Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thank You Miss Darlene

Today was Miss Darlene's last day working with Colin. It was both good and bad that I could not be here for it because I probably would have been very emotional! I didn't think we were going to have to say "good-bye" until Colin turned 3! We are very happy for Miss Darlene because she will be moving on to a different job that is great for her family.

We are so grateful for all of the therapists we have for Colin because they all have something unique that they bring with them for his weekly sessions. Miss Darlene was the first therapist to come into our home when Colin was just 4 or 5 weeks old. We were scared, nervous, and not thrilled that this was about to become our life. However, after she left, we felt like "ok, we can do this! It's not so bad!"

We are so thankful for everything that Miss Darlene has done for Colin in the past year and a half. She has helped to make such progress with Colin's development in so many areas, and on top of that, she has provided US, yes Chris and I, with so much moral support throughout the journey. We are sad to see her go, but lucky to have her as our friend now.

You have meant so much to us and Colin! Thank you for everything!!
I love you Miss Darlene! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Weekend of the Grandparents

This holiday weekend was a very busy holiday weekend for Colin as he got to see all of his Grandparents and one of his Great-Grandparents. We started the weekend off on Thanksgiving at Colin's Gammy and Grandpa's house (Chris' parents), saw them again on Friday for lunch, and then headed up north to visit Colin's Great Grandma and Great Poppy. Unfortunately, they weren't home so we didn't get to see them. From there, we went to Nana and Granddad's (my parents) house for the rest of the weekend. While we were there, we saw Great-Grammy (my Grandma on my dad's side) for breakfast on Saturday morning.
Colin loved exploring the new place, and loved to touch as much as possible (Great Grammy has lots of things for Colin to touch that he shouldn't!).

It was a nice weekend for Colin and I to relax (much needed) and I was able to get some school work done while I was there. Here is a cute picture of Colin all bundled up before going for a walk with Nana on Saturday...

Both Chris, Colin and I are lucky to have so many Grandparents in Colin's life and we think it's surely a treasure for him...
Nobody can do for little children what Grandparents can do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust on the lives of little children...
- Alex Haley

Friday, November 26, 2010


Yesterday was Part II of our Thanskgiving celebration. We started on Saturday hosting my family, and then yesterday we went to Chris' parents house to finish celebrating being thankful...
...lots of good food and company. So many things to be thankful for this holiday season!

...Playing with his basketball

...resting with Grandpa

...hanging out with Gammy

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!


One of the things that I love most about belonging to this blogging community is the connection that I feel to all of the fellow mommies out there to children with Down Syndrome. One of my newer blog friends, Patti, at A Perfect Lily, did a beautiful post in conjunction with Thanksgiving. It's the type of post I wish I had read early on in my journey with Colin.

Read the Thankful for You post here...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wooo Hooooooooo!!!

Here is an unexpected post brought to you on Thanksgiving day!!!

We were having a normal breakfast of Colin eating a pancake when I decided to try again to put a pancake on the tray and help Colin to put it in his mouth. I tried once with the hand over hand technique and then look at what he did...over and over and over again!

Colin ate half the pancake by himself with his pincer grip!!!! Woooo Hooo!!!!

After the pancake was done we decided to try and get him to eat a puff, yogurt melt or cheerios. He had no problem using his pincer grip to pick them up, but then he remembered that he didn't like them...

And THESE pictures are a mishap with the yogurt melt....so funny!

Happy Thanskgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

What a great day to be thankful for so many things....I am so incredibly thankful for a beautiful family in Chris and Colin with #2 on the way, a new beautiful home to celebrate in, and loving and supportive friends and families!

This Thanksgiving though, I want to use the idea that so many of my blog friends have used and list the 21 things that I love about Colin...

1. I love the way that he is so loving he will give kisses out to anyone and everyone. At school, they have been telling us that he goes around the room and gives out kisses to all of the little girls. Most especially, I love when you are sitting with him or holding him and out of the blue, unprompted, he will lean over and give you the cutest little smooch.

2. The fact that he has different laughs for different things, with the most hearty one being the one that shows all of his teeth with the cutest little grin ever.

3. ...how much he loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and no fail, will dance to the opening and closing song every. single. time. He will imitate all of Mickey's moves now from the arms swinging side to side to putting them up high in the air.

4. ...when you put him in bed at night now he is just ready to go and follows his same routine. Then, we read a book, I rock him for a minute or two and then he is basically diving into the crib because he just wants to lay down. We hand him Mickey Mouse and he immediately starts rubbing his ear with his little pointer finger, we put his blanket on, and by the time we are done with that he is all puckered up waiting for us to give him a kiss.

5. ...that after going to only 2 of Chris' basketball games he already loves being there and I can just see him "growing up" in the gym. He crawls all over the place, loves saying hi to different people, and claps and cheers in all of the right places.

6. ...the reaction that he gives you when you pick him up from school at the end of the day. It does not matter what kind of day I have had, when i walk around the corner and he sees me, his face lights up and he comes commando crawling over to see me with a big smile on his face.

7. ...the fact that he actually makes me enjoy grocery shopping (I know!). He loves sitting in that cart being able to swing his legs and he waves hi! to almost every person that we pass by. He has now distracted the deli counter girls so much that 2 of them will leave their post mid-slice to come over and say hi to him every time we see them.

8. ...how much he loves being in the bath and swimming now. He has no problem sticking his face in the water, blowing bubbles and splashing all over the place. He is at the point now where he basically cries when it is time to get out.

9. ...singing with him in the car because if the right music is playing, he will sway his shoulders side to side to the beat, pump his arms up and down (2 handed fist pump) and tries to "sing".

10. ...when Colin sits on the floor or in his car seat he crosses his legs indian style...cutest thing ever.

11. ...when he crawls through the house you always know he is coming because he laughing and yelling the whole way. Between the yelling and the commando crawling, you sometimes feel like you are under attack.

12. ...when he plays with his blocks, he will dump them out of the buckets and then put the buckets on his head, and sit there.

13. ...the way he talks to himself in the mirror, he just loves that little guy in there!

14. ...how easy going he is. He will go anywhere, forgo a nap, and still be the happiest little guy.

15. ...the way he gives out a hug. Colin squeezes and pats you on the back just the way you are supposed to and it is the best feeling.

16. ...how he hides toys under furniture and in cracks and puts things out of reach on tables, chairs and the like. My slippers are STILL missing...

17. ...how hard he is working to pull himself up to stand. He grunts and moans to get up now and gets frustrated when he can't grab on to something to do it.

18. ...how much he loves his daddy. There is just something about his daddy...

19. ...how he will blow raspberries on my stomach now. I'm not sure if he knows there is a baby in there or not, but he sure acts like it sometimes!

20. ...how he has "introduced" me to so many blog friends out there. I'm thankful for all of you!

21. ...how he has changed my life. I love you Colin!

Monday, November 22, 2010


So overall, today stunk for me. I didn't feel well, my classes didn't go as well as I had hoped, and I was in the middle of getting observed by my vice principal when the fire alarm went off twice.

But, I left work and went and picked up Colin. When we got home, we sat on the couch together and he made me feel so much better.

How could THIS not make you feel better?

* Warning: don't mind my pregnant belly but it was too funny not get a video *

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Uncle Brian!

Happy Birthday Uncle Brian! I know it was Friday, but I hope you had a great day! I love you!



Cuteness Overload

So at first, I didn't even think I was going to update the blog today because I didn't think I had anything to put up. It's amazing how much can happen in one day after thinking there "wasn't much"!

This first picture is from this morning when Colin and Aunt Kimmy were hanging out before we left for church and before she left to head back up north for her 5K race that she ran today. They just looked so cute sitting there together watching Mickey Mouse!

Later this afternoon, Chris, Colin and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and even though it was chilly, it was beautiful out! Colin has really been enjoying being outside so we have been trying to get out as much as possible. As we were walking back into the garage at the end of the walk, I noticed that Colin was using his pincer grip to pick up a leaf (of all things to use the pincer grip on!) and put it in his mouth several times. My kid won't pick up and eat food, but he will pick up and eat sand and leaves...go figure! After missing his mouth, the leaf ended up on his face....

After the walk, we were watching the end of the Jets game and Colin was really enjoying it. Here is a video of his celebration when the Jets scored to win the game...

Later, after dinner, I had to give Colin a bath and he has been becoming more and more active in the tub lately. One thing that we are really excited about (and can't wait for swim lessons to start) is the fact that Colin will blow bubbles in the water. He has no problem putting his face all of the way in and blowing his bubbles! Here is the video of the bubbles...

However, he also likes to pull to stand in the tub, which is scary enough in itself. I have been grabbing his arm and saying sit and guiding him back down. This time, before I could "guide him back down", he decided to pull himself right out of the tub and flopped onto the floor. Fortunately, I had a hand on his arm to control the "fall" so he didn't even react as he sounded like a wet little turkey hitting the floor. The best part? As I tried to quickly get a towel on him since he was on the cold tile, he started to quickly commando crawl (and commando he was!) out of the bathroom into the kitchen! I honestly couldn't even breathe I was laughing so hard!
Then...the night just keeps going! He just learned this week how to move himself in the car and Miss Kathy said it will be great work for his hamstrings. Here is that video...

After I got him into his PJs, he was playing in the car. He threw the "console" (where the horn and music is) onto the floor and went to get it. There are side rails so he doesn't fall out, but as he was reaching, he tipped the whole car over and fell. Did he react? Nope! You know what he did? He just crawled out of the car and went to get the console...smiling.
He really is turning into such a boy...and a cute one at that!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today we celebrated Thanksgiving in our new house with my side of the family! It was so much fun to host since I can now finally use all of the things that have been in boxes for YEARS since we didn't have the room in our townhouse. Every year, Chris and I have been alternating where we go for Thanksgiving because the year we tried to fit both in only left us feeling disgusting and completely exhausted from all of the eating (TWO FULL MEALS) and driving.

Unfortunately, Uncle Timmy couldn't make it as he lives in North Carolina, and Uncle Pat and Aunt Kristine had to work later in the day, so we made dinner for 1pm. I put Colin down for an early nap since he was up late last night and still got up at his normal time. When he did get up, he was a little bit groggy and enjoyed snuggling.

It's funny how life comes full circle as I have spent 28 years (give or take a few at the end) eating my mom's or relatives delicious turkey dinners and now I was the one making it! The process went a lot smoother than I expected and I had most of the sides made this morning so that all I had to do was heat them up prior to dinner. I just loved the way our table and dining room looked all set up.

This picture is from Halloween, but when we were taking our pictures today we didn't get one of Colin and Nana and Grandad for some reason!

After dinner, and after Pat and Kristine left, we went for a walk around the neighborhood to walk off our full bellies and to give Colin some fresh air. He just loves walking around in his wagon!

I had a quick opportunity to get Colin with his Mickey Ears on from disney before he pulled them off. I would LOVE to get a video of him dancing to his favorite song with his ears on, but I'm not so sure that will happen anytime soon...

It was a great start to the holiday season to cook such a yummy meal and to have most of my family together (missed you Tim!). I feel that my Mom taught me well (I still called her this morning asking questions...lol) so thanks for all of the great advice! Looking forward to the rest of the holiday season!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Pot Pie of Updates

Phew...we have so much to update you on! We have been a very busy household lately and I'm sure it's about to get worse as the holiday season officially approaches.

Yesterday, Colin and I played hooky all day while Chris joined us in the afternoon for a couple of big things. First, we had Colin's 6 month IFSP meeting to review his goals over the past 6 months and to establish new ones for the next 6 ahead. I can't tell you how much I love our EI team and I couldn't feel more honored than to sit with such a wonderful group of women yesterday as they discussed Colin's progress. They all truly care for Colin and believe in all that he can do and will do. We do not discuss numbers at these meetings anymore, but rather, the fact that he IS improving with time in all areas and then set realistic short term goals that we will work on to help him achieve. Numbers used to mean a lot to me, but I am proud of myself that I can look past the numbers, not even really want to know the numbers, and just focus on the progress that I can see Colin making all of the time. Because Miss Darlene will be leaving Early Intervention (Colin's DI), the suggestion was made to drop that service and increase Speech therapy with Miss Amy (who we absolutely love) to 2x a week instead of bringing in someone completely new. I loved this idea and am confident it's the best path for Colin since there is so much overlap with the two therapists.

Afterwards, we went to the endocrinologist to check on the status of Colin's little thyroid gland. Based on the blood work that we had done in September, we are going to keep with the dose that Colin is taking now (25 mg) of Levoxyl. This medication is a thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Although the doctor is not really sure at this time whether Colin actually suffers from hypothyroidism or if his numbers were off previous to the medication just "because", it is safer for us to treat with the medication because of the potential adverse affects on brain development in the 1st three crucial years of life. We have gotten into such a routine with the medication that we are content with this and will continue to have blood work taken ever 3-6 months (depending on the next set of results) and will adjust the medication if needed. When Colin turns 3, we will take him off of the medication and see what happens. At that time, we will be able to determine if Colin will need to take this medication for life, or if in fact, he does not have hypothyroidism.

After Colin and I both took a nice long nap, we woke up to have Chris home shortly after and had some fun doing yard work together. We needed to bag our leaves and clean up the yard one last time before the winter season comes. Although yard work is really hard work, it's so worth having a yard to take care of. Colin loved being outside, even though it was windy and a little bit chilly, and did his part to help out (or mess up) the leaf piles.

Afterwards, we had a yummy dinner at the Bonefish Grill with Mema and Penka who so kindly treated us. What a great way to end a packed day!

Some other "this and thats" about Colin lately...

Today when I picked Colin up, his teacher told me that he was smooching all of the ladies today! One of the little girls had gone over to him and gave him a kiss right on the lips, to the point where every time Miss Stacey would turn around, they would be kissing again! When this little girl would walk away, his original girlfriend, Allison, would come near and Colin would kiss her! I thnk we are in trouble!

Speaking of trouble, Colin knows how to bite now :( We are very stern when this happens, but today, he caught me while I was changing him into his pajamas. He bent down while I had him sitting up and with me thinking nothing of it, he leaned over and bit my stomach! I have to say that due to being so tired and just so taken aback (and it hurt!), I teared up. We are definitely handling this new issue, but wondering what some of you approaches are if you have a biter...I know this is often a "typical" thing that happens with children, but I also don't want it to become an issue.

Finally, to end on a positive note, it's no surprise how much Colin loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We have found that he is completely imitating the song and the way the characters dance in it. If you watch, most of the characters swing their arms from side to side while they are dancing and put their hands up in the air at certain moments. Although this video does not capture the full range of imitating that Colin will do, it does show you how much he loves dancing to his favorite song. Now I just need to get him to wear his Mickey Mouse ears that Nana and Grandad got him in Disney World that has his name on it while he is dancing!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Visit to the ENT

After 17 months, we finally have a definitive result from Colin's hearing test...he passed with flying colors! It has been such a long journey to get to this point, but we are so happy with the results. Aside from Colin's initial test at birth, which he passed, we have yet to get solid results because the original audiologist we were seeing either couldn't get the ear pieces to stay, OR, he had some congestion, OR because they had the wrong size for his ear. Our pediatrician finally referred Colin around 14 months to the ENT and we are so happy with him. He has provided extremely valuable information to us in a way that the layperson can easily understand, he talks to Colin and not just about him, and, he handles his diagnosis in an extremely professional manner.

Most of the tests that have been performed on Colin have been OAE tests, or Otoacoustic emissions Tests. With these types of tests, a tiny probe is put into his ear, and many pulse-type sounds are introduced. From these sounds, a response is generated from the inner ear. The results are averaged and information is aquired as to how well the ear is functioning. There are many factors that can affect these results, such as congestion, ear wax buildup, etc. so even with a failed result, it does not definitively mean that the child cannot hear. Often, failed results refer to an Ear Nose and Throat doctor.

At birth, and in Colin's case, around 12 months of age, an ABR test is performed, or Auditory Brainsteam Response. This type of test generally rules out "worst case scenario" and determines how well the nerve is functioning. In this test, tiny probes are placed in the ears in addition to electrodes placed strategically on the child's head. Click type sounds are introduced into the ear and the computer measures how well the nerve responds to these sounds. Again, there are factors that may influence the results, but generally, this type of testing gives a pretty good idea whether or not the infant/young child has hearing in the normal range.

Finally, at this most recent visit, Colin had a Behavioral Test performed in which he sat in a special booth with Chris directly centered between two speakers. This test measures the child's response to calibrated speech and pure tones (distinct pitches of sounds). The behavioral response could be any way in which the child responds to the sounds. In Colin's case, although one ear was slightly different from the other, they were both within normal range.

Ahhh, success.

Although we will need to continue to follow up every 3 months with the ENT to monitor any sort of fluid in Colin's ear, the doctor is extremely happy with the status of Colin's ears given the nature of reoccurring problems in the inner and outer ear with children with Down Syndrome. We love hearing things like that!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthday Celebration

We had a pretty busy weekend this weekend! Colin and I accomplished lots of tasks around the house and then Mommy and Daddy were rewarded with a night out with our good friends Simon and Leslie while Nana and Grandad hung out with Colin. Yesterday, we headed to Gammy and Grandpa's house to celebrate Colin's Uncle Brian and Aunt Maureen's birthdays. We were a bit late because daddy had to work, but still enjoyed a good dinner together nonetheless....

Colin practiced pulling up and standing on the fireplace ledge...

...playing ball with Uncle Brian...
hanging out with Aunt Maureen...

wrestling with Uncle Brian...

crawling with Aunt Beth...

helping Uncle Brian and Aunt Maureen open presents...


blowing out the birthday candles...

someone's teeth were really bothering him, so Colin got in his PJs and snuggled with Grandpa before leaving to go home...

Happy Birthday Uncle Brian and Aunt Maureen!!