Monday, February 28, 2011
What a great day! (If the slideshow doesn't load the first time, try refreshing the page)
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Yesterday, friends and family participated with Team CAT Crew in our 2nd annual Special Olympics of NJ Polar Bear Plunge! It was an amazing day as the winds died down, the rain stopped, and the sun was shining for "our" (I was not able to participate this year) plunge into the ocean.
Some facts about the day:
- Approximately 5,100 people plunged for the Special Olympics
- Approximately $1.5 million was raised and the number is STILL climbing!
- CAT Crew raised $32,656 so far because the number is STILL climbing with any donations that were given yesterday not accounted for yet!
- CAT Crew had more members than last year at 55!
- Water temp: 39 degrees
- Air temp: about the same
This year, plunge day was a bit different for me as I got to experience the plunge as a spectator. While I was extremely emotional last year with it being our first year and all, this year I got to hold Colin as our unified CAT Crew team jumped in together. The tears were flowing as I thought about our journey and how lucky Chris, Colin and I are to have family and friends and people that we had never met before that would do anything for us...INCLUDING jumping into the Atlantic Ocean on a 30-something degree day into 30-something degree water. Wow, what a legacy Colin has started...all because he was born with a little something extra.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
It's amazing how you feel so low when things aren't going well (feeding issues) and when they have their "quiet" periods where you don't see much changing and how high you feel when there is something new happening all of the time.
Colin decided it's time to start using his legs more often and he is pulling up to stand on everything....the toilet, the tub, the couch, his easel, us, etc and is even starting to cruise a little bit when he is motivated. We can now practice walking with him where we only have to hold his hands and he will bear all of his own body weight. It has been fun to watch him exploring this new territory!
Colin has also been showing us how his communication is improving. There are so many times in a day where I just can't help but smile because I realize just what he is comprehending or hear the new sound that he is making. He has so much to say, but just needs to connect what he is actually saying in his head to the correct sounds. He is still in the sophisticated babble stage (as you could see in past videos), however, little by little we hear correct sounds emerging.
Although the frustrations at feeding time are still there, they have gotten slightly better now that his most recent teething stage has passed for the time being. He is back to eating all of his same 5 foods, but he IS eating them and starting to take more and more control. We are still going to get the feeding assessment because he still isn't chewing (just munching) and I feel he has significant issues with textures but again, we are at least back to all being able to smile at meal time.
We are only a week and a half out from my due date and I can't wait to see what Colin is going to be like as a big brother. The anticipation is just killing me!
Monday, February 21, 2011
We all met at Surf Taco because they were having a great fundraiser for us! What they did was set up a date and then all we had to do was spread the word and pass around flyers to local friends and family. When anyone went to Surf Taco with the flyer, Surf Taco would donate 20% of the cost of the meal to CAT Crew and the Polar Bear Plunge ! We are so thankful for their support with this great deal! The boys are so similar when it comes to feeding challenges, so it was nice for me to be able to have someone there who was in a similar boat.
Afterwards we headed back to our house for play time!! It's so nice to be in this house now with a great big play room for the kids to run around and play in. At one point I looked over and Colin and Bennett were playing with a toy together quietly and it was just so cute!
The day went by so fast and as always, we had a wonderful time! I can't wait for the next play date!
Thanks Donovan family for a great day!! xoxo
For more super adorable pictures, head over to Adrienne's blog at Our Unexpected Journey.
She's got a much better camera than I do! :)
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Although we still have major difficulties in the feeding department and the teeth issue has been a bit tough to take, there are so many other areas that are starting to change and it's so much fun to watch. Looking back in that 1st year, I was so impatient waiting for milestones to happen. Patience during development of a child with Down Syndrome is definitely something that needs to be learned (I am STILL learning that when it comes to feeding) but the rewards are so much sweeter when you can patiently wait for them to happen.
Colin's gross motor development has an "air of change" about it. He is willingly "creeping" (hands and knees) crawling all over the place, even on the hard wood floor which is more challenging. He is climbing like crazy on everything! He is pulling to stand so much more now. And the most exciting? He is starting to take steps (with help of course) where his body is upright and HE is bearing most of the weight (we are not having to support him as much). Although we are a ways away from walking, the change is so much fun to watch because he has worked SO HARD to get here.
We got a call from Colin's teacher today about a "boo boo" report because he was climbing/pulling to stand at the shelves and hit his forehead on the way down causing a small bruise. You know what's bad? I shrugged it off because I was so happy to hear he was climbing!
Then later today, Chris was putting laundry in the washer when Colin creeped over on hands and knees, pulled to stand at the laundry basket, and then climbed in!
And this second video is Colin's hard work paying off...step! step! step!
Monday, February 14, 2011
The second appointment was last week when we went to see Colin's pediatrician Dr. Uma. I had scheduled the appointment so we could check in with her, finish up his vaccinations, and get some scripts for things like feeding therapy assessment, orthodics, and discuss any weight issues. Well, she was a little unhappy because in the past 4 months, Colin has only gained 2 OUNCES. We were shocked because despite all of the weight issues when Colin was a newborn, this is the least amount of weight he has ever gained in that span of time. She did bring up a good point that he is much more active now, but would like to see him gaining more weight. She has us keeping track of his intake so that she can figure out a calorie total which brings me back to the months of keeping track of how many cc's and then ounces he was drinking of his formula. It makes me a bit stressed, but he looks like a healthy boy and so we will continue with what we are doing, even if it IS frustrating.
Finally, we were off to see the urologist today regarding Colin's "retractable" testicle (which seems to be better now) as well as his circumcision. We never felt that it was done correctly the first time because he has always had excess skin and at times, it appears as though it wasn't actually done. The urologist felt that after giving it a year, it wasn't going to be changing so our only option to fix the problem would be a circumcision revision. This procedure is of course optional, since circumcisions are elective from the beginning. We chose a circumcision for a reason which includes hygiene issues as well as appearance issues. It's a scary though to put Colin under anesthesia for something that is elective, but I have to say that I am drawn to fixing it for many reasons. Everyone has their own reasons for why or why not they may not circumcise their children, so I apologize if I offend anyone, but I feel that Colin is going to face so many circumstances because he is different, that I don't want this to be one more. It's ironic because this is something that has nothing to do with Trisomy 21, yet we have to make a decision anyway.
We discussed with the doctor our fears about the anesthesia, and he said that Colin really isn't at any more increased risk that any other child his age because he has always been very healthy. It would be a short procedure and one that if we decide to do, should be done by the time he is 2 because it becomes more painful the older a child gets. So, we have a lot to decide and I'm not sure which direction we will go. The only thing that makes me pause about making this decision is putting Colin under so that will be significantly weighed into our decision.
To leave you on a fun note...here is Colin "chatting with Daddy"...
Friday, February 11, 2011
Looking at pictures with Great-Grammy...
So happy to spend time together!
Snuggling in with Great-Poppy and Great-Grandma...
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Looking forward to getting our happy and healthy little boy back!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Our poor little guy is suffering from a tooth explosion. He hasn't been himself for the past week or so now, and for the past 4 days straight (maybe more), he has been up most of the night. He's got a bit of a cough, so when he cries, he coughs, which makes him cry more and it becomes a sick cycle. I picked him up from school today and he just seemed a bit bummy. I bring him in the house, put him in the family room while I carry in the rest of the stuff and get changed and today, when I came back in, he was just laying on the floor resting his head on his hands. He looked pitiful. For Colin to just lay there like that, you know he isn't feeling well.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
We had a great time yesterday and we are so grateful to Uncle Pat and Aunt Kristine for getting everything organized and for creating baskets that raised a lot of money as a Chinese Auction/raffle. Special thanks to the workers and owner of the Dubliner who allowed us to have this event for our team. We are so appreciative to ALL of you who show your love for our little boy by these little things that you are doing...
...this little boy wasn't feeling the greatest yesterday with his teeth bothering him, but he was still as cute as ever and represented CAT Crew well!
Self-portrait with my little guy who was pretty clingy with me yesterday (can't say I don't mind!) but I am much more used to him being more than willing to go to anyone...
Thursday, February 3, 2011
The feeding issue spiraled downward to a meltdown on all parties involved, however, I am starting to come to the conclusion that this recent bout of horribleness is related to the fact that there are molars popping through all over the place in Colin's mouth. He hasn't been wanting to eat anything (including Daddy's ice cream cake...shocking!), he's been spitting up a lot, and he really hasn't been himself (biting, hitting, spitting, etc.). Considering the fact that it's molars coming through, I can imagine how painful it must be. So, I have regrouped today and been more patient through all the spitting at dinner time and disciplined as needed, but "kept my cool". We did decide at dinner last night that it's time to try something new, so we are going to go and getting another feeding assessment done at a place recommended by our speech therapist. I've been reading a book that's been helpful, but I need to feel like we are trying something more. Even more importantly, I think it's time for us to try and control the stress we have been feeling and therefore exhibiting. I can't imagine THAT helps very much either. I am also very grateful to Kelly at My Little Son-Shine for a conversation that has made me feel so much better...
Last night, we had dinner out to celebrate Chris' 35th birthday party. Colin wasn't interested in dinner, but we still had a good time nonetheless.
Look at him go on all fours!
Self-portrait with my little cutie :)
How do you say no to a boy who crawls over to the TV on all fours and tries to push buttons when Mickey stops? I am laughing just writing this because he is a boy who knows what he wants!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
We hope you have the best day! We love you so much so we decided to show you in 35 ways...
Colin's got the odds...and I've got the evens!
1. C: I love the way you make me smile and get excited when you walk in the door!
2. K: I love the way you rub my head at night to help me fall asleep, no matter how tired you are.
3. C: I love the way you play with the basketball with me...you make me laugh so hard!
4. K: I love how you take care of our family and how you want to spend time with us!
5. C: I love the way you sit with me in the morning to watch Mickey Mouse.
6: K: I love how you do silly things to cheer me up (Oh. my. God. my book!)
7. C: I love how you check on me so many times at night...and give me one. last. kiss. before you get in bed.
8. K: I love how you leave me sweet notes on the dry erase board.
9. C: I love how you loved me from the very beginning, even when you found out I was a little bit different than you expected.
10. K: I love how you always remember the date we first hung out and our wedding anniversary every month and say Happy 27 or Happy 15!
11. C: I love how you dance all silly with me even if someone is watching.
12. K: I love how you take care of all of the laundry, so particularly.
13. C: I love how you cheer for me every time I do something great.
14. K: I love how supportive you have been through my old career, getting my Masters degree, and then switching to teaching (even when planning lessons took me away from you!)
15. C: I love how you stay at school a few minutes longer and watch me from the window when you drop me off to make sure I am ok.
16. K: I love how you scoop me ice cream and poor me juice every night that you are home.
17. C: I love how you sit with me on the floor and play with me every night before bed.
18. K: I love how you talk to my tummy to let the baby know you are there.
19. C: I love how you teach me how to do new things!
20. K: I love how you make my coffee every morning for me, BEFORE you have to make a new pot for yourself.
21. C: I love how you tell me not to give up when I get frustrated when I can't do something...that's going to make me such a good person!
22. K: I love how you have found a way to BE with us when you get home and not have to do work that often...
23. C: I love how you you are really disappointed when you can't come to one of my doctors appointments.
24. K: I love how you send me updates during Colin's therapy every day so I know exactly what I am missing.
25. C: I love how you hug me and squeeze me so that I always know how much you love me.
26. K: I love how you rub my feet or legs when I have had a really long day, especially when it isn't returned as often.
27. C: I love how you work really hard with me to say certain sounds, especially mommy.
28. K: I love how your family comes first, no matter what.
29. C: I love how you kiss me on the cheek!
30. K: I love how you are so patient with Colin as he learns how to do things.
31. C: I love how you always make me work hard, but you always make it fun too!
32. K: I love how you do whatever it takes to make me feel better sometimes.
33. C: Most of all, I love how much you love me. I will never ever question that...
34. K: Most of all, I love how much you love me...I will never ever question that...
35. C & K: We love that you are a part of our lives!
Happy Birthday!!! xoxoxoxoxxoxoxox
There ARE bright sides, I can assure you of this...feeding may be horrible these days, but he is doing so well in other areas.
...he's standing more and more...
...he's climbing like crazy! We don't have stairs in our house (we were visiting in this picture), but we set up makeshift stairs with the couch cushions and he climbs so great!
...he's crawling on hands and knees more and more...
...he's doing more IN a standing position...
...and he is making more attempts to take a step (although he hasn't quite figured it out yet) from side to side towards cruising.
...so as Chris always says to me, tomorrow is another day!