Monday, August 24, 2009

i did it

Our local blogging friend, Jennifer of Three's a Charm, came up with a brilliant idea. She made up these darling t-shirts that say "i did it" which have become our mantra for everything new John Michael is doing. For each t-shirt purchased, Jennifer will donate the book Gifts 2, to which she's a contributing author, to a local hospital or pediatrician or genetic counselor's office. What a positive way to spread the news that children with Down syndrome are more like typical kids than different. To learn more about the "i did it" project, click here.

Below is our recent list of "i did it's"...

i did it #1: John Michael climbed into my rocking chair using a footstool. He has been working hard on this skill for a long time now and last week, he did it! When he gets in, he carefully turns forward and begins to rock back and forth. The look on his face is too funny.

i did it #2: John Michael (and his family) makes friends. Here's John Michael with our local blogging friend, Jennifer's, "i did it" twin, Joaquin. Through blogging this past year and the NDSC Convention last month, we've met some wonderful families and all because of an extra chromosome, the connections are very deep. I'm amazed at how John Michael and his little friends with Ds seem to bring the best out of all of us. Yes, that's the T21 Traveling Afghan on their laps. :-)

i did it #3: John Michael loves to go to the park and swing. He's starting to go down slides, too. When I ask him to "swing", he rocks the swing back and forth. His receptive language skills are really good.

i did it #4: John Michael can climb into his music therapist's box chair, turn around and sit forward all on his own now. He's been working on that for a long time. Before, he was able to stand up and climb onto the chair, but couldn't figure out how to turn around and sit forward. Last week, he did it!

i did it #5: John Michael can blow into a harmonica and make sounds. This is a difficult skill to learn. He's been vocalizing into a kazoo for a long time (over a year) and recently started blowing air into a recorder. The harmonica takes a lot more forced air to make a sound. Last week, he did it!

i did it #6: John Michael plays well independently. He loves to pull out his xylophone and play either with the attached mallet or with two drumsticks. Last week he started really paying attention to the different sounds the keys make and play different sounds, e.g., striking the red and then the dark blue to hear the contrast in sounds. I'm so proud of this "i did it".

While I could go on about his cognitive and motor skills growth spurt, I think you get the point. John Michael seemed to be at a standstill for a couple months, even retreating backwards in verbalizations while his gross motor skills were in the forefront. I guess that's pretty common. These past 2 weeks, all of a sudden, it seemed like a lightbulb lit up in his brain and he's doing so many wonderful new things. Even some not wonderful things... like climbing up onto a chair and then onto a table and sitting there. OK, it's a wonderful motor skill, but not great for safety purposes.

I have some cute videos to go with the post, but I've been so behind lately that I wanted to share this. Cheers!


  1. Yeah for John Michael, he really did do it. He's doing everything!!!
    BTW, Emilia got her "I did it" shirt today,then promptly fell asleep. Can't wait until she wakes up to take a picture.

    BTW again, I found Jennifer through your blog! Thanks for posting about her seriously brillant idea. I was moved to tears. Imagine if someone changes their mind about keeping their baby because of seeing that book. Or how it could help someone through their pregnancy. I wish I could have read it while I was pregnant.

  2. I LOVE his "i did it" accomplishments! He really is doing incredible! I was amazed when I saw what he could eat (crunchy potato chips!!!) at Sheridan's birthday! He is amazing! Such a champ!

  3. Yay John Michael! Matthew is still working on #4. And he's nowhere close to playing a harmonica. Way to go John Michael!

  4. That's so great- he's doing so well! "I did it" was one of the very first things Luke said.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Monica, We have to meet and soon! I am also a contributor to Gifts2 and love this idea!!! Also, the "I did it!" is just too cute. It's sooo much more important for the world to notice all of the things we CAN do, instead of the can'ts. :) Beth

  6. john michael,
    can you please let me know, in which city you live, so i can update the t21 traveling afghan map - i just got back from vacation and am a little behind. just leave a comment on my blog - thank you!!


  7. Hi Monica,

    This souns so familiar. In Holland we have a book Oei ik groei! on child development from birth to 2 years old. It's all about growing step by step. Children suddenly get a new skill and can even get scared of it, the world suddenly looks different again. They can get very fussy untill they get used to it. So: not typical for DS, but typical for every baby/toddler.

    Greetings from Holland!

  8. I love your post. He definitely "did it". The pics are great! Way to go John Michael.

  9. Yeah JM! He is getting so big. Love that shirt.

  10. How awesome! You have a beautiful family. THanks for commenting on my blog and allowing me to find your family. :=)

  11. I love of all of his "I did it" accomplishments!