3/25/12

Bunny Brags

Have I mentioned Bunny can sit now?  Well he can and we are so excited.  I need to stay close by because it is still a new skill but he can do it!!  I think he looks so adorable sitting because he is so small!!  I never would have guessed a few weeks ago that he would be sitting so soon.  He seemed so far from ever sitting and then he just could.  I'm so proud of him!
(from my mom's i-phone)
"Oh look at me.  I am just squeezing some applesauce into my mouth all by myself"
Bunny has become way more aware of what he can do.  While I learned long ago that Buddy could be handed a squeezy pouch and it would keep him happy for a few seconds I still had to squeeze them into Bunny's mouth for him.  Not any more!! 

I had an idea the other day and before I tried with the pouch I brushed Bunny's hands and did the joint compression exercises just on the hands.  Voila.  Look who can now hold and squeeze!! 

Once I figured out he could do this I also filled his cup and handed it to him.  The cup is still hard for him but he can do it as long as I am close by to help every now and then.  He drinks from a straw like a champ!


So proud of himself!

The OT center did a feeding study for Bunny the other day and he got gold stars!  I wanted him to be evaluated just to make sure we weren't starting any bad habits.  They said he had excellent mouth closure and that the only issues he was having (he doesn't chew very well) were related to his tone and that as he got better tone and balance he would get better at chewing.  They were very impressed with all the foods he has eaten too! 

Have I mentioned how happy I am that we have PT and OT now?  OH SO HAPPY!!!

3/23/12

Trying Something New

As I said in my last post, I am trying to broaden my horizons in the kitchen.  I was on a good healthy path before we had the babesters and I have been slowly making my way back ever since.  My goal is to get rid of all processed food in the house.  It has been quite a struggle for me this year because in order to make healthy food you need time and I am short on that. 

Another goal is to get Baby out of her picky rut.  The girl wants to live on cheese and strawberries.  She is my helper for most of these and her involvement definitely motivates her to try  new things!

Here are some recipes we tried this week.  As I've said before, this will never be a cooking blog because let's face it....I have no skills.  BUT the good news is that if I can make these then my guess is that anyone can!

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups using Frozen Berries - I had a bunch of frozen berries from our failed smoothie experiment (Baby doesn't like "crunchies" in her drinks).  They turned out good!  Boogie likes them but Baby wouldn't eat them.  I'm going to try mango next to see if she will eat that. 

Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter - A HUGE success.  Unfortunately, Boogie can't take it in her lunch because of allergies in her class but it is perfect with sliced apples for an after school snack.  I think it would be delicious with pancakes too.  I might have eaten it with a spoon last night.  Yummy!!  I used coconut oil instead of canola and my butter is pretty thick but it doesn't bother us at all.

Faux Mashed Potatoes - I was really excited about this one because Baby would never touch cauliflower on her own and Daddy is a huge fan of mashed potatoes.  They were DELICIOUS!  The Babesters even got to enjoy this one and Bunny especially enjoyed them.  My boy loves flavor!  Baby liked them at first but we had a dinner fiasco and she ended up throwing up from overdramatic gagging so I am not sure I can convince her to eat them again.  Bummer!  Daddy says I can make these instead of regular mashed potatoes.  That is HUGE!

Chia Seed Pudding - I was really hoping the girls would like this but they couldn't get past the crunchy seeds.  I want to play around with it more and perhaps get white seeds so they won't see them.  The good news is that Daddy LOVED it and even made some on his own last night and the babesters also really enjoyed it (minus stevia for them).  Antioxidants are good for Bunny so win-win!

Spaghetti Squash Gratin - Daddy and I are already fans of spaghetti squash so this one I knew would be a success for us.  It was SO delicious!  I could have ate the whole thing myself!  Boogie devoured it but Baby wouldn't eat it.  I know that was all mental for her because it didn't taste like squash or veggies at all.  That is a downfall to having her help me.  She knows what is in everything.  We had this with the roast chicken last night and it was even good mixed together.  I did double the cheese.  The boys also loved this!

I made a few other new things but these were my favorites.  The only downside to all of this is the dishes!!  So many dirty dishes.  I know it is well worth it but I am very tired of washing and putting away dishes!

My major goal for next week is homemade coconut yogurt.  I hope I can pull it off!  I have a few recipes pinned and I am determined.  Coconut yogurt is WAY too expensive!

3/22/12

I'm Not Cut Out for This

...I'm not going to say "for raising a special needs child" so breath a sigh of relief.

I'm talking about meat.  Chicken specifically.  I've always been grossed out by meat.  I still eat it but I have a very limited list of acceptable meats and shapes they come in.  When Boogie was three she told me she was a vegetarian and it did not shock or dismay me.  I totally get it.

I've been trying to broaden my horizons so I put roast chicken on the menu this week.  I know...it sounds like "Beginner Housewife 101" but the few times I have had to pull the meat off of a rotisserie chicken I got so grossed out.  But I was determined to be brave.

So this morning I told Baby that she and I were going to be brave and make a roast chicken in the crock pot today.  She pulled up her chair to the sink and we got started.

I pulled out the nasty packet of giblets and tried not to think about it.  I started to wash the chicken and was FREAKING out.  The chicken was 5 pounds. My babies were about the same size when they were born.  Seriously....the chicken was slippery and moving and it was just all so gross. 

Then I started cutting off the skin and Baby started to get into it.

Baby: "Don't worry Mr Chicken we are just cutting off your skin"

Me:  "Baby!!  You are NOT helping!  Don't talk to him" 

Baby:  "Is that his butt?  Is poop coming out of his butt?"

Me:  "NO!  I don't know...ew"  I flipped the chicken over and it was moving and flapping around while I was moving it.

Baby:  "You are dancing with Mr Chicken!!"

I just kept thinking that I was SO GLAD that Boogie wasn't there because she would really never touch chicken again (her vegetarianism is mostly convenient although she will NEVER touch pork).  It turned out yummy though and we all enjoyed it.  I just don't know if I can do it again.

3/21/12

My Life in Pictures

Toofy

Therapy Update


I forgot to update the blog about what the Dr said regarding there being a physical issue for Bunny's not wanting to sit or bear weight in a forward position.  He said his hips looked good and also said he didn't think it was reflux.  Our other thought was that it was possibly Bunny's undecended testicle and the Dr pretty much laughed at this suggestion but I am honestly not sold because when the urologist was pressing on where he thought it was Bunny was very clearly uncomfortable.  So the PT and I (she is also a woman) decided we will just move forward but be sensitive to his cues.  The sitting doesn't seem like it is an issue but he very clearly winces when she has him bearing weight on his right leg in a forward position (which happens to be the undescended side)

Last week we had a horrible OT session.  The owner of the OT center and Bunny's therapist were both working with Bunny because the owner wanted to see where he was at.  I was in the waiting room and about 10 minutes in I heard crying.  That soon escalated to screaming.  Bunny sounded scared and it was TORTURE for me to be sitting there not knowing what was going on.  They cut the session short and when I finally got to see him I teared up because I felt so sad for him because he looked so scared.

The owner said they had been doing a lot of muscle stimulating exercises (brushing, joint compression, vibrating etc) and he wasn't used to the feeling and he was freaking out.  He would not let me put him down for the rest of the 50 minutes. 

The next day I got to be in the session because his teacher wanted to teach me exercises to do at home.  Bunny was NOT having it.  He was crying when I wasn't holding him.  This time it was a mad cry which I can handle.  I sang to him a lot and that helped.  I taught the teacher his favorite songs.  He really likes music and songs.

The next day I tried the brushing at home and he freaked out.  Of course I then had to do it on myself to make sure it wasn't hurting.  It doesn't hurt at all.  I have done it every day and today was the first day he was okay with it.  I brushed him when he was younger and he didn't seem to mind so I can only assume he associates it with that one session.

Look!  On all 4s!!!  He keeps scooting back from this position.  It's not forward but I'll take it!


Yesterday we had PT. Bunny has done great in his previous 2 sessions.  Buddy and I get to be there on the floor with him.  Yesterday he cried the minute I put him down and would not take his eyes off of me.  The PT ended up showing me the exercises with her doll and I did them with Bunny.  I told her about the OT session and we agreed that now he was wary of everyone!

I'm so sad because I worked for these services and now he hates them!  I'm going to ask the OT tomorrow to not brush him.  There are a few choices for muscle stimulation and that one seems to set him off.  I'm hoping that if we back off a bit he will relax again.  Fingers crossed!!!!

The PT also suggested I order a pair of hip helpers for him.  Bunny tends to froggy a lot so we are hoping this helps.  I know he is not going to be happy because he won't be able to do Superman in his designer bike shorts!

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!






We got to bring Bunny home from the NICU last year on this exact day.  Fitting right?

When we got Bunny's diagnosis last year we had many people crawl out of the woodwork to tell us positive and touching stories of friends, friends of friends etc who had down syndrome or had a child with down syndrome.  I myself knew no one with down syndrome and would not have had a positive (or negative for that matter) story to tell anyone had they faced our situation.  Now I obviously do and I hope that Bunny and our family will be a positive story that you can pass along to others through the years.

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!


3/15/12

Encouragement

Things related to down syndrome don't make me cry as much as they used to but this video got me this morning.  I'm posting it here so I can watch it when I get discouraged.  It's beautiful


3/14/12

My Life as a Comedy

A few days ago I got the mandoline I ordered from Amazon.  I have been making these apple chips for Boogie but because I didn't have a mandoline I was just kind of slicing them as thin as I could.  Since she begs me to make them all the time I decided to buy one to make my job a little easier.  I'm sure I will find lots of other uses for it as well.

As I pulled the mandoline out of the box I noticed these tiny black things all over everything.  On closer inspection I decided they were bugs and quickly took everything to the back yard.  I studied them and couldn't see legs but just figured they were dead and their legs were curled under them. Yuck!!

I immediately contacted Amazon for a replacement.  I do not need an infestation of bugs. (I'm a little paranoid about these things)

Today I was eating a bowl of granola and gasped as I brought the spoon to my mouth....the same bugs!  Oh...wait.....those were the chia seeds I sprinkled on the granola.  Of course, then my mind began to play vicious tricks on me.  Were they really chia seeds or was I eating bugs?

I decided Amazon can get a chuckle at my expense when they get their "buggy" mandoline back because even if they aren't insects it still seems used and that's gross.  Daddy already got quite a kick out of it.

3/13/12

Bunny at 1 Year


I want to start Bunny's update with a disclaimer.  I know Buddy's update was "He does this..he does that' brag brag brag.  Bunny's might seem like "He can't do this...he can't do that" in comparison but it is not meant to be negative or sad.  Bunny is where he is at and I want to give a realistic picture.

Buddy is a typical child and things have come easy for him.  Despite his first few months with his hypertonia he has had no issues standing in his way.  Bunny is behind in gross motor even for other kids with down syndrome but he will get there and I figure the more of reality you know now the more you can celebrate with us when he meets his milestones.  It does get me down at times but only because I love him so much and I want things to be easy for him.  I know I just need to have patience and keep at it.  So without further ado...


My favorite trick of Bunny's is that he gives kisses now.  He doesn't just open his mouth and lean in like his brother (gotta love sloppy baby kisses).  He puts his chubby paws on each side of my face and pulls me to him.  The first time I realized he was kissing me was after our first OT appt.  The therapist had requested that Buddy and I wait in the waiting room so she and Bunny could develop a relationship.  When we got home I pulled him out of his car seat and he looked up at me and smiled his huge smile and did his happy yell and pulled himself to me for a kiss.  I guess it wasn't just hard on me!


My boy LOVES to babble and yell.  Of course his favorite is also "Da da da".  He can also say "Mama" and "Yay"!!  Boogie swears he can also say "Baba" but I haven't witnessed it although I would not be surprised because she is definitely his favorite.


It amazes me what two weeks of PT and OT have already done for him.  He is going up on his arms like this all day and when he is in a good mood he will try to get his legs underneath at the same time.  Tonight I was giving him support at his pecs and he was going into quad position again and again.  He just needs to build more strength and I am finally getting better ideas for doing just that. 

I can tell that he is just dying to go places.  He rolls all over and he rocks his body like crazy just trying to get it to MOVE!  I think it's a good sign because he needs motivation to learn the exercises his therapists are teaching him.  I have been putting him on the crawling track more often again (He was trying to flip off of it for awhile there) and he gets down it by pushing his legs and pulling his body rather than trying to flip or roll.  Progress.


Another thing I have noticed is that he is not quite as twisty as he was.  He stays in a more stable position, like sitting, without twisting to get out of it.  It makes it much easier to hold him and its easier to do exercises with him.


He is still not real interested in sitting.  He can sit for a few seconds unassisted but then arches back.  I think he would prefer to crawl first and since that is what his brother did that is fine with me. 

One of the things we have been focusing on in PT is bearing weight on his legs.  Up until now he would bring his legs up when you tried to get him to stand.  I think he has finally been made aware that he has legs.  If I hold him against me on my lap he will stand on his legs.  Tonight I had him on his exercise (which I cannot for the life of me spell...it gets underlined EVERY time I type it) ball and when his feet touched the ground he kept them there nice and sturdy.


I am trying to resist the temptation to beat myself up about not getting him more services earlier.  I wish I had just hounded and hounded sooner but I cannot change that now so on we go.  The Dr thinks that he will catch up quickly now that he has more support.  I really like our new therapists....our PT especially so I feel very positive about it.


Enough about that.  Who needs to sit when you are so darn cute right?  Another thing I love that Bunny does is when he says "YAY!!!!!!"  If anyone says "Yay" he claps or flaps his arms and also says "YAAAAAAAAY!" with his cute little raspy voice.  It's adorable.  He does it with great enthusiasm.  He will be an excellent fan some day.

 Bunny LOVES music.  He loves to dance.  He moves side to side to dance and if you encourage him he really gets going!  The other night daddy was playing guitar for the boys and Bunny was pounding away on his piano and I swear he was in beat with Daddy.  It was hilarious.

He's very ticklish and honestly gets tickled quite often because he has the BEST giggle.  We can't resist it.

At his wellness check today he had gained a good amount of weight although he hasn't gained height at the same rate.  The Dr isn't worried because we just had his growth hormone levels checked and they were fine but we are going to keep an eye on it. 

I'm glad he is continuing to gain weight and again I am not surprised.  He LOVES to eat.  He can self feed although he is using his fist not a pincher grasp.  I have learned to space the food on his tray strategically or he will shovel handfuls of food in his mouth way too quickly.  He loves flavor and is quite fond of table food (He will not eat boring baby food at all).  He does seem to have issues with textures but not eating them as much as touching them.  The first time I fed him scrambled eggs you would have thought I put a snake on his tray.  He got over it though.  We are going to have a feeding study at our OT's office in a few weeks and I think that will help us both.

A few days ago I was chatting with a mom of an adult with down syndrome and she told me that his brother and sister just adored him and that he was the glue that held the family together.  I can see Mr Bunny slipping into this role quite nicely.  We just adore this little boy!


Buddy at 1 Year


Where to start?  This boy...this baby perfection is what I always dreamed having a boy would be like.  He is active, he is loud but at the same time he is a lover.  He started out an angry little newborn who would turn purple when he was mad because he was screaming so hard.  He has transitioned into a funny, extremely good-natured little boy.  He loves to make his us laugh.


He is perfectly happy as long as he can explore.  He spends his days walking (yes walking) around and picking up toys and getting into mischief.  His favorite area is the cabinet that keeps all the dvds.  I clean up a huge mess of dvds every single night.


The lover part?  This is his current favorite toy.  He spends all day hugging and kissing it.  He drags it with him everywhere.  I did see him banging its head on the floor at the doctors office today and laughing so he obviously has a good balance of destruction and sweetness.


Speaking of the doctor... he got a perfect report for his 1 year wellness check.  His height is still in the 50% but his weight jumped to the 75% (I think it was 25-30 at 9 months).  As active as he is, the boy eats ALL day so it's not too surprising.  He has learned to sign more, eat, all done and milk.  He uses eat 75% of the time.  I tried to teach my girls to sign too but they were never interested.  I think it's because they were already talking at this age.


Buddy says "Dada", "Mama" and "Gigi".  I think he has said "All done" and "Baba" (Boogie) too but they aren't as clear.  He also says "Uh oh".  Oh and another favorite...he hits his head and says "Ow".  He thinks it is hysterical.  He is just starting to shake his head "yes" or "no" when I ask him a question.  He mostly uses it for food questions.


Buddy has 4..almost 6 teeth.  He has 2 top teeth that are almost poked through.  It doesn't seem to bother him too much.  He eats most everything I give him.  I love a child that is not too picky.  He is not crazy about broccoli or peas but even those he will eat if he is hungry enough.  His favorite food is pasta with sauce.


One of my favorite things about this age is that you can teach your kids "tricks".  Buddy loves to do "So big".  He also "Shakes his booty", plays "Peek a Boo" and does the motions to his favorite songs.  He loves to mimic us and is a quick study.


These two continue to be "partners in crime".  Today at the Dr's office, Buddy was crawling onto the shelf under the exam table and Baby was further egging him on by cracking up.  If it wasn't so crazy (I was trying to keep Bunny on the table) it would have been much funnier to me.


I blocked off our living room yesterday with a big box so that Buddy could run wild (And he really does try to run).  I think he has been waiting for the day he could walk since he was born and he wants to practice his new skill all day.  There are less things to trip over in this room.


He has permasmile the whole time he is walking.  He did try to escape the box and climb the stairs.  I cannot take my eyes off of him for a second.


I think his next goal is to get outside.  Obviously we go outside quite a bit but he doesn't get to adventure out back with big sisters and he is just dying to.  The boys got a swing for their birthday so I have a feeling we will be spending lots of time in the backyard this summer.  He should be walking well enough for me not to have too many heart attacks.


This is an old picture but I just have to add that this boy LOVES his daddy.  I think Daddy is relieved to finally have someone on Team Daddy.  (The girls and I tend to team up on him)  He says "Dada" a million times more than he says "mama" and I am with him ALL day!!  The girls adore daddy too but not in the way that Buddy (and Bunny but this is Buddy's update) does.  I love seeing their father-son bond.  It's so sweet.

And that is my Buddy in a very small nutshell.  We are pretty crazy about this guy.

11 Month Catch up Pics

Future rock star

Who me?????

Oh how his smile melts me




Sister is so funny!

Best buds

Role reversal

10 Month Catch Up Pictures

I hate that I can't edit these and fix the color balance (wait till you see 11 months ugh!) but I am letting it go and posting them anyway because we need to do 10 and 11 before I post the big 12 month photo bomb and updates.  So try not to be too annoyed by the color and just imagine brighter, sharper images.



I'll just take this off thank you

Mooooooom!



What sticker?  I didn't steal a sticker???



See my "not teeth"?


My Life in Pictures

Favorite Present

3/11/12



As I write this it has not even been exactly a year since I had the babes.  They were born around 11:45pm.  Like many have said before me....I wish I could go back to the birth and receive Bunny's diagnosis with the perspective I have now.  I would not have been so heart broken and devastated.  Yes down syndrome makes things harder for Bunny but it does not make him any less of a joy to our family.  We love him to pieces and he brings us more joy than we could have imagined.