A Beautiful Sight

This morning Baby and I went to church together.  I've missed church and for many reasons we have not been attending regularly but today I felt we needed to go.  Baby was the only willing participant.

I dropped Baby off in Sunday school and walked into the church alone for worship.  I had a form to fill out so I wasn't paying too much attention to my surroundings.  Worship started and as I looked up I recognized some familiar features on a man sitting in the front row alone.  I was trying not to stare but my curiosity would not rest until I knew for sure that he had down syndrome.

As my mind stopped analyzing him and just looked at him I immediately got tears in my eyes.  He was all alone and on the front row and had his hands raised and was worshiping in a way that I honestly have never felt free enough to (I am not talking anything over the top here.  I am just extremely conservative in my worship).  It was the most heart warming thing I have seen.

I quickly blinked back my tears and tried to compose myself but they wouldn't stop coming.  I finally had to walk out and go to the bathroom. 

I felt like I got some strange looks but I wanted to tell everyone.  "No.  These are tears of joy!  That man represents everything I want for MY son with down syndrome.  He is independent and he loves Jesus and is not afraid to show it!"

When I snuck back in to church I chose a different spot so that I could avoid blubbering through the whole service.  I could still catch little glimpses of the man.  I fantasized about stalking him after church but I controlled myself.

I am SO glad I went to church today!!


A Little Hope

I've been really bummed about Bunny's gross motor skills.  I wrote this post a few weeks ago and then had an even more discouraging talk with our PT last week.  Bunny was not being a willing participant in therapy at all.  He would not pull to stand and he would not do quadraped.  He was protesting when we tried out his new Bamboo Braces. (which I LOVE and so does the PT)  The PT was really concerned.

I allowed myself a day to be sad and I cried a lot about it because I hate seeing him get even further behind.  I voiced all my worst fears to Daddy and his answer was that we need to be tougher on him.  He happened to be off of work the next day because of the rain so we brought down all the big stuffed animals, pillows and cushions from our rooms and put them on the floor around Bunny.  Then Daddy played guitar.  Bunny HAD to crawl over things to get anywhere.  When he whined for help and I reached to help him Daddy didn't let me.  Bunny quickly learned and he figured it out.  (I do tend to be a sucker for him but I think the balance between us is what he needs)

 (Not his best transition.  He is usually more graceful but it is the only one I have on video)

Then a few days later I walked into his room and he was SITTING UP in his crib!  I have thought for a long time that he could transition to sitting if he just tried and I guess he finally decided he wanted to!  Since then he does it multiple times an hour.  He crawls around and sits up with ease.  It's funny because once he is sitting he still sometimes will get a funny look like "How did I do that?"

He has also been getting into quadraped more.  He was rocking so hard the other day it looked like he might hop like a bunny across the room.  Today the PT had him 4 point crawling with assistance which is something he normally doesn't tolerate (he was wearing his Bamboo Braces which really help his arms!)

I definitely think I am on to something with the music too because if I put music on and then encourage him to stand he will tolerate it if I help him dance.

Lastly, he has really been trying to speak.  He has been saying "all done" for awhile now and I finally got it on video.  Today he said "thank you".  He was imitating me but I'll take it!  He says "all done" all on his own when he doesn't like food or therapy.  It seems he learned the phrase that was important to him.  I have noticed a lot of frustration from him when he wants something or needs something and isn't having his needs met so I have been vigilant about getting down on his level and making him sign to me.  I need to get the Baby Signing Times again and start some new words.  He knows "all done", "milk" and "food" and Buddy and I do a lot of signing in front of him but I think that if he realizes he can get things he wants from signing he will be more willing to learn.

I definitely feel more hopeful this week.  I know moms with older kids with down syndrome always say that "they will do it when they are ready" and I guess I am going to have to keep saying that to myself because clearly it is true for Bunny.  And even if the midst of all my worry my boy has met 2.5 of his 3 IFSP goals in gross motor.  We started the process of evaluation today and I was really dreading but when I look at the big picture he is making progress even if it isn't as fast as I may wish.  He has his own timeline and I just have to be patient.


Family Pictures

My mom called me a few weeks ago asking if we wanted to do a family picture session at a local park as part of a fundraiser for her friend's adoption.  I can hardly say no to a cause like that!  I didn't have any expectations going into it because I know that getting all six of us to look at a camera and smile is an impossible task so I told the photographer that natural shots were just fine with me.

The whole time I was just laughing.  Buddy wanted nothing to do with standing still in a huge park with ducks to chase.  Baby cannot pose for a camera to save her life.  But we had fun.  I even got a decent one for our Christmas card (I am not showing that one just yet).  The boys aren't looking at the camera but oh well.  Look at me all planning ahead!

Here are a few of my favorites.  (For some reason Blogger is making them look a lot crappier than they look like in person)

Buddy is not having fun

 Pa throwing Buddy in the air.  I hate it when he does this although he always did it to me and I am here to tell the story.  Notice I am cropped out of the picture.  I'm sure I was making a concerned face.

 Daddy spent the whole day making sure Buddy wasn't running into the lake.

I love that I actually got to be in pictures with my babies.  I am usually the one behind the camera.

Baby insisted on posing with her branch.  Oh that girl!!!

Look at Pa with that double hold!  I love that the boys look so much like brothers in this one. 


I am going to attempt to throw up a few blog posts while I am slightly distracted by "Rock of Ages" in the background.  Yes I have heard it is terrible and I honestly try to avoid all Tom Cruise movies but it's hard for Daddy and I to resist the music of our youth (you know...being the old crotchety people we are).  It's kind of my dream..."butt rock" AND a musical.  I'm cracking up because I am loving the musical numbers.  Daddy is rolling his eyes at me.


I have been really bad lately about keeping track of our days and events.  It feels like days just fly by and then BAM!  we are seconds before an event.  Halloween snuck up on me before I realized that it fell on a Wednesday and none of the churches in the area were having any festivities.  Fortunately, we were invited to a costume party the weekend before so the boys got a chance to wear their costumes for an audience (they don't trick or treat just yet)

Bunny was good about keeping his Yoda hat on.  He tried to take it off when I first put it on then gave up and amused me.

 Brother had no intention of amusing me.  He wanted nothing to do with his hat.

Boogie picked a "Movie Star at the Emmys" costume.  Of course!!!  She looked glamorous and gorgeous as usual.  Baby got invited to Disney on Ice with a friend so she missed the party.

On the actual day of Halloween we decided to head over to my moms and trick or treat there.  People in our neighborhood tend to go ALL out including hanging pirates and Boogie is very sensitive to scary stuff.  My mom's cul de sac has not traditionally been as scary although this year it was the place to be.  A girl in a Scream like mask jumped out and scared Boogie and she vows she will never trick or treat again.  I am going to have to do better planning next year.

At least we got a few good shots before we traumatized her.

 I was really surprised when Baby picked a princess costume because she is my tomboy.  She does make a beautiful princess though!!

She does not take her posing nearly as seriously as sister does as you will soon see!

We have a shot just like this from every year since Baby was born.  Baby is goofy or uninterested and Boogie is trying to get a modeling contract.  My girls are so opposite!

 Notice Baby looking at Boogie to see what she is doing.  I wouldn't say she nailed it but she's trying!

Now that's the Baby we know and love!

 I have been waiting for YEARS to put my babies in Star Wars costumes!  So you'll have to forgive me if I took a million pictures.  Bunny rocked his Yoda costume.  Yoda wore skinny jeans right?

 Brother wanted nothing to do with pictures so we had to bribe him with food to sit down next to Bunny.  We even got him to wear his hat.  Then Bunny grabbed it off of his head.  I guess he wanted the spotlight.

 He also wanted that food!  Bunny is as quick as lightening when he decides he wants something.  We call him Velociraptor.

He hides his enthusiasm well but Buddy actually loved his costume.  He calls Darth Vader "hoo haa" and was happy to do his impression for his fans.
A fun night was had by all...even if Boogie was scared.  She designated herself the candy queen and pulled a chair up to the door and waited for kids to knock.  When she opened it she put on her best teacher voice and said "You may all take one piece of candy".