Sunday, June 24, 2012

The "FIRST" Weekend!

This weekend was that weekend, you know, the one I REALLY look forward to every.single.year because it marks the first day of OUR official summer.  It's the weekend that my parents come down and rent their beach house for 2 whole months.  It's the beach that I have literally grown up on every summer since I was 2 months old and I still love it just as much.  Granted, beach days are no longer relaxing, I don't get to read lots and lots of books and take naps anymore, but, giggles, smiles and babies covered in sand make it all worth it.  There are certainly a few kinks that need to be worked out.  The main issue that we are dealing with is the fact that Colin wants to do what he wants when wants.  This includes deciding he wants to go to the water, heading into the middle of a volleyball game, or, leaving the beach.  We are trying to treat it like we did the bed time routine and bring him back to our stuff every time, but that definitely gets old.  Often times we have to divert his attention to something else, but I haven't yet been able to just get him to sit there and play with his sand toys while he sits nicely in our area.  

He absolutely loves the water and this has been my greatest joy watching so far.  My guy has no fear of the ocean (which isn't necessarily a great thing) but he does seem to know his limits so far which has been good. Kailey is still warming up to the water and how she feels about certain things, but she certainly is a really cute beach babe.  

** Thanks to my parents for lending me their camera for these pictures because I was so worried about logistics, that I did not take any pictures with my own camera. **

The first few pictures are from the annual 5 mile race that members of my family has participated in for several years now on the starts to our summer day.

We are beach lovers 100%.  Thankfully, my kids are too...

Aunt Kimmy relaxing...

He seriously LOVES the water, even when he is shivering!

She's hit or miss, but has mostly enjoyed herself at the water's edge as well.

I tell ya, NO fear!

She's very curious about everything!

Looks like a model posing in the waves!

The water was so crystal clear and warm this weekend!

Beach babe!

If only he'd keep these (and a hat!) on!

Finally got him to drink something other than milk! Which by the way, he is the ONLY person I know that will drink MILK on the beach on a hot summer day!

A nice dinner to end the weekend!
I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer will bring us!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Chris sent me this picture today and titled it "classy"... just made me giggle.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Thing I Dread the Most

...Potty Training, plain and simple.  

Chris and I have basically avoided the issue for a long time now for several reasons.  First of all, Colin was obviously not ready.  I had bought a potty months ago and Colin hated the thing.  If he was fully dressed and someone was sitting on the toilet, he would occasionally come in and sit on the potty with the seat down.  He made no mention that it was a potty, just treated it like a seat that he could talk to us on.  Second of all, his tiny little tushy must not have felt very comfortable on the potty because he got his nervous face and would squirm and fly off of that thing as fast as he could.  Third of all, Colin never makes any mention of the fact of whether or not he poops or pees or stinks or is wet, or anything of the like for that matter.  We literally talk about it every time we change his diaper and still, nothing.

While I have generally shaken time tables in my head, the one that keeps resurfacing is the potty training thing.  I know this can take a really long time, and now that he is in school, I really wanted him to be trained as quickly as possible; ideally, before he turned 4 (and I know in a lot of cases it's 5).  We just recently started talking about the fact that we had to reintroduce the potty idea so that he can at least get adjusted to it at some point.

I went to Target yesterday and bought this new seat that goes on top of the toilet.  It looked like a much better fit for him in terms of feeling comfortable while sitting on it (and it's rather high up so he can't just jump off of it when he doesn't want to do it).  I figured that one of the best ways to start with him was to just sit him on it many times throughout the day (in my head, I had once an hour stuck there).  Of course, with today being day #1, I didn't put him on it nearly that many times, and most of the time he was really not that happy with me.  There was nothing going on in that potty today.  On top of that, there really aren't any rewards that we can offer to him considering he doesn't eat much (I mean come on, can you imagine me offering a spoonful of ice cream every time he did something on there?), there isn't any toy that he is highly motivated by in terms of receiving something new every time (he has more toy balls that we can count, so that's kind of out), and I did consider something like a sticker chart, but more than likely, the thing would be ripped down by one of them very quickly.

- sigh -

I REALLY don't want to have to do this one and I am REALLY dreading it.  So, suggestions?  I don't have a child who tells me anything about his business, so anyone have experience with this?  Really, I'm open to ANY suggestion...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


On a side note to my post, I finally got some pigtails in my little girl and I just LOVE them.  She looks so adorable!!

Down syndrome has been on my mind a lot lately.  We go about life as though it isn't even there, but every once in awhile, it creeps it's way back into the picture and reminds me that it is a part of our family in so many ways.  I have often said, and am being completely honest when I say it, that I wouldn't ask for things to be any different, however, there are aspects of it that can make things very challenging.  

I think that I know it's there lately because we've had some things going on that make it obvious it's a part of our life.  We had Colin's x-ray done on his cervical spine to make sure he doesn't have laxity there (thankfully everything looked good on the x-ray) but while we were waiting for the results, my stomach felt uneasy thinking about the things that Colin wouldn't be able to do if it wasn't what we would have hoped to get on the results.  

We also had a checkup to the urologist because one of Colin's testicles are headed in the wrong direction so he will need to have surgery to fix that in August.  While we were there for the appointment, the doctor told us there would be 3 reasons why he should have it done: higher chance of malignancy (if it can't be checked in the future since it's hidden), a chance of a strangulated testicle, and to prevent sterility.  However, in response to the last reason (in a professional manner), he said "but that's not the issue in this case".  Very early on when Colin was a newborn, I found in my research that the majority of the time, boys with Down Syndrome are sterile and it had really upset me at the time (that was when all I thought of was the future).  Being reminded of that affected me again in a different way and I haven't really been able to shake it.  We live now in a way that Colin will be able to do anything he sets his mind to, but this just reminds me that there will always be some limitations/challenges...

We also had our annual check up at the Trisomy 21 clinic at CHOP last week. The appointment went great and the developmental pediatrician there really makes us feel good about what we are doing with Colin.  She talks to Colin and treats him like any other little boy.  However, when we are there, we address the guidelines and the things we need to stay on top of, so just always reminds me it's there...

I'm sure that no matter what the birth order and where you have a child with DS, there will always be things you think about.  The other day while being changed, Kailey rattled off counting to 3 like it was no big deal.  It made me feel so happy for her that it came so easy to her, but sad for Colin that he always has to work hard at what he does.  

...and this is all just life, our life, but sometimes, when faced with challenges, it's easy to feel not so good about certain things.  We count our blessing all of the time that Colin is healthy and happy, and has taught us to slow down and appreciate so many little things...

So, I have those days where I just need to let it out, and then we just move forward and go about things as we usually do.  It's just how life is...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Today has been one of those really great days, and it certainly helps that it was Father's Day! The kids are so lucky to have a daddy who will do anything for them and who loves them with his whole heart.  They love you Chris!!

We started out the morning with pancakes in honor of father's day and Colin was really interested while I was making them.  He kept asking for a "ca-cake" over and over again and actually ate a whole one by himself! (First one in many months!).  

We went to church and had lunch there at their celebration Sunday BBQ in which Colin found every possible dirt/mulch pile and completely ruined a really nice pair of pants and then this afternoon, Chris and I both had time to fit in a run (separately of course).  

Tonight, we walked up to the local pizza place (which just happens to be a BYOB) and enjoyed a nice pizza dinner together.  Colin actually picked the cheese off of a slice of pizza and ate it!

The kids were goofballs when we got back (but really cute ones!)...

..and we just capped off a really nice night together.  Love our little family!  Happy Father's day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Silly Boy

I love when we catch Colin doing things that are completely unprompted.  The other day we walked into the family room, he had his shorts on his head and as you can tell, was singing a tune...

He cracks me up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 Special Olympics Summer Games

This past weekend, the Special Olympics of NJ hosted their annual summer games at the College of New Jersey.  Chris and I went to the opening ceremonies on Friday night and I can honestly say that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  It's hard to think that just over 3 years ago, I never though all of this would be such a part of my life, but words can not even begin to describe HOW thankful I am that it is!  I am so proud of Colin because he truly enjoyed himself this weekend.  He participated in the future stars race and wasn't even walking consistently yet 6 months ago!  There are so many people that I would love to thank for their involvement in making the summer games so wonderful.  I know that all of the staff members at the Special Olympics facility worked really hard to make it go off so well, Shoprite provided all of the food and beverages the entire weekend, there were hundreds of volunteers, and most especially, members of the Rutgers football team walked out with the athletes and spent the evening with them.  It truly was a very special weekend.  Thank you to all who made it so wonderful!

Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

Special thanks to our family and friends who came out to support colin as well as to Jorie for taking so many great pictures for us!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New "Do"

Today I had to take Colin to get fitted for a tux for my brother's wedding that Colin will be in in a few weeks.  That was a debacle because the lady didn't have the information right, Colin had just woken up from a short nap and was CRANKY, he did not want to try on anything and was just tough to handle.  Thankfully, there was a little nook filled with mirrors that provided entertainment while I took care of some other things.  Here is a short snippet from that:

And THEN, I took Colin for a new haircut.  I can honestly say that I was giddy over how cute he looked afterwards and surprisingly, he was so good during all of the buzzing and shaping.  I LOVE the mohawk and I love how handsome he looks with this style.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I am just 3 days away from spending as much time as I can with my two little beauties (and my big beauty too!) for the whole summer.  Although I will have to work for a few weeks, the schedules aren't as strict and we spend our days in the sun!  I am craving this time as we spend the rest of the 10 months of the year so hectic with every minute of our day scheduled.  It will be fantastic.  

Today, my kids made me smile because....

Kailey thinks it's so funny to tickle your feet and the little voice that goes "teeky teeky teeky" is hysterical.

She is SUCH a girl.  Drama.

...and finally because I had to get a "pre-cut" picture (Colin is FINALLY getting a hair cut tomorrow).  Colin is putting two words together and THAT makes me smile.  Today it was "mom couch" telling me to sit down on the couch.
Our new favorite tunes with the Fresh Beat Band and the dancing that goes with it REALLY makes me smile.  (about half way through, notice colin's attempt at jumping...he has been trying really hard lately!)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Funday

To cap off a fun weekend (winery festival and birthday party yesterday), we decided to lay low and hang out "poolside" today.  I am so much a "planner" of getting up and doing things, that sometimes I forget how nice it is to hang out at my own house, especially in the summer.  My mind instantly goes to a beach day when it's nice, but after all of the traveling we did yesterday, we didn't feel like packing everything up to head over to the beach.  Instead, we took out all of the accessories and hung out in our own backyard.  The kids had so much fun!

Colin absolutely LOVES the water.  He will go under, lay there, kick, splash, jump in, roll around and whatever else you can think of in the water.  It's both great and scary that he doesn't have much of a fear when it comes to the water so we will have to be extremely careful this summer, but I like a little boy who loves the water!

Kailey is a bit more hesitant, but she just goes from one thing to the next!

I absolutely LOVE this picture!! 

 After we went inside for awhile and had some lunch, I went back outside with Kailey and my mom and Colin didn't want to come (I think he was still cold from being in the pool ALL morning).  He eventually came out and before I had a chance to get him back in all the swim gear, he just hopped right back in.  Two things to notice in the rest of the pictures; #1 he did not want his sweatshirt off and #2 look at how BIG his regular diaper got in the water.  Hysterical.

Look at that diaper!!


What a great way to cap off the weekend; family, fun and just being happy!