Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

I swear I can't make this stuff up...

When Chris was dropping Colin off at school this morning, he put Colin on the mat while he was putting some of his things away. The teachers started calling to Chris and when he went over to the play mat, he saw his son putting the moves on the new girl! The new girl Alison (only a few weeks younger than Colin) was on the mat and started to roll towards Colin. When everyone looked back, Colin and Alison were holding hands!! Unfortunately, Chris didn't have his cell phone so he wasn't able to snap a picture.

What made me giggle the most was this! During the day today, Colin's teachers took the kids for a walk in their baby buggy and they put Colin and Alison together and Jake and another girl and they said they were on a double date! Colin is following in his father's footsteps, but at a much younger age!!

When I got home from work, I picked Colin up and was chatting with him while Chris was telling me about Colin's girlfriend Alison. Colin was all smiles all of a sudden and was "talking" away as though he was telling me about her! It was funny and very cute.

Colin did very well at dinner tonight (he's been having a hard time at dinner because I think he is so tired at the end of the day)...but made a mess with his green beans. Here is Colin looking at us as though he was saying "what guys, I didn't make this mess".

Here is my happy baby....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quality Time

I was so lucky for the 2nd weekend in a row to have off on Saturday! Chris, Colin, and I all slept in on Saturday morning until 8am! It felt like noon after getting up at 5:20 am all week for me, and 6-6:30 am for the boys.

Unfortunately, Chris had to work both days, but we were able to spend some quality time together when he wasn't working and Colin and I went to visit him at work. Chris' work consisted of a women's soccer game and Colin loved the girls. He had quite a few girls come over to say hi to him and he sure was all smiles for them! It was funny because Colin's friend Simon came over to say hi to him and he wasn't quite smiling for him (he was also a little groggy). However, it was very funny because a few moments later a few girls came over and he was all smiles for them. (Nothing personal Simon, I think he was just excited to see the girls!)

Colin also spent some time with his Nana and Grandad while I did some cleaning and grocery shopping.

Here are a few pictures of Colin from the weekend. Unfortunately, I forgot to take some at the game!
Here is Colin in the bumbo seat playing with some of his toys:

You can see Colin is really inspecting the ring!

Colin really enjoyed making raspberries this weekend and kissy faces. It's funny because he associates raspberries with kissy faces so when he tries to kiss you he does both at the same time!
One of the ways we can get Colin to giggle is to tickle him! Here we are having a great time!

One of Colin's classic favorite toys is the snow leopard from his Noah's ark toy. He is always happy to play with it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Good Times

I have had some long days with student teaching, work, and back to school nights so I haven't had much time to update. I feel terrible that my last post is so negative and has been left up there for a few days.

So...I'm over it and moving on....I know that Colin is doing great and we are going to continue doing all of the things we are doing with him to keep him progressing in the right direction.

I have lots to update!

Colin had his 5 month check-up yesterday! Unfortunately, his regular pediatrician is still on vacation, so we have had a couple of fill-ins. Colin weighs 13 lbs. 10 ounces now! I think his length was measured wrong because it came in an inch shorter than last month! (I'm giggling at the error) Everything is going well and he is healthy and happy! He had a few painful experiences during the visit (one of which I won't get into) including a vaccine.

One of the things Colin loves (just like his mommy thanks to her daddy) is having his hair brushed and head rubbed. Here is Colin after his bath getting his hair brushed. It's so funny to watch because he is often moving around, talking, etc. after his bath and as soon as you start brushing his hair, he stays still and just enjoys the moment.

The next picture is Ole Miss' newest fan! While Chris was down there last year for the NCAA baseball tournament, he befriended some Ole Miss faithfuls who so kindly sent our family Ole Miss gear. Here is Colin before the Ole Miss football game tonight...

Aunt Kimmy picked Colin up from school today and they spent the afternoon together. They worked really hard this afternoon on Colin's exercises and from what I hear, he did really well! Lucky for me, Aunt Kimmy and Colin are coming to visit me at work tomorrow! I can't wait :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ITAP Program Assessment

In addition to Early Intervention, Chris and I had initially had Colin evaluated at the Infant Toddler Assessment Program at the local Children's hospital. This program is similar to Early Intervention except that it entails a developmental pediatrician who also follows his progress. Essentially, without actually speaking to each other, the two teams monitor Colin's progress to make sure he stays on track.

Colin had been assessed by Early Intervention initially when Colin was about 4 weeks old. Based on how well Colin was doing, our "team" made a recommendation for physical therapy 2 times a month and developmental therapy 2 times a month. Fortunately, we were able to alternate the 2 so that Colin was getting one type of therapy a week. Miss K (physical therapist) has felt that Colin's physical progress has been good and because of this, wants to move his sessions to once a week just to make sure he continues to stay on track (only a newer recommendation).

When Colin was about 2 months old, he was also evaluated by the ITAP program. It involved a speech and occupational therapist, a nurse, and the developmental pediatrician. Based on the therapists' 5 minute evaluation, they recommended Colin receive PT once a week. Other than that, it was just some explanations as to what Down Syndrome was, what it meant, and the recommendation that we should continue to follow up with the team.

I was initially nervous about the discrepancy not knowing what to do. However, Miss K felt that Colin was doing well and that we were doing everything we could on a daily basis, so it wasn't necessary to increase to once a week then. Also, Miss D was doing PT as part of her developmental therapy. As you've seen over the past few months, Chris and I, as well as friends and families, make sure they do Colin's exercises when they spend time with him. He is certainly not neglected in doing the things he needs to do.

So, yesterday Colin had his check-up with the ITAP program (every 3 months when they are under a year old) and I still have a bad taste in my mouth. We walked into the room and put Colin on the mat on his stomach because I knew they would want to see his head control. He did so well holding his head up high, looking around, reaching his arm out in front of him. The OT immediately picked him up, sat him up (which he did well with) and then tried to get him to support himself with his hands in front of him in a sitting position (which he is not able to do yet). She flipped him around a few times and was finished. Then, the speech therapist stuck her finger in Colin's mouth for 30 seconds and was finished.

The OT then sat back in her chair (after not saying anything to us) and then immediately asked me why we didn't follow their recommendation to have PT done once a week. I felt like we were being reprimanded and answered everything I just explained earlier in the post. After that, she scribbled some notes, asked if we had any questions, and dismissed us. I was steaming so Chris just asked why the speech therapist did what she did (since neither explained what they were doing).

The nurse asked us a few questions, plotted Colin's numbers, and based on the small amount of things Colin is not doing, told us that he falls on the minimal end of the scale for his age (mostly because he can't sit on his own, not really putting his feet down to bear weight when holding him, and because he's saying vowel sounds but not consonant sounds).

After all of this, the developmental pediatrician at least made us feel like we were doing something right. She told us that Colin looked great, we were doing a great job with him and reinforced that we should continue to do things we are doing with him.

I know that Colin can't do every single thing right now because some things are more difficult for him. I also know that Colin is doing more positive things than negative things and every single negative thing was emphasized with none of the positives being reinforced. Chris and I feel that Colin has come a long way way from when we first found out that he had Down Syndrome and from when he was first having some difficulties with head and neck control. I feel that he is doing new things every day and working on the things that he isn't doing as well.

I also know that the point of the program is keep track of his development and to try to work on the things that he can't do as well. However, considering the fact that we are #1 new parents and #2 new parents of a child with Down Syndrome, there could be some positive things said to us.

Phew, got that off my chest...

Rivals Give Last Touchdown to Player With Down Syndrome - ParentDish

I have come across this video several times and just wanted to share it with you...click on the link to get to the video.

Rivals Give Last Touchdown to Player With Down Syndrome - ParentDish

Shared via AddThis

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy 5 Month Birthday Colin!

Colin is 5 months old today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY COLIN!

Colin "Did it"!

Colin received his "I did it" shirt yesterday! We were so excited and proud to have our very own shirt thanks to the Sanchez Family! I stumbled upon their blog awhile back and discovered their creation of the shirt. It's something we can use to honor our little ones as they accomplish developmental milestones.

We have so many different ways we want to show off Colin's new shirt, but for now, here is one of Colin's biggest accomplishments...the Bumbo seat. It's not something that Colin uses all of the time, but back when he was struggling with his neck control, he couldn't sit it in at all. Now, he can sit in it for short stretches of time, holding his head up like a big boy, looking around, and even playing with toys! In this picture he is waving hi! to all of you (especially the Sanchez family!)In the next picture, he is holding one of his shape blocks and putting in his mouth!

One of the new exercises Miss K recommended this week to strengthen Colin's trunk muscles is to sit him on an exercise ball with your hands near his waist and lightly roll him around so he has to use his trunk to hold himself up. It's a lot more difficult than it looks for the person holding Colin, but here he is "doing it" (just without the shirt on!).
We are just so proud of Colin!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Physical Therapy Update

Colin had physical therapy yesterday with Miss K and it was a pretty good session (according to his daddy). Colin was a little bit cranky and not all that into doing some of the things that we know he can do. I had written out a big note/list for Miss K since I wasn't going to be there and told her all of the new things Colin is doing since he last saw her (reach for objects on his tummy, extending his arms on tummy) the things is he is still doing well (rolling [when he wants to], reaching for objects with both arms, sitting in the bumbo seat, tummy time, etc.), and some questions about the next phase of development.

One of the questions I asked her was in regards to sitting. I know that he still has a little ways to go before he will be able to do that, but I also know that it's the next phase of development so I was curious about it. Colin is able to sit while supported by our hands and holds his head up so well now. She told us that it's still early because he doesn't have enough trunk musculature, but gave some exercises we could do to work on this. One of the exercises is to sit Colin in the edge of the couch, with our hands just above his waste, and rock him back and forth, side to side, diagonally, etc. She recommended an exercise ball for this exercise.

She also gave us exercises in regards to crawling. Since he is starting to extend his arms when on his tummy, he is getting into the precursors to crawling. Therefore, one of the exercises is to help Colin move the opposite leg to the arm he is extending when on his tummy as in combat crawling.

As always, Miss K is very thorough in her evaluation sheet and gives plenty of things for us to work on. She had mentioned at the last session that she wanted to try to get Colin moved to once a week to make sure that he stays on track. This week she said that we will have to wait until after Colin's 6 month appointment with our case manager. I was a little bit disappointed that we would have to wait since I've had it in my head now. The more the better right?

Colin's teachers at school have been great and have been doing a lot of Colin's exercises with him. Obviously they can't do every single one, but they work on what they can and make sure they are at least doing the basics (tummy time, supported sitting, etc.). He seems to really like it there so I know we made a good decision. We have back to school night on Tuesday! I am looking forward to it since I'm sure it's the first of MANY!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction

Colin was MUCH better today! He fell asleep in the bouncy seat and slept the whole night in it, which must have helped with drainage. There were a few times in the night when he would stir and sound like he might get upset, but I would just bounce it for a few minutes and he would go back to sleep.

Chris said this morning that he did not feel warm, he was happy, and ate a hearty breakfast (he must have been hungry after yesterday!). He slept for a little over 2 hours in the morning at school and then a little under 2 hours in the afternoon, right up until Chris picked him up. His teachers said he was a very happy little boy and enjoyed painting with his toes today! He had hardly any congestion and was in bed asleep by 8:00 tonight.

So, in the end, just a teeny tiny cold with lots of discomfort for a little boy. Glad he's feeling better! It's miserable to watch your little baby not feel well and not be able to do anything for him!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Cold

Colin has his first cold :( He has had some minor congestion for about a week now but culminated to a horrible night last night.

I should preface this by saying that we have never had to deal with this much crying before at one time. When Colin was an infant, we used to wake him up so that he would eat, not the other way around.

So, last night at 1am when we were woken up by the most hysterical crying we have ever heard from Colin we were at a loss as to what we should do. Of course we did the obvious: rocking him, tried giving him a bottle, a pacifier (which he's never used), etc. Nothing worked. After 2 hours or so of this (and passing him back and forth) we finally realized that he liked being upright better (probably helped with the congestion) and ended up being able to put him in his bouncy seat where he had a fitful sleep for the rest of the night.

This is what Colin looked like last night, this morning, and this afternoon...

...it breaks my heart just looking at it! I have never felt so helpless before!

Because Colin had a fever today and the fact it was our first time dealing with a cold/possible teething issues, Chris brought him to the doctor (more to make ourselves feel better). He was just told that Colin had some congestion but no ear infection, thrush, etc. Oh, and by the way, with clothes on Colin weighed over 13 lbs.!

Here is Colin at the doctor's office on the table:

...so, he had moments where he did much better. He ate a pretty good dinner, got his pj's on, and fell asleep in his bouncy seat. We think we are just going to have him sleep in that (as per the doctor) to help keep his head clear and help drain the "stuff". Let's hope for a better night!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Look at What I Can Do!

Colin has been progressing so well the past few weeks! We are so happy because we know it means Colin is doing well at home and at school.

Here are a few of the things that Colin is now doing:

  • Extending his arms on his tummy: We are beginning to notice that when Colin is on his tummy, he is starting to move his arms from the triangle support underneath him to straight-armed out in front of him. We have been very excited about this because we know this is the next progression but we have only touched upon it with Miss K in physical therapy. Here is a picture that give you the idea, but it's not quite accurate because he is leaning on a pillow here. He does this without the pillow on his tummy.

  • Holding blocks and making sound: Colin is starting to understand the more we practice it that when he holds the blocks and bangs them together, they make noise. He loves making noises with the blocks and it's so cute to watch. Colin is able to look at them while he is holding them and is also starting to explore them with his mouth! Here is Colin playing with the blocks with Aunt Kimmy:

  • Responds to his name! This is something that has been progressing slowly for awhile now, but Colin definitely knows his name.

Congrats Uncle Timmy!

Uncle Timmy completed his triatholon yesterday and did very well! Unfortunately, due to lightening, the swim turned into a 2 mile run so the race consisted of a run, bike, run. Here is Uncle Timmy and Uncle Pat at the race:

We are so proud of Uncle Timmy for raising $685 to the Special Olympics! We are also thankful to Uncle pat who took the drive out to support him in his race! Here are a few more race pics:

Dear Uncle Timmy~

Thank you so much for participating in this race and for raising money in my honor. I love you very much!




Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finger Painting!

When Chris picked up Colin today, one of the teachers that works at the school was so excited to give him this picture...

It looks like Colin is having a GREAT time finger painting! It makes us so happy to see that Colin does so many different things at school and is "stimulated" in so many different ways.

Good Luck Uncle Timmy!

Colin's Uncle Timmy is heading to Colorado today for the Boulder Triathalon this Saturday, the 12th. He is competing for himself AND raising money for the Special Olympics in honor of Colin.

For more information, you can access his link here: http://www.active.com/donate/TFYCSep122009/TWillia675

We are so proud of you Uncle Timmy! Good luck!

Monday, September 7, 2009

"I Did It" Update!

It amazes me that one day Colin is having trouble with or just learning a particular skill and then the next day he is excelling! I posted the other day about how Colin attempted to reach for an object on his own without us helping him when on his tummy.

Well....today Colin was playing with Daddy and was reaching and picking up toys continuously on his own while on his tummy!

Colin posed for Daddy...

...then he realized the toys were in front of him.

...stopped to smile for Daddy again...

...got ahold of the orange ring...

...picked it up...

...then decided he wanted the larger ring...

...and picked that one up too (although he's not happy in this one)!

Oh, and he's putting toys in his mouth more now too!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Did it!

One of the newer things Colin has been working on is reaching and grabbing while on his tummy. The way Miss K has us approaching this is to shift Colin's body weight to one side and assist one of his arms to reach towards an object in front of him when he is on his tummy.

While we were at Simon and Leslie's today, Colin was playing on the floor with some objects out in front of him as you can see here:

I had been sitting on the ground playing with him, but was not assisting him formally. All of a sudden, Chris brought my attention to the fact that on his own, Colin reached and grabbed the ring! He even pulled it in towards him! This picture is not the original moment but the second time around.

It's amazing, yet fun, to get excited over ALL of the milestones!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Colin's First Art Project

One of the activities that Colin's class did today was draw a picture! Here is Colin's lovely piece of work:

I know it didn't come out very well in the picture, but you should see it in person! I have to say that my eyes welled up (yes, that happens often these days) because it was so cute that they helped him do it!

Also, hanging up above his crib at school, are Colin's footprints! They helped him dip his feet in paint and put his footprints on a piece of paper! I have to say that I'm very happy with Colin's school! He had a full slate of activities today and I'm so happy to see that he is doing all of it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Physical Therapy Update

The therapy visits just keep on rolling!

Colin had the BEST physical therapy session today that he has had yet. I was watching the video that Chris took of the session and I had tears in my eyes because I was so proud of Colin (and because I missed it!). I just sat there as my heart swelled with pride for my little boy. I can't even fully put into words right now how I felt as I just sat there and watched it.

I also have to say that I am so incredibly happy with both of Colin's therapists. They are both so incredibly caring and knowledgeable that I know my whole family are better because of them. Not only is Colin excelling, but Chris and I are learning valuable information at the same time.

It's also so amazing to me how the physical therapy visits build upon themselves. Obviously the therapists plan on what they are going to do, but because Colin changes so fast it's almost a natural progression (and following normal development progressions).

This is what Colin is already doing:
  • Pull to sit - and holding his head while he does it
  • Supported sitting
  • Tummy time with great head extension
  • Rolling from tummy to back
  • When lying on his back, he can bring his arms to midline to grasp objects (and brings his legs up)
  • Reach and grasp objects

This is how Miss K built upon those skills today:

  • Pull to sit from side-lying and also making Colin grasp objects on his own first, or grasp her fingers before performing this exercise
  • In supported sitting, she introduced holding objects in both hands and banging those objects together and on a container to make noise (which he loved doing!)
  • On his tummy, she started assisting him to reach his arms out in front of him for an object by shifting his weight to one side
  • Since he was already rolling, she introduced giving him some support to "kick off" her hand (and also because he is already bringing his knees up under him to push off of - He rolled about 5 times in a row VERY easily)
  • Placing an object on his tummy to bring his arms to mid-line which has also been encouraging him to bring his legs up as well!

Not only did Colin build upon all of his previous skills, but he lasted the whole session without ONE complaint! Also, where his right arm was lagging a little bit when compared to his left he showed GREAT improvements with his ability to reach and grasp with his right arm! We are so proud of our little boy!

Something to Read...

I would like to share this with all of you and I came across it on Jennifer's blog (thank you!)...

...it's written from the perspective of a father who has a child Down Syndrome.

Click here to read the article.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of School!

Colin had his first day of school today!! Here is Colin with his bookbag out front of our house ready to go!

I think a couple of things that made this difficult were:
  • Who WANTS to leave their baby? I wish we were in the position for me to be able to stay home, but we're just not, so it's something we just accept and find the best way to deal with.

  • The first time doing something is NEVER easy. It's a fear of the unknown (did we pick the right place, will Colin thrive, will he be happy, will he still continue progress as well as he has been?)


  • We ALL survived! Chris and I shed a few tears, but when we stood outside of his classroom and looked in, Colin was as happy as could be on his tummy with some of the other babies. I ended up handling it better than I thought because Colin was ok.

  • When I picked Colin up, he was STILL as happy as could be AND he was getting some one on one attention because he was the last one there in his classroom.

  • When I got home with Colin, he was STILL as happy as could be...so that tells me he had a really good day and he was happy to be with his Mommy.

  • He did some of his exercises throughout the day and got several women to fall in love with him (did we really expect anything less?).

I know we will continue to be ok and I think Colin will get these positive things out of school:
He will make friends and socialize!

  • He will adapt to new people (his teachers).
  • Modeling is always a good form of education and his class ranges in children aged 6 weeks to 12 months.
  • The teachers always have a full day of activities including language (signed bottle today), sensory stimulation (played with cold ice cubes), art, self-help/life skills (practiced holding spoon), motor skills (play time on mat), music and movement (danced to kids bop 80s), and cognitive development.

Here's to another great day!