It wouldn't be the beginning of Down Syndrome Awareness Month without the re-introduction to Colin, the first star of this blog. He was born just over 7 years ago in April and we were not expecting nor had we planned for the surprise he brought at his birth. We can vividly remember sitting there together wondering how we were going to move forward because of all of the ways we thought our life was going to change. Instead, this perfect little person has taught us things about life that we had been missing before his arrival and would never have learned if it weren't for him.
Colin is a 7 year old little boy who attends a regular 1st grade class at our local elementary school. He loves all things sports and currently takes Karate, dance lessons (ballet and tap together), and plays rec soccer. In addition, he is an active member of his Sunday School and youth group programs at our church as well as participates in various Special Olympics programs at different times of the year. He loves to sing, dance and act out and enjoys playing with his superhero figurines. He will choose a sporting event like soccer on TV over any other show.
His favorite meal to this day is STILL cottage cheese with strawberries however, his menu also includes yogurts, pudding, cheese sticks, bananas, ice cream (vanilla and chocolate), various types of noodles with red sauce, pancakes, pizza, Perdue chicken nuggets, apple sauce, occasionally eggs, and fruit snacks. He is very curious about food and although he is not ready to try most things, he will intently watch whoever is eating something he is interested in very closely.
This summer was a big period of growth for Colin in many ways both literally and figuratively. He has matured so much, especially now that he is able to communicate better and in more complete sentences. He will tell us with his words when he is angry or frustrated and has so much more self control that he has had in the past. While we never would have considered him a "runner", he was often apt to head off in any direction if there was something that caught his eye or a thought that crossed his mind. We always had to anticipate what could happen next. However this summer, we were a lot more relaxed and trusting of him because he very rarely did this and if he did, he was able to quickly be redirected. He is also one of the most polite people I know and uses his manners most of the time.
While he still struggles socially to fully carry on a conversation in certain situations, he also has come so far in that this has been a big area of improvement for him. He needs less prompting from us in many of his social interactions and is more interested to carry on his conversations for longer periods of time.
There is absolutely no doubt that Colin loves his family. He is so sweet and caring and can often be found giving hugs and kisses to any of us at any given time. His interactions with his siblings are very typical as they can all be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. He just loves with all of his heart...
It is also important to re-introduce Colin's sister Kailey and brother Cody as they are also stars to this blog. They are considered your "typical" children compared to Colin but in our household, they all have their own specialness to them.
Kailey is 5 years old and currently attends Kindergarten in the same elementary school as Colin. She is very much a girl both in her interests and in her personality. She is the boss of the siblings and if things don't go the way she wants them to, you know about it through her actions. She loves clothes, baby dolls, jewelry and nail polish. She dances in the same ballet and tap class that Colin is in and also plays rec soccer. She currently loves school but we mostly hear about the social piece from her when she's asked how her day was. She's incredibly helpful and independent and a great eater. She can also be a bit obsessed about TV if we're not too careful.
Cody is the baby and just turned 2 years old. He's fiercely independent and MUST do all things in the same way Colin and Kailey do (and this is incredibly challenging). He's got a very funny personality and is doing many things developmentally much earlier than Colin or even Kailey were doing. He is slowly potty training himself (which is awesome) and loves Paw Patrol. He's our worst sleeper out of the bunch but things are slowly improving in that area. He has certainly brought a whole new spunk to our family!