Saturday, March 31, 2012

Down Syndrome

There are so many things that have been on my mind lately, but one in particular is Down Syndrome.  Although we live our life as normal as possible without letting a disability define our family, it still crosses my mind at least once every day.  I know that I am going to have a hard time articulating exactly what I am feeling, but there are so many different things that make me think about it.  Sometimes, I will admit, it's not always positive because I think about the challenges we Colin faces and sometimes I wonder if they are because he has Down Syndrome.  Sometimes it crosses my mind because of a comment someone makes to us or about Colin.  However, most of the time it crosses my mind because I am so thankful that Down Syndrome has been brought into my life.  I am so thankful for so many things because Colin and his extra chromosome are such a part of our lives.  There are days that I just feel like I am bursting with thanks for what I have...

We have also been bursting with life...and a lot of it.  Things have been rather hectic around here lately as we are filled with therapy sessions, doctor's appointments, school, work, second jobs, classes, etc.  I am anxiously counting down my days (4 school days) until spring break so that we can all try and slow down a bit.  

I am so amazed at how much Kailey changes every day lately.  She is really starting to figure out language and communicate exactly what she wants and needs at any given moment.  It's also really neat watching her pick up on things so quickly.  

 Today, we spent some time with my grandparents who came down with my parents for their "Christmas" present.  One of the things my parents do for both sets of my grandparents as a Christmas present is drive them down to visit and then we all go out to eat at our favorite restaurant.  It's nice for everyone as it is far to drive on their own and then we can all spend time together (one of those things that I am thankful for...).  Colin seemed hungry today and ate all of this cottage cheese, a pudding and THIS HUGE bowl of ice cream (of which he ate every single bite!).  Both kids were so good and it was fun!

We all came back to our house to play for a little bit.  One thing that my Grandfather (Poppy) has always done is sing songs back from his days in WWII.  Colin just absolutely loves his singing and any time he starts he just crawls right up and snuggles in.  

A group shot of my kids with their funny is Kailey's face?

The kids were entertaining us on the fireplace.  They were so cute (one of the few times they have been playing "nicely" lately as Colin just loves pulling Kailey's hair!).

What makes me laugh about this next video is the fact that Kailey is just dishing back what he always does to her...and yet, he looks at her like, "did you just touch me?".  

If the video doesn't appear, then click here to watch!

We also went and celebrated our friends Ryan and Logan's birthdays today and had a lot of fun!  One of these days we will get Colin and Logan smiling together at the same time!

Even more shocking?  Colin actually ate parts of the pizza all by himself without me even asking if he wanted it!  Of course, we got some for dinner and he wanted nothing to do with it, but hey, it was better than nothing!

What a fun and tiring day!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not Always Happy

I just wanted to dispel some myths about children with Down Syndrome.  I can assure you that they are not always happy.  Colin IS a very typical 2 year old little boy in many ways...

...and tonight he was just like a lot of kids his age.   He made a big ole stink because I would not do what he wanted WHEN he wanted.  The smiling angel you saw on the blog yesterday?  Well....this was him tonight...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring is Here!

We have been tasting our first few bouts of spring and absolutely loving the fresh air.  It has felt pretty invigorating to be outside and I know the kids are loving it too.  There are so many changes that are about to happen for us soon with Colin's 3rd birthday quickly approaching.  I often get teary eyed as I pull out of his school now thinking how pretty soon he won't be going there anymore and how everything is going to change!  He has been making a lot of great strides in the communication department and I love hearing his emerging vocabulary.  He tries really hard to enunciate what he is trying to say, it's just that we often can't understand what he is trying to communicate.  When I watch him walk now, I can't believe this was the same kid that was not quite ready to walk just a short while ago!  He just doesn't want to stop!

Kailey is very quickly changing as well.  She is communicating through a few signs these days when it comes to eating and wanting "more".  Although I used to say that she would eat anything, that is changing as well as she is becoming a bit more picky about what she will and will not eat.  She will cruise around all over the place, but hasn't quite gotten the confidence yet to let go and walk on her own.  She sounds like she is asking questions by making her voice inflect when making sounds.  It makes me chuckle.  

We recently spent a lot of time outside, particularly at the beach, and I have a feeling that we are going to have a busy and fun summer in the sand!

Despite the fact that it was a bit chilly, Colin was MORE than ready to head down to the water and if I had let him, I am pretty sure he would have gone right in.  Instead, he settled for sitting and "watching".  

We have also been trying to get out more and more around our house for walks and basically finding ways to tire the kids out!  It seems to be working at night as our bed time challenges have been improving.  (knock on wood!).  

Happy Spring!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2012 World Down Syndrome Day

March 21st marks a very special day to celebrate those living with Down Syndrome across the world.  We are spending this day spreading awareness that those living with Down Syndrome are our children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors and loved ones and are just as special as you and I.  

Instead of having 46 chromosomes, those with Down Syndrome have one extra one at their 21st chromosome.  Even though they have one extra, it does not define who they are.  I blog because my son Colin is a beautiful, loving, and special little boy and I can assure you that his extra chromosome does not define him.  I blog because I want people to know that although we may face some extra challenges, Colin is such a typical little 2 (almost 3) year old toddler...he is a picky eater, he tests his limits, he doesn't give up easily, he makes us laugh, he kisses his little sister, he works hard, and he is always learning.

Colin has Down Syndrome and we are so proud of him.  We are proud to stand up today and tell the world that our loved ones are special individuals.

This video is beautiful...If I could tell myself anything before Colin was born, I would tell myself it would be better than I ever expected....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

First Trip to the Dentist

Today was our first trip to the dentist for Colin and I will admit that I was extremely nervous about this one.  Colin is currently getting several teeth, and during this process every time, his behavior isn't the greatest and he has been known to bite here and there.  Not that I am making excuses for either of these, but it is definitely a direct relationship between his discomfort and how he behaves at times.  I was particularly weary of a dentist trying to put his hands in Colin's mouth...

When we got there, Colin took a moment to take a rest and hang out in the chair...

...but then I think he realized where he was and tried to get the heck out of there.  

However, when we got called to the back, Colin was his sweet self saying hi to everyone we passed and LOVING the large fish tank we passed on the way.  This makes me even more excited for our upcoming trip to the aquarium in Baltimore over my spring break.  

The hygienist did her routine work and asked a lot of questions about his medical health history.  She attempted to clean his teeth, but Colin wasn't having it so we just waited for the doctor since he had to do his evaluation anyway.

 Despite the fact Colin was not happy during the eval, he was pretty good considering he IS 2.  I think that he did try to bite the doctor once, but the doctor saw what he needed and said that everything looked good and Colin did not have any cavities (yay!).  I was very embarrassed though because JUST before we went back to our small space, Colin made a very stinky mess in his diaper and of course I did not have the diaper bag with me.  He stunk up the room!

All in all, I'm glad we got that one out of the way and glad that although the visit wasn't great, it wasn't as bad as I expected.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The New Challenge

As if you could just flip a switch, we have been fighting a new battle since Sunday night...the bed time battle.  It used to not matter if we put Colin to bed at 7 or 8pm, he would crawl right down to his pillow when we put him in bed, say good night and that would be it.  

Well, that has seemed to change since Sunday.  He has been getting out of bed when we put him in, opening his door (which was SO great the first time he did it, but now we could kick ourselves for being excited), and heading back to us in the family room.  We aren't giving in, and we have literally put him back in bed 50+ times over the past 2 nights.  It's torture.  

Tonight, Chris refused to give in and held the door so he couldn't get out.  THIS is what we finally got, but not where we wanted him to be.

Even better, Kailey screams bloody murder until she finally gives in (which is 30+ minutes) for the past 2  nights as well.

This is a battle we did not want to be fighting...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Kailey Part II

Today is Kailey's actual first birthday and I am so excited because originally I was supposed to have tutoring after school until 5:30, but it was cut short after only 30 minutes.  We decided to all celebrate her day by walking up to our local pizza place (which is also a BYOB...part of the fun!).  The weather is BEAUTIFUL right now so it was a nice night to get out and walk through the neighborhood.  

Kailey was all decked out in her 1st birthday gear and had some of her very own pizza.

Aunt Kimmy came from work to join us and we had a lot of fun!

Colin was giving his sister some birthday love...


But then....we got our cue to leave from the kids that they had had enough...

So, we got home and gave Kailey her birthday gift...

She was very curious about what was in the bag, and made sure to read her whole card...

We are not so sure how she feels about her cabbage patch doll yet...

...since all she did was push her away onto the floor.

...and at more attempts to get a picture with her new doll, she just tried to run away.

How do you love the new boots?!  I am so in love!

Happy Birthday to our sweetness....we love you so much Kailey!

We hope you have had a fun filled special weekend and birthday!