Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guess who said "Mama" today?

22 months, 9 days.

That's how long I've waited for this momentous milestone.



No, it's not climbing up the slide.. which is cool all by itself.


Or showing me how proud he is of himself once he gets to the top.



Or the fact that he can stand and "drive the car" while his hair stands tall with static.


Or that he can slide down all by himself without help.

These are great things.

But today, during John Michael's private music therapy session, he verbalized many new sounds, such as puh, nuh, and muh.

Yes, muh. And then with some encouragement and some patience on our part, it happened.

He said "Mama". Over and over again.

Not just once, but a couple times.

He was sitting on my lap and I started crying. I didn't cheer him on because I didn't want him to notice that if he says "Mama", I'm going to cry. So Carly, his MT, cheered for me, for her, for him. It was awesome.

It's always exciting to hear "Mama" for the first time, but with a child with Down syndrome, I've had to be extra patient.

Today is my day and I'm going to bask in this feeling for a long, long time.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Cross Country Meet

Anna ran in her first cross country meet yesterday in upper 90 degree weather. Even after her 1.25 mile run, she was all smiles and ready for another mile. Way to go, Anna!

John Michael was all smiles for big sis, Anna. His daddy's camp hat looks mighty cute on him, too.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

GOAL!

Well, not really.
Not as in... he scored a soccer goal.

But, at Anna's opening soccer game this morning, John Michael was all smiles as he showed off his latest achievement of standing unsupported and taking 2 to 3 steps. To that, I say
"Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll"


I'm guessing that by the end of soccer season, which will be John Michael's 2nd birthday, he'll be ready to kick the ball. That would be a fun goal to work toward!



John Michael loves to climb on Nic, who loves every minute of it!


Nic noticed that JM's ball, jersey and shorts are all Adidas. Now we just need to get Adidas to notice :-) I'm not sure if they have any kids with Down syndrome in their ads, but there's a first time for everything.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Late) -- My Oddballs

Starring...

  • Nic as Bigfoot
  • John Michael as the Magic Dwarf
  • Anna as the Lizard Person, and
  • Greta as Tahoe Tessie
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I got shoes...

John Michael may not quite be walking independently yet, but he can stand for 10 to 15 seconds all by himself without holding onto anything and is cruising everywhere, indoors and out. Today, I decided to get his feet measured at Stride Rite and buy him some durable first walkers. His size... 5 1/2 XW, as in extra wide. LOL.

I asked him, "John Michael, can you show me your shoes?" and he pointed to his cool new shoe.

He's discovering that they're good for more than walking... they can even help when climbing up the slide.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

100th Post! -- Major Milestones!

My 100th post! For me, a major procrastinator and non-finisher of projects, this is a major milestone! If it weren't for the all wonderful comments I've received and all the other inspirational Ds bloggers out there, I don't know if I would've continued. I honestly didn't know when I began in July 2008, whether I'd stick with it. It was just an experiment, but it's here to stay. I'm hooked!


I was reflecting this past week on what to write for my 100th post and how to tie it in to John Michael. Since the beginning of my blog, I've been publicly celebrating John Michael's milestones, great and small. For my 3 typical kids, major milestones came without much effort and all happened within the standard timeframes. One day, you turn around and your one year old is walking. We celebrated the big ones like sitting up, crawling, walking and talking. But with John Michael, before each major milestone occurred, many mini-milestones had to happen along the way -- all the little in-between steps. Each victory was a cause for celebration in our home and another reason to post to my blog.


John Michael's newest milestone, at 21 months old, has been standing for 5 to 8 seconds unsupported and taking one to two steps forward. He puts his hands out for me to pull him up, lets go of my hands, and with his hands chest level, feet apart and hips balancing his weight, he takes a step forward and literally falls face-first into my chest. It's hilarious! We do this about 15 times in a row until his legs are too tired to stand again. It's quite an amusing game!


Here, John Michael is actually doing the work himself. Pulling up to stand with the help of the box chair, letting go and then grabbing onto the chair again. Getting a photo was quite a challenge since it all happens so fast!

Another recent milestone that took him several months to figure out is climbing in, turning and sitting forward in a chair by himself. This boy works so hard and doesn't give up easily. I love his spirit and perseverance!

Another cause for celebration is putting John Michael down in his crib for a nap or at bedtime while he's still somewhat awake and letting him put himself to sleep, with the help of his Binky. In the morning, he sits up and pushes the button on his little jungle music toy and waits for one us to pick him up.

Another milestone for me has been making so many wonderful new friends, both in person and online. There is an enormous support network for all of us parents who have a child with Down syndrome. It's amazing! Our local Down Syndrome Information Alliance, blogging, Facebook, Ds forums, NDSC Convention, and our local Ds buddies... they've all been ways to connect with moms and dads and to share each others' joys and trials... to give each other support when things aren't going well and to celebrate the milestones, great and small. It's been an amazing learning curve and growth for me personally. I also no longer "worry" about what other people think about John Michael because the positive experiences we've had far outweigh any negative ones. I now enjoy talking with people about John Michael, his abilities and try to help shape peoples' views about Down syndrome in a positive light.

Which brings me to this... John Michael just received his very own afghan, beautifully crocheted by CJ. We've had the pleasure of cuddling with the official T21 Traveling Afghan and have even given an afghan as a gift, but now it's John Michael's turn. This afghan has so much meaning to us and connects us to all the other beautiful children with Down syndrome who have their very own afghans as well. I chose the yarn and colors, and CJ did a beautiful job putting it all together.
Isn't it gorgeous?! John Michael loves it, too!