremely well with his "rolling" activities. The therapist (K) would lay him on his side in side-lying position and see which way he would roll towards. He performs this differently depending on the side he is on. If he rolls to his stomach, she showed us how to assist him to get onto his stomach and then he lifts his head up from that position. If he rolls onto his back, then we put him back onto his side and start the process again. What made this a highlight was that Colin would roll from his side to his stomach, lift his head, then push himself back to his side so he could roll onto his back. The therapist was very happy with how well Colin could perform this activity. She showed us how to start to put him into a position so he will eventually start to extend his arms on his tummy.

Colin showed her how well he can lift and hold his head on his tummy...and then also look around while doing all of this. He tolerates this activity much more.

He was very attentive to K today and showed her how happy he is most of the time. He was talking to her throughout the session and she loved it! She mentioned today that she wished she saw him on a weekly basis! (Who wouldn't want to see him on a weekly basis..he's a cutie!)

Things to continue to work on:

Even though Colin is doing much better with holding his head up when lifting him from his back by holding his hands, he did not show K how well he could do it today. She told us that she felt he was distracted by the overhead light (in trying to make me feel better). She also said that even though he didn't do so well with this activity, she felt that it was ok because he was being so attentive to everything around him.

We also need to continue to work on supporting Colin in a seated position so that he holds his head up while sitting (he loves doing this because he can look around at everyone).

At the end of the session, K made sure we all clapped and cheered for Colin for how well he performed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Loves

Colin has gotten some new animals to play with the past week and he has thoroughly been enjoying them!

First he got the seagull to go with his new beach themed books...

...and then he got Bella the Dog!

Improvements

I am looking forward to physical therapy tomorrow because I really feel that Colin has made some significant improvements since his last visit with the therapist. She had wanted him to continue working on his head/neck control by lots of tummy time, side lying, stabilizing him in a seated position so that he works on holding his head up, and so on.
As you can see in the following pictures, he has really done well with holding his head up. On his tummy, he continues to try and crawl out of the boppy which the pictures begin to show here. By getting himself farther out of the boppy, he then has to lift his head even further.

Anxiousness

Colin will be starting "school" in a few weeks and I am having some anxiety about this new adventure in our lives. I know that Colin will be fine...I'm just not sure I will be ok. I have that fierce need to make sure he is getting everything he needs and I think it's different because of his diagnosis (even though that being a mommy I think this would happen anyway). Chris and I do the things at home that he is supposed to be working on, but I worry that sometimes these things will be overlooked. Fortunately, our therapists agreed to schedule some of their visits at the school so that they can show the teachers some of his activities.

I know we will all be fine...and knowing Colin, he's going to love socializing with all of his friends (especially if he's anything like his daddy!).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gord Bamford - Things Go Better With Love

I just came across this video and thought I would share it with all of you...it's cute!

Link

In case you were insterested, (I forgot to add it to the post before), you can link to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Genetics center by clicking here. It gives a brief synopsis of what they are about and the types of things they do there.

Genetic Counseling

Yesterday, we packed up Colin and headed out to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to the Genetics Center. We were referred there by Colin's pediatrician to get some more information and to discuss our future in having children. I had almost cancelled the appointment because I was feeling that it was going to repeat of what we had done at Jersey Shore with the Infant Toddler Assessment Program. However, we decided that it never hurts to have as much information as possible, especially coming from one of the best hospitals in the country.

We got to the hospital early with ease, registered, and were in the room by 11am. The geneticist came in and very thoroughly evaluated Colin. Her initial evaluation seemed to be focused on his physical features associated with down syndrome. However, she was listing different things she was checking and most of the features were ones that Colin did not have. For example, she said that children with Down Syndrome sometimes have a different sized space between their ring finger and pinky finger, one joint instead of 2 in their pinky which then contributes to a curved pinky. She used a small magnifying lens to look at his fingerprints, his toes, she took many different measurements including his length, head circumference, and chest width. She said that he did not have the flat palmar crease that he was initially thought to have and that the features that he did have were minimal and really just consisted of the almond shaped eyes.

Chris and I felt like such proud parents because throughout the whole evaluation, Colin was one happy little boy (but did you really expect anything less?). Colin was smiling at the doctor and "talking" to her and she commented more than once about how attentive he was at what she was doing. At the end of her evaluation, she lifted Colin up by his arms into a seated position and he picked his head right up like he is supposed to. She also picked him up and he tightened his body (a typical infant reaction) in the manner he was supposed to do.

After the evaluation, she left the room with the genetic counselor and then came back to sit down and talk about everything with us.

The first area the doctor discussed was the science behind the Down Syndrome. Colin's form of Trisomy 21 (another name for Down Syndrome which refers to the 3 chromosomes as opposed to 2) is called nondisjunction. The easiest way to explain it is that at the 21st chromosome (we have 46), he has 3 chromosomes (contain the genetic material) instead of 2. His form is somewhat of a random occurance in the sense that there is not any marker in Chris or I that contribute to Colin having Down Syndrome. If he had had Translocation Trisomy 21 (where the 3rd chromosome attaches to another one, like the 14th, instead of at the 21st), Chris and I would have been tested because we would then be carriers.

Then, she talked about Colin and how impressed she was (he was definitely a show-off!). She asked if we had been told that Colin has low muscle tone (associated with children with Down Syndrome) and we told her we had been told that. She felt that if he had had that before, he certainly doesn't have it now because she felt his strength was great! She also told us that she does not forsee him having much (if any) delays in his motor development (crawling, sitting, walking, etc.) because of how on track he is now and how he doesn't have to learn the things he is already doing. She discussed the possibilities of his future with his cognitive development, but it's a lot of unknown so there really wasn't anything to say besides the things that "could" happen. We are very optimistic though!

Finally, she talked about statistics and probability. We joke that we should play the lottery. For a woman at the age of 28, my chances of having a child with Down Syndrome were 1/1139. I think technically the bottom number would have been higher since I was actually 27...but we will leave it where it is. Even though it is a "random occurance", our chances of having another child with Down Syndrome become greater at 1/100.

The thing is, Chris and I want more children to complete our family and a 1/100 chance isn't going to stop us. However, there is a lot to think about...speaking for myself, I don't fear Down Syndrome anymore. We have a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy and our life is blessed because of him. However, there are other factors involved which we will certainly discuss. Right now, we are going to enjoy Colin and take it one step at a time. As the saying goes "we will cross that bridge when we get there". We love Colin so much and our lives would not be the same without him.

Happy Anniversary!


Colin wanted to wish his Gammy and Grandpa a Happy 40th Anniversary!!


I love you!


Love,

Colin

xoxoxoxxoxo