Thursday, June 30, 2011


When we first met with our case manager when Colin was less than a month old, she explained to us how therapy was going to work. We had some therapists come in who only did the assessments, and we felt as though we needed to make sure they knew everything that Colin was doing so that they got an adequate assessment of him. In the beginning it was decided that Colin would receive developmental therapy two times a months as well as physical therapy two times a month. At the time, we were a bit overwhelmed with this new schedule and having people come to the house (was it clean enough? would they be ok working in Colin's bedroom since it was the biggest room in the house? What would they think of him?). However, with time, we grew to love Colin's therapists and the purpose of therapy.

We have gone through periods of time where Colin hasn't wanted to do certain things, or he wasn't feeling well, or he wouldn't sit still, etc. and it was frustrating, but for the most part, Colin works really hard and does what is asked of him. Through time, we have only increased the therapies that Colin receives as well as have had new therapists come into our home. We had one therapist who didn't work well with Colin and finally made a decision to switch. Today, Colin receives physical therapy two hours a week, speech therapy two hours a week, occupational therapy one hour a week, and developmental intervention (teacher) one hour a week for a grand total of six hours per week. When we were adding DI back, we were a bit concerned about too much and it was important for this new therapist to keep it fun and light, but also, focus on the goals set forth for him (completing tasks, follow directions, and emphasizing pretend play). We are lucky to have a great team who found another great therapist to work with Colin. Her name is Amber and we already love Amber. Her and Colin have already clicked.

Our team of therapists, Kathy, Regina, Amy, Amber and to always help us out when needed, Darlene along with Nancy our case manager have always done whats best for Colin. They have always listened to our needs, our concerns and have even lent a listening ear for us as well. These people have become our friends and we are truly thankful for all that they do for Colin.

With each of them, Colin has a relationship and a repore. He is starting to test his limits with some of them just like he does with Mommy and Daddy, but the good thing about relationships is that you can test the limits and bounce right back.

Miss Regina focuses a lot on fine motor skills with Colin and does a lot of hand over hand activities. She is always trying new things and keeping things fun so that Colin stays interested. Last week she encorporated water play with Colin with activities like squeezing.

Amy was Colin's love when she came in. These days, he definitely tests his limits with her, but as long as she pushes through, he still does what she asks. They have a routine during each session and this routine has been really successful for Colin in enunciating certain sounds. His communication skills are soaring right now and since Amy started with us, we have seen immense progress in this area.

One thing I like that Amy does is incorporates a sound with a tactile cue. For example, in the following picture, Amy has Colin touch his nose to make the "nnnn" sound. She has really gotten a lot of progress just by using these different cues.

This picture reminds me of something that happened today. Sitting at the table is a relatively new thing during speech therapy because Colin always used to be content just sitting on Amy's lap in front of the mirror for the entire session. However, Colin has become really antsy and so we graduated to the table and chairs which has worked to keep Colin in place with his attention focused. Occassionally, Colin becomes tired and will cross his arms the way he has them in this next picture and will then rest his head on his arms. During therapy today, he took it one step further. She was asking him to make a certain sound one more time (a common phrase used these days during therapy) and I guess he didn't feel like it because he put his hands on his head and said what sounded like "ugh" and then put his head down on his arms. It was hysterical.

Miss Kathy, the PT is always challenging Colin and is able to push him further than others can, but also by making it fun for him.

She is the therapist who has now been with him the longest and they have a really great relationship. She wants Colin to walk as much as any of us and is working really hard to make that happen.

We are really proud of the fact that because of Kathy's help, Colin has moved along his physical development very smoothly. Yes, things have taken longer than we would have expected, however, when he accomplishes a skill, he does them very nicely and the "right" way. Kathy has always emphasized that kids, especially with Down Syndrome, tend to accomplish gross motor development from the top down because that is where the progression of strength goes. When he was learning to sit, his posture was excellent. He learned to crawl and THEN started to stand up to take steps.

We are very grateful for all that Kathy has done for us. Since Amber just started with us, I don't have any pictures yet, but I look forward to future sessions with her since her and Colin have already established a relationship (how could he not? she is another pretty girl and you know how Colin feels about pretty girls!).

And to leave you on a fun is Colin helping Mommy out with the cleaning this morning!

Have a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Special Visit

Today we had a special visit from our friends Celeste and Sean! They came down to visit us and we had such a great time! Celeste is the woman I was referring to the other day in this post when I was talking about looking too far into the future. I am so fortunate that we met 2 years ago at the basketball dinner and I look forward to spending more time with them in the future! I really enjoyed comparing stories and am amazed that although there is 20 years between our kids, there are so many similarities!

Kailey woke up towards the end of the visit and she loved Sean! She was giving him all sorts of smiles and coos.

Please do not let this face fool you, someone (I won't mention any names, Colin!) has not been in the best of moods today as his speech therapist will tell you (although he did work for her in the end) and wasn't his typical social self.

See, he was trying to escape in this picture...

Hoping the phone would bribe him for a picture...

Sean has been a volunteer for the women's basketball team at Monmouth University (where Chris works) and will be back for another season this year!

Sean and Kailey spent some time together and were so cute in this picture...

Cute ones on the right, escapee on the left...

Colin would creep a little closer, then run away again. He was so shy today!

Thanks guys for a great visit! We really enjoyed spending time with you and hope to get together again soon!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

1st Weekend of Summer

One tradition that my parents have kept up since I was 2 months old, has been heading to the beach for some length of time every single summer. There were years when we only went for a week and then as I got older, we were fortunate to stay for 6-8 weeks. There is something about the summer and the beach for me that makes me happy. Plain and simple. I love tradition and I love passing on that tradition to my kids.

In the past few years, a new tradition that some members of my family have done is participated in a 5 mile race through a neighboring beach town which coincidentally has fallen on my parents' first day. Each year, this race is a goal of mine because of different reasons but mostly to show how far I have come after having my kids. This year was a bit tough because although we talk about how small Colin is for his age, he is getting heavier to push when running. I may have not improved from last year, but I enjoyed it (when I was done) and I was proud of myself for getting to this point after having Kailey.

Colin enjoyed the run and was waving hi to families camped out on their lawns as we passed by. The best part though was the fact that he waved to the people standing there as we crossed the finish line.

Kailey and Daddy joined my mom and Kristine as great support for us runners. Couldn't do it without them!

It was a small crew of us this year, with my brother Pat beating all of us.

The kids were a bit off schedule on Saturday because we had to get them up early. Kailey was off all weekend, but Colin absolutely enjoyed the beach. After attempting to eat the sand once, he didn't do it again and only had to be told a few times not to throw the sand. Each day he would wear himself out so much that he would fall asleep on the walk back from the beach (a 5 minute walk). After falling asleep in the wagon yesterday, we decided to bring the stroller for him today so that when he fell asleep, he would be a bit more comfortable.

Today, Colin spent a lot of time down by the water, mostly with Daddy. Despite the fact the water was only 66, Colin LOVED every minute.

He did a lot of standing as the waves we come up and splash him. In fact, there were a few that got him in the face but he didn't even react at all.

Kailey really wanted to be a part of the action and was not happy unless she was sitting up checking out what was going on.

I think Colin is going to be eating lunch later every day because of his tendency to fall asleep on the walk back for lunch. Today he slept for 2 hours in the stroller before getting up to eat around 2:15.

We had a great weekend and look forward to many more this summer. It's exhausting!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sibling Outtakes

I have been desperately seeking a moment when I can get a good picture of my two kids together. Whew, it's tough!! I had fun tonight attempting this goal... here are your sibling outtakes. I may be able to frame ONE of these :)

Colin is really warming up to Kailey and I love it! I can't wait to see what this sibling love is like as they get older!