Thursday, January 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I just went digging around for some oldie but goodies of the kids for "throwback thursday".  Happy almost weekend!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Little Runny

Now that Colin is feeling better and has his appetite back again, we are seeing a little flourish again in some of his skills.  Over the week and a half that he was sick, he really didn't want to do much, including talk.  We had a very whiny, mopey and in some ways lethargic little boy.  However, this week we had a note from his teacher that said he is becoming more and more perky with each day that passes and at home he is back to his talkative, dancing, silly, happy (mostly), and fun little boy (oh thank goodness...that week was miserable!).  

One of the skills that has sort of been "shining this week is his ability to match shapes appropriately and put puzzles "together".  I have often been frustrated thinking that this is something he still hasn't been able to do because when you take out REAL puzzles, he doesn't seem to have an interest and I can't get him to sit there for more than a few minutes.  However, the iPad is a huge motivator for him and the other night while we were sitting on the couch I happened to look over while he just kept matching shapes correctly over and over again.  He has also been doing really well with taking puzzle pieces and putting them in their correct places in one of his apps as well.  It's exciting to see!


Unfortunately, even though he is feeling better, he still has awful diarrhea.  When I saw awful, I mean the pure liquid, runny kind that always leaks.  We have to make sure we send at least 2-3 pairs of pants with him among his travels to both of his schools because he has had some really bad accidents (poor thing!).  He has still gained a pound since his appetite is back and is drinking plenty/eating a lot but we can't quite figure out why this is still going on.  If this continues, we are supposed to be visiting the lab to collect a sample (I hope we don't get that far!).  Since he doesn't eat binding foods, we are trying rice soy milk (surprisingly he dirinks it!) and culturelle for kids to add some good bacteria back to his stomach.  

Love to see these happy smiles!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Drib Drab Winter

This winter wasn't going too badly until we hit a very big snag in the illness department.  It certainly doesn't help that it's been cold and we've been stuck inside.  However, we are doing what we can and hope that now that everyone is feeling better we can have some playdates again soon!  That always makes us feel better!

Unfortunately this past weekend Chris was away a lot so the kids and I had to get some things accomplished...

There were LOTS of snuggles to go around...

We got some cleaning in...

...and got to play in the snow together for the first time this year (and really ever!). 

While I've been pretty hesitant to do a whole lot out in public with the kids by myself just because of the fact they both try to get away from me in opposite directions, I have been able to work with them to get it so that I can go on short outings where I don't need to rely on a stroller or the wagon.  For instance, I've taken them a few times now (including this weekend) to the pizza place because both of them love it so much.  To get in  and out out of the store (as well as other places now too), I've gotten it so that they will happily hold each other's hand (they just don't want to hold mine).  I think that works well because in both of their schools, they hold hands with the other kids when they go places in the hallway so I think that helps!

Mmmmmmm, pizza!

And just like I feel on Monday mornings, Kailey had the Monday morning blues and did not want to get out of bed this morning.  

And just as a random side note, I love when Colin pleasantly surprises me with a skill that he has accomplished that I thought he was still working on.  Every night that I am home alone, I give Colin the iPad while I put Kailey to bed so that I know he is occupied.  While he does have shows on there too, I often find him working on some of his educational apps too.  Recently I was pleasantly surprised to find him working on a "puzzle" on the iPad where he was easily putting pieces together.  Getting him to work on a real puzzle is like pulling teeth, but I was so happy to see that it was something he could do, just prefers the technology I guess.  

Tonight, I looked over and realized he was sorting shapes.  There was a good variety of shapes that he had to match up together and he was just dragging those pieces over and over again correctly matching them up! Most of the mistakes he made seemed because the piece "slipped" off of his finger earlier than he intended.  There were hard shapes on their too!  I was so excited because I thought this was something he was still working on, especially since he won't usually try to hard for me with flashcards and such.  Love when he surprises me!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

He's Back!

Progressively through week we have seen some signs that Colin was improving.  When he started the week his stamina while at school was not very good but today I received a note from his public school teacher saying that he has gotten better each day.  In addition, his teacher at daycare told me that he was his happy giggly self again.  And, at feeding therapy today, he did exactly what Miss Josie asked of him.  

His appetite is improving....

Most especially?  His happy, loving personality is re-emerging again!  I love this little boy so much and it killed me to see him so sad and miserable!!  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

There IS a Light!

While Colin still is not 100% yet, I am seeing this little light way at the end of the tunnel that says we are at least headed in the right direction.  Yay! for progress!  Colin returned to his normal schedule today of his preschool program in the morning and then his daycare in the afternoon.  I was able to touch base with his teacher today and then some of the other staff this evening at a talk we went to and they all said the same thing about him; he was happy to be back and there were no general issues like crying or lack in doing anything, but, was clearly not himself, seemed tired and a little "weepy".  I know it will take time to get back in the routine again so hopefully things will turn around pretty quickly!  He ate a bit more today but it just turns my stomach that the only things he eats are dairy products coming off of the stomach virus.  He made it through the day until ugh, his poor teacher at daycare had to clean up a MASSIVE explosion that included his sneakers!  

Baby steps are just as good as any other kind of step...

Monday, January 21, 2013

1 Step Forward....10 Steps Back

Ok, 10 steps back might be a bit of an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like at the moment.  I felt encouraged this morning when I got a few pictures from Chris that showed Colin smiling and posing for pictures with him.  We were going to try and send him back to preschool today with the OK from the pediatrician, but since he had slept in a little bit later and was still a bit sluggish in getting started this morning, we opted to ease him back in by sending him to daycare instead.  That in itself was a disaster as Colin lost it when Chris brought him in.  He ate a few bites of his cottage cheese, and a few bites throughout the day of pudding, but we still aren't really getting anywhere in that department.  While there is always a discomfort when the kids are sick, especially when there's not much you can do to help, I am also experiencing some anxiety at the steps backwards we have taken with behavior and especially the eating department.  He really wants nothing to do with food right now and while I don't blame him after what he went through, I worry about the little bits of progress we had made since starting feeding therapy.  

Glad to see things slowly start to turn around, but hope we can now speed up into the bright side very quickly!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hanging In...

If there was a week so far in the just under 10 years that Chris and I have been together that I could erase, this would be it.  Somehow, we managed to have 3 of the 4 of us come down with strep and the stomach virus in one week and we're not quite done yet.  I don't want to say too much about Kailey so as to jinx us, but aside from some congestion and teething woes, she has been relatively ok through all of this.  

It has been miserable.  I have realized there is nothing worse than being so sick yourself AND having to take care of your sick children.  I think of all of us, Colin is the one that has had it the hardest which is so unlike him.  In the 3.5 years that he has been with us, this is the sickest he has been to date.  He started with strep earlier in the week and then barely made a reappearance back at school on Thursday when he came down with the stomach flu that night.  His days are mostly spent whining and crying incessantly and aside from 1 pudding he ate that stretched over some time today, he really hasn't eaten in 6 days.  However, very unlike him is the fact that he has been drinking a good amount of fluids, particularly pedialyte so that has helped a lot.  After speaking with the doctor today who  suggested we send him back to school tomorrow, I thought that we would still be keeping him home another day because he is just so miserable.  However, he seemed to perk up a tad tonight so we'll see how the night/morning goes.  Unfortunately, we all lost our day off tomorrow because of Hurricane Sandy so we don't have that to our benefit.  

I am hoping that this is a brighter week and Colin, as well as the rest of us, really start to turn a corner.  I would like to see some happier, cleaner, germ-free days in this house soon!

2nd trip to the doctor in the week...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Rough Week

It has been a really rough week around here with way too many germs!  We started the week out with Colin not looking or acting like himself which turned out to be strep.  Kailey had some nasty congestion and a cough (a midst teething) and I ended up with the stomach flu.  Chris is now starting out in the beginning stages of what seems like a combination of all of those things.  Yuck.  

"Mom. Guck! Ouch!"

A quick snooze on Mommy.

3 sickies laying on a couch.


Seems to have a bit more energy dancing to fresh beat.

There is nothing more exhausting than being sick yourself and having kids with a tad bit more energy than you, even when they don't feel well themselves.  Hopefully we will all be on the mend and return back to normalcy soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


We had a busy afternoon today because Colin had feeding therapy, we had a fun dinner with friends and then went Daddy's basketball game at the "haaks" (hawks). Colin would sit there the entire time and watch because he loves basketball while his sister would prefer to roam the arena and get herself in trouble. It was a busy but fun day!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, Colin came home from school and in his folder was an invitation to a birthday party for one of his friends.  The party was for today for pizza and ice cream cake at his friend's house for 2 hours. I was really excited because we haven't had the opportunity to meet other parents from Colin's preschool class because you don't see them with busing the way you see parents at dropoff/pickup with daycare.  I have been building these list of ideas now because while I have been to some fabulous and fun pinterest inspired parties (wish I could do more of those), we have also been to some really fun birthday parties that didn't fall on traditional times.  We have now been to a Saturday morning breakfast and a weeknight dinner which have both been a lot of fun!  I thought they were great ideas!  

I will admit that going into this party I had some trepidation about not knowing other parents and more importantly, worrying about how Colin would be.  Generally, Colin is always well behaved but in settings where there is a lot going on, I think he often gets overwhelmed and will choose to find something to do by himself, even with urging.  I told Chris on my way that I was nervous, but still anxious to meet some new parents in a good way.  Christian's mom sounded really nice on the phone so I was looking forward to the night.  

LOTS of things crossed my mind with worry about Colin in this setting but did I need to worry about ANY of them?  Nope....

My little boy surprised me in every possible way to the point I was ready to burst into tears in the middle of the party because I was so happy, having fun, and proud of Colin's behavior, social skills and eating!

The first picture isn't the best quality, but I included it because when we got there, I wanted to show that Colin was playing WITH this friend from school (not the birthday boy), instead of the parallel play I often see in some settings.  Shortly after arriving, Colin went around and said hi to his friends and their parents (so cute!) by shaking hands and giving pounds or hugs.  

Colin followed directions and came to the table when asked for dinner.  When I RSVP'd, I told the mom that Colin probably wouldn't eat anything there (although I could hope with pizza) and that I would bring his standard cottage cheese with us.  

He sat at the table with his friends, ate TWO....did you hear me...TWO pieces of pizza!

...As in, bit off pieces, chewed and swallowed two whole pieces of pizza.  I am still sitting here in complete shock.  The parents must have been thinking that I was one big liar.  After I initially turned down a capri sun for him (he is classic for taking a sip of juice and being done; mostly prefers milk), he drank the entire thing (gasp!) and then although I said I didn't think he would eat the ice cream cake, not only did he take a piece himself, he ate the whole thing, different colors (and flavors!) and all (minus the crunchy things).  

He participated in birthday festivities, took pictures, wore masks and hats, and sat indian style on the floor after only being told once that it wasn't his turn to open presents.  

Colin is a great little boy but I had to wonder who he was tonight!  I haven't posted about a lot of our other fun birthday parties until now because this was just a combination of so many different things that we work on with Colin that came together at the same time.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about the night without smiling.  I can't quite explain why this is so exciting to me because it's hard to put into words.  Colin is a well behaved little boy (most of the time, at least in public) who is social and likes to play with other kids, but there are lots of times where he doesn't quite act the way I would expect him to.  When you combine all of these great things together, it makes for a really fabulous time.  What a fun night! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Way Colin Plays

This post has been swirling around in my head for awhile now because it's something that has always stood out for as long as I have been watching Colin "play".  While Chris and I may have brought it up a few times here and there, I think it's generally one of those things that we probably thought of, but didn't shed too much light on until we went to the behavior seminar a few months back.  

When you watch most children "play", there is typically a purpose to the things that they do.  When they are willing to play independently, they often move around the room finding different things and spending some time on those.  They may bring you a toy and ask you to participate in what they are doing.  For example, when Kailey is playing on her own, she often moves around taking care of her babies, spending some time in their kitchen, reading books, trying to put something together, etc.  

While Colin does do these things, it doesn't often last as long.  Instead of the purposeful play, we often find him playing with his Mickey and Minnie dolls "dangling" or trying to put them into a bin or box or flipping through pages in a book.  Sometimes he is reading the book, but other times I think he is just flipping through the pages for the sensory input he gets as the pages move against his fingers.  

Mickey and Minnie are being put on the chair and then being spun on the chair.  

While he started out moving the beads on their tracks and spinning the other blocks, he eventually started taking the baby and trying to fit it into different holes or in between tracks.  

When we went to the behavior session, the doctor said that a lot of times, kids with Down Syndrome don't always know how to structure play by themselves or are "bored" in the sense that they aren't sure what to do or how to start.

This picture was taken shortly after Colin sorted through the "stuffed animal" bin and took out the dog and was playing with that giving it hugs and telling me about it.  

Generally the things that Colin doesn't have trouble playing have to do with the physical activities like anything sports related or "wrestling" with his Daddy or Kailey.  While his attention span isn't always long enough to complete a task, he has no problems initiating play with any sports equipment.  For example, yesterday at the Special Olympics Young Athlete Program, Colin moved from station to station playing the correct way (just would move on quickly to the next activity).  

This has also stood out to me when we are in a "play" date sort of scenario because Colin is often content to play by himself.  I get excited when I see him initiate or get involved in activities with other kids because he often needs help doing so and then if in that situation, seems shy or uninterested.  Now, Kailey will do the same thing in social settings depending on the group, so I know that it is partly the age.  I asked Colin's teacher last week in his communication notebook how his social play has been at school and she says that it is progressing in groups of 2-3 with help.  She also included a few notes on his daily sheet that told us how he played a certain activity with different friends.  

There are lots of times that Colin is just like any other kid when it comes to playing, but to us, the differences do stand out and show us what he needs help with.  For instance, he has all of these new blocks from Christmas, but it's not something he would initiate on his own, other then to dump out the bin so they go all over the place.  He needs help organizing the activity to build something.  

We don't stress too much over this because it's just something we have to work on with him and that's ok, but it's interesting to me that this is a skill that needs assistance with as well.  We do see improvements with time so another reason I'm grateful that he is in preschool!

Waiting at IHOP for lunch.