Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One day.......

......these small steps will be a thing of the past.....

video

.....but today, I will ENJOY them, one small step at a time!!!
(you may want to pause the music at the bottom of the page)

Since Landon started going to "school" full time this month, he has been making some really great gains in many different areas.  I am amazed at how quickly he has been learning ALL of these new skills.  For about a month and a half now, Landon has enjoyed pulling to stand on his own, every chance he gets.  About 2 weeks ago, he started creeping along the coffee table when I would move toys, just out of his reach.  He would TRY to pull up on his "learning walker",  but he was primarily using his upper body strength as opposed to his legs and he would end up pulling the walker on top of himself.  Clearly, Landon would not be defeated.  He has continuously been practicing pulling up on the walker, and has finally succeeded.  

This past Friday, while I was on the floor playing with Landon, he headed over to his walker, stood up behind it, and took his very first step.  Yes, the tears filled my eyes, immediately!!!  I was in complete shock.  Shocked that it happened at that very moment!  Every day, this little boy,  simply amazes me !  With extremely "minimal" assistance, Landon began pushing his walker around the coffee table.  On occasion, the walker would get ahead of his feet, I would hold it in place until his feet caught up, let it go, and off he went again.....by himself.  The music is a bit of a distraction!  If you noticed my hand tapping the walker in the video, I was pressing the button to make the music play.  If the music should stop, then so shall Landon!  lol  We are trying to keep him on the carpet for now.  He has hit the hardwood floors a couple of times, but he just picks up too much speed.  

It's funny how when I look back at Landon's first year, it seemed as though each new skill took months to master.  I remember how frustrated I felt.  Second guessing if I was giving him all the tools he needed to achieve each new goal.  I remember almost 6 months ago, sitting on my floor, with Landon's entire EI team.  I remember discussing our goals for Landon, clearly.  At that time, the "main" focus was for Landon to start bearing weight on his legs.  Something he wanted absolutely NO part of.  I remember Scott & I discussing whether or not we wanted to list walking as one of his goals.  We actually decided against it, not because we didn't believe that Landon would some day start walking, but rather that we didn't feel that was a "realistic" goal at that time.  The bottom line was, IF Landon does walk within 6 months, that would be a huge bonus!!  Honestly speaking, if you had asked me 6 months ago, if I thought Landon would be walking by the time he was 2, I probably would have responded, NO!  After all, he wasn't cooperating in the bearing weight on his legs department, AT ALL!  Why should he have to, after all, he had perfected the commando crawl.  The boy could get around=)

I guess my thoughts at the time were based on how long it was taking Landon to learn new skills.  But all of a sudden, new skills are popping up more frequently.  Is it because he has 2 older brothers?  Is it because Landon goes to "school" full time, 4 days a week?  Is it because he has a heavy therapeutic schedule 5 days a week?  Honestly, I really DO NOT know!!  Maybe, this is just simply, Landon's time!!! 

I WILL tell you this, I am BEAMING!!  I am so happy for my little peanut.  For all his hard work.  It's the small stuff........the small steps.......that truly are MAJOR accomplishments and are cause for the biggest celebrations!! 

Will all new skills emerge as quickly.........maybe........maybe not!  But you can bet that walking will be a goal on Landon's next IFSP!!  Do I think that there is a possibility that Landon will be walking by 2 years old?  YES!!  Landon's possibilities are ENDLESS!!!






  


Friday, September 24, 2010

"8"

.......I still can't believe it!!  Mason (my oldest) turned 8 today.  Where is the time going?  Someone, please stop that clock.  I can't seem to keep up!!

*sigh*  Where do I begin?!  After all, Mason, you are mommy & daddy's beginning!!  September 24, 2002 @ 2:12pm weighing 7lbs. 6 oz and 20" long, you entered this world (our world).  Our journey into parenthood had officially begun!  Love, hope, dreams (and fears too), the three of us were in this thing together!!  Every "first" we would share, together too.

CHANGE.  The past few weeks  I've been noticing changes.......BIG changes.......YOU are growing so fast.

You are now in the 3rd grade!  And so far, you are off to a very good start.  Every year your growth shows.  You tackle each project with such will and determination.  Frustration, on occasion, accompanies that will & determination but you work through it well.  And you are a great problem solver. You have a love for crossword puzzles, word searches and brain teasers. The tougher the problem, the more determined you are to solve it.   Hang on to these tools tight, they will get you far in life.

You LOVE to read!!  Not surprising from a boy who was reading fluently at age 4.  It must have been all the reading mommy & daddy did to you while you were in my belly.  As a toddler, you loved books.  Flipping through the pages, pointing to pictures and mostly being read to.  That love for reading continues to this day.  At any given time you can be found lying down on your bed with a good book.  Chapter books........already..........you finished the whole Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection last year in the second grade.  Now that's a lot of reading!!

You are quiet & shy.  You like to warm up to things and people before you jump in.  That's OK.  It's good to be cautious.  Sometimes you struggle with your confidence.  You are capable of so many wonderful things!  Believe in yourself.  You do not have to be the best (at everything), just give your best, to all that you do!

You are very compassionate and sensitive.  Two things that are so important in life.  As you are getting older, you are starting to realize how fortunate you are.  (a truly important life lesson)  You are becoming more aware of the world around you.  "Giving" is becoming a big part of who you are.  At 8 years old, you are realizing how important it is for us to give back to our community and to those who are less fortunate.  You have a desire to help those in need.  For example, you no longer find it necessary to hang on to all your toys (including the ones you haven't played with for some time).  Instead, you rather pack a bag and donate it to children who have never had toys.  You now see the greater good!!  It fills my heart with so much joy to see the young "boy" you are becoming!!  And such great qualities needed to be a true friend.  You clearly have no problems there.........you have friends in abundance!!  Some that you have had since preschool.  Finding your way and place in this world will not always be easy.  Surround yourself with family & good friends.  And always stay true to YOU!!

You are an AMAZING big brother.  Don't get me wrong, you & Elijah definitely have your moments.  But hey, that's life.  You also share some common grounds.  Like wrestling, sports, music and video games.  You are a great protector.  Always watching out for your little brothers.  A job you take seriously now that Elijah goes to the same school as you.   And especially with Landon.  I pity the fool who even dares to step near that fine line.  You are so attentive.  It doesn't matter what you are doing, you always have time for your bothers (well, maybe not immediately, but at least within a few seconds. lol).  Whether helping Elijah with his homework or playing catch with Landon. You always make it a point to include Landon in everything.  Even if it's telling him about something you & Elijah did.  It's always followed by, "and some day when you are older, WE are going to......"!!  Yes, some day you 3 boys.......*sigh*!!  Just makes my heart smile=)

You are such a CLOWN!!  You love to make people laugh!!  Whether it be magic tricks, jokes or imitation (Urkel, one of your favorites)........you definitely have a sense of humor!

You love sports!  Right now you play baseball, soccer & flag football.  You have shown such growth in all 3!!  I loved watching you play  between 4-6 years old, making friends and having so much fun.  But I love watching you play even more, now, and how you have learned to become a team player while continuing to have so much fun!!   You take constructive criticism well, and put it to good use!  This is the key to great success!!  A big part of LEARNING!!

Basketball is next on your list!!  I guess mommy & daddy shouldn't plan on having a "free" weekend any time soon, huh??!!  lol


You love to play video games!  Wrestling and basketball are 2 of your favorites right now!  At times they seem to abduct you from your family.  But we are learning how to fit  them in to your busy schedule!  Too much of anything is never a "good" thing!  Other things you like to do are: baking (but there is far more joy in eating what you bake), playing basketball and riding your bike.  You just learned how to "officially" ride your bike (and stop without falling) this past summer.  (we will blame that on modern technology and motorized quads).  There's no stopping you now=)

lol  And, you love to dance!!  Maybe some hip hop classes will be added to that list soon!!  (FYI:  girls love a guy who can dance)!!

Oh Mason, my heart is filled with so much love for you!  You see, my journey into parenthood began with you.  We share a bond that is indescribable.  It's a feeling.  Through you, I have experienced many firsts.  My first pregnancy.  The overwhelming emotions I felt the first time I was called, mama.  The pure joy of seeing you take your first steps. And how proud I was of you when you started kindergarten.

For 3 years we enjoyed uninterrupted cuddle time.  Countless hugs & kisses.  And many "date nights".  The list goes on.  As our family has grown, our one on one time may not be as often as we would like.  But we always manage to share a quiet conversation any "free" chance we get.  Those moments may be few but they sure are priceless.  Moments when we share our thoughts and our concerns on anything & everything.  I just LOVE how free & comfortable our conversations are.  May our line of communication always be open.  I cherish the bond you & I share.  It is my hope, that we always find time to talk and to squeeze a "date night" in to our busy schedules.  No matter how old we get.

Happy 8th Birthday my sweet, sweet Mason!!  Today is your day.  Today we celebrate you and all the joy you bring to our lives.  We love you to the moon & back!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yes, he CAN learn!!

**This post is in conclusion to my last post.  If you missed it, you can read it HERE!** 

In regards to "THE QUESTION" that I was asked a few days ago, I believe this video is the "PERFECT ANSWER"!


video


YES!  He CAN learn!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just....SPEECHLESS!

In keeping true to spreading awareness, I felt the need to share this post with all of you.  You see, when I had Landon I searched EVERYWHERE for information regarding Down syndrome.  It is through this searching that I came across this AMAZING community of people, who openly & willingly, were out there sharing their stories & their BEAUTIFUL children.  It took me a few weeks to finally have the courage to start my own blog.  That "moment" came when I realized that all of these selfless families took time out of their busy days to share their stories, which in turn HELPED me!  I saw the good in blogging, and the amazing effects it had on those who had already embarked on this wonderful journey and for those who were preparing to.

So, here "I" am, SHARING our story, in hopes that I too will be someone else's "moment".

I love watching blogs evolve, a true testament to the experience of personal growth.  Looking back at my posts, I too, see my personal growth.  At the beginning, I was so unsure of EVERYTHING, I was out there just finding my way on this dark path with lots of forks in the road.  Lots of important decisions to make.  I'm still unsure of things, but I am happy to say that I have a little more faith in myself.  How can I not, when my children DEPEND on me.

We have been so fortunate to have a wonderful support circle and to be surrounded by the most loving & supportive family & friends.  Our lives ARE more alike than different which has helped in making all the puzzle pieces fit.  Not MUCH has changed after having Landon, although a lot more people's lives have been touched by his presence.  Just makes my heart smile=)

Although I have found my place of peace, I am very well aware of the fact that we do not live in a plastic bubble.  You see, when Landon was born, I played out lots of scenarios in my head.  What will I do/say if someone refers to Landon as "the R word"?  How will I handle the staring?  You get my point!!  So, I drew up this game plan in my mind and had a Plan A, B C, etc..  I felt like I always had to be prepared to handle ANYTHING that came my way.  Strategically placed plans for each scenario.  I am happy to say that those plans have stayed in the "play book".  Don't get me wrong, I have encountered staring on many occasions, sometimes leaving me to feel sad and scared (knowing that this IS part of Landon's future).  But I tackle that issue with exposing Landon to everything & everyone!  I am proud of who he is, and I want the world to know that.  I'm assuming that it is more of a curiosity thing.  I just wish people would be more open and ask questions.  That works for me!

Two days ago, a person that I knew, did approach me & asked a question.  The conversation was going well and then all of a sudden, I found myself.......SPEECHLESS!!  (I know those of you who know me well are in complete shock right now.  Kelly...speechless.....two words that don't quite fit together). LOL   This conversation changed rather quickly when it went from "Landon is absolutely adorable, he is truly mesmerizing", to, "HOW is he doing (with that look of sympathy), is he ABLE to learn?"  WHAT???  Are you kidding me?  All those witty comebacks and all those plans were NOWHERE to be found.  It was just me, this person and this long pause of silence (like an outer body experience).  I was searching for words but none were to be found.  THOUGHTS, oh yes, thoughts I had.  Like my initial thought of "Are you kidding me, you are worried if Landon CAN learn?  You've got some learning to do yourself!"  I made a quick recovery with all of the wonderful things that Landon IS doing.  I kept my composure, ended the conversation and off she went.  All of a sudden I was flushed with emotion and I could not stop laughing (to myself of course).  What did she think.....Landon was like a stuffed animal or an elf on a shelf that just sits around looking cute and waits for someone to play with it?  Seriously?!  It was in those moments following that I realized just how far I have come.  A year ago, I am sure this would have been a very ugly confrontation and a lot of hurt feelings.  Don't get me wrong, it did sting a little bit, but I realized how sorry I felt for this person instead.  Sorry that she has not been touched by Down syndrome.  And that she will never know what she is missing!!  I am slowly starting to realize how to pick & choose my battles.  As I quickly replayed the event that had just taken place, I realized that there truly was NO MALICE involved.  But I was sadly slapped by reality of how some people are uneducated and misinformed when it comes to Down syndrome.  *sigh*

I am proud of myself.  Proud of how much I have grown these past 19 months.  And I must make sure that my objective stays clear and that I keep my eyes on the ultimate goal.  And so with this life lesson and Landon in my heart, I will continue on in my efforts to help spread awareness.   EDUCATE! EDUCATE! EDUCATE!  This is definitely the key to our children's future!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

Yay!  It's official, the school year has truly begun, all 3 boys are back in school.  Today was Elijah's 1st day of Kindergarten, and boy was he SUPER excited!  Last night before he went to bed, we read 3 books about Kindergarten, and Mason & I answered lots of questions.  We went over all the ways that kindergarten and preschool are the same and all the ways that they are different.  I actually had butterflies in  my stomach.  Not the "I'm so nervous, I think I'm gonna cry" kind, but the "OMG, watch out Mrs. Sylvia, you're in for one heck of a ride" kind!!!  lol

So, we woke up this morning to our good 'ole "SCHEDULE" (I really LOVE that thing)!!!  And finally, out the door we went, right around the corner & up the street from our house (a whole minute & a half), to the place that gives me peace of mind while I'm at work all day.........SCHOOL=)  Elijah couldn't get out of his car seat fast enough.  I of course had to take a few pictures of this BIG DAY!!  We then proceeded to the side entrance (where the NEW BIG BOYS & GIRLS will enter their new classroom).  We were greeted by lots of excited children and some very sad faces.....parents of course!!  Not this mommy, I was just as excited for Elijah as he was for himself!  We waited for his teacher to give him his name tag, had a kiss goodbye, and in nothing other than Elijah style, "I" got a hi-five!!  Short & sweet, and off my little  BIG boy went, through the doors of KNOWLEDGE!!  *SIGH*

Looking back I can remember all the anxiety I felt having to go back to work after each of my 3 pregnancies.  I always yearned to be a "stay-at-home-mom", unfortunately, that was never in the cards for me.  I was however very blessed to have such a GREAT support system and parents/grandparents who were available to babysit.  With the exception of Mason, my 1st born (who didn't go to daycare/preschool until he was 3 years old), both Elijah & Landon shared their time (from 3 months of age) between the two.  Elijah went 2 days/wk and increased to 4 days/wk (8am - 4pm) when he turned 3.  Landon went 2 days/wk and has increased to 4 days/wk (8am - 4pm) this past Tuesday.  His therapists now see him @ school.  It seems my boys have ALWAYS been in school.  At some point the school may change, (some)friends may change and teachers will change.  It's exciting for them.......just like replacing an old toy with a new one!  Lucky for me, TEARS & SEPARATION, have never been an issue (the boys have always known school to be part of their life).  Well, I did cry all the way to work the day Mason started preschool, I was so upset that he waved goodbye to me from across the room as he began playing blocks with a fellow classmate.  How DARE he not cry and tell me how much he would miss me!!  lol  SO, I guess the trade off worked for "me".  Well, I can say that now=)

Have a wonderful school year boys!!  LIVE! LEARN! LOVE!
(and have lots of FUN too=)

(Elijah's 1st day of Kindergarten)


(2 boys, same school, one stop for mommy=)


(My BOYS!!!)


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

1st Day of School


HOORAY!  HOORAY!!  THE KIDS WENT BACK TO SCHOOL TODAY!! 

(Oops, sorry, please excuse me while I try to contain my excitement! Yay!   NOPE.  It didn't work!!)

Although there is close to 2 weeks left of the summer season, TODAY, my yearning for the fall season assured me that it is right around the corner.  Yes, the day the kids go back to school.  Summer has never really been, well summer, since 1997 when I started my full time "DAY" job that requires me to work 52 weeks a year.  UGH!!  It never really bothered me as I was not much of a "beach" kinda gal.  But I must confess that it bothers me more now that I am a "MOM", and my kids are in school.  You see, during the school year we have a very hectic schedule, but it works for us.  There is consistency & predictability!!  Then the summer rolls around, and we find ourselves looking into all kinds of activities (which require money), to keep the kids....BUSY!!  Let's face it, there is no adult (in their right mind) that actually has the energy to keep up with these kids.....all.day.long.  Kids need kids!!  It's complete chaos juggling 3 different schedules & shuffling babysitters around so that all the grandparents have the opportunity to spend some time with the kids.  For the record, we are very blessed that there is very rarely a time when "a" grandparent is unavailable to babysit and even more blessed that those grandparents are still around to make everlasting memories for us & the boys.  That which includes my 92 year old grandmother (who to this day vacations once a year, sometimes twice....... Vegas & Disney, 2 of her favorites and who actually still drives).  BLESSED!!!

But today, the day I like to think was dedicated to giving me my sanity back, is here in full force.  Hail the SCHEDULE=)  We woke up this morning and started this day, which will be referred to as groundhog day, starting tomorrow.  It went something like this:

- wake up
- eat breakfast
- get #1 washed while #2 gets dressed
- get #2 washed while #1 gets dressed
- make lunches
- get #3 washed & dressed up
- double check backpacks & lunch boxes
- pack up the car (including 3 kids who are all in car seats.......oldest is in booster, does not meet age, weight or height requirement)

**I'm starting to think we have an "underweight" issue in this house.  Clearly not my issue!!**

- drop off #2 & #3 at school first
- drop off #1 at school
- drive myself to work.......definitely, NOT.ON.TIME=/
- work, work, work, work, work
- pick up #1 from school (meet mother-in-law for drop off of #1)
- work, work, work, work, work
- pick up #2 & #3 from school
- homework for #1 (yes, on the first day of school)
- prepare & eat dinner
- bathe #3
- assist in bathing #2
- time #1 in the shower (way too long)
- bedtime #3
- ice cream snack (husband's idea)
- bedtime #1 & #2
- clean up dinner mess
- get backpacks & clothes ready for tomorrow
- BLOG about my day=)

In case you were wondering who was assigned which number:

#1 = Mason (3rd grade) - 1st day of school


#2 Elijah - (kindergarten) 



(Elijah has 3 more days at his preschool, and he will start his 1st day of kindergarten, Monday the 13th)

#3 Landon - 1st day of school (Full time in the toddler room)



(this little man will be going to school 4 days/week from 8am-4pm)

The boys all had a wonderful day.  Mason was excited to see who was in his class this year (and he was very happy).  Elijah is happy that he gets to spend a few more days with his preschool friends (but this boy is bursting at the seams with excitement to start "Big Boy School").  And Landon had a GREAT day.  He fully participated in all the toddler activities today.  He played with his friends, he ate snack & lunch with his friends, he napped on his big boy mat, like his friends AND he made artwork with his friends.  Be still my heart!  My little peanut IS growing up!!  

All in all it was a HAPPY day!  The kids were happy and so was this mama,  HAPPY to have her schedule back=)


  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Almost" Wordless Wednesday

**Do not forget to turn the music off at the bottom of the page.**

(If you can get past the screaming boys, listen closely to daddy, in the background, singing to Landon.)




video