John Michael... can you say "cheese?"
Poor In-n-Out hat didn't last very long, did it?
John Michael hasn't had much chance to be a big brother yet, since Luke is only 8 days old. It's been interesting to watch him, though. When Luke cries (the boy has some pteradactyl pipes!), John Michael comes over and signs "cry." He loves to feel Luke's hair and is very gentle with him... at first. But, a few times John Michael has patted Luke hard on the head, pinched his foot, or pulled his fingers. The whole time he does it, he looks right at my face to see my reaction. I think he's testing his limits and to see what's OK, and of course, it's not!
In general though, he's curious and interested in Luke. When Luke is sleeping, John Michael has signed and spoken a combination of three words together... he'll say "Baby", sign "sleep" and put his finger to his lips and say "shhhh". That's the most signs and words he's put together at one time, which is fantastic. Lately, John Michael has been eager to try to label things around the home or outdoors or in books without prompting... usually with a word approximation or accompanied by a sign. It's so encouraging, especially now that our therapies are done for the summer.
As for Luke, he's more alert and wide-eyed during the day. He loves to be held (what baby doesn't!) by all his family members and does pretty well at night, with usually one slightly longer awake period around 3 or 4am (ugh!), but Daddy takes over after I feed him.
We're finding our way in this new world of 5 children. It's been said many, many times, but I find that John Michael having Down syndrome was sooooo much easier as a baby than my typically-developing babies. Less crying for sure! I even remember John Michael only pooping once a week back then. Luke's plumbing works quite well, which means a whole lotta diaper changes throughout the day and night.
My mom was here all week helping with the transition. Mostly, she helped John Michael pass the time by walking with him, taking him to the park, playing ball with him, or whatever he wanted to do. She also held the baby so I could get my (fat!) feet up. It was great to have her and I always hate to say good-bye. Monday and Tuesday this next week I'll be solo unless I can get my respite gal to help. I'm totally nervous about that because it's impossible to nurse the baby while John Michael is wandering around, getting into trouble. Yesterday, Anna found him on her top bunk crying. Thank God he didn't fall or try to climb down by himself! We'll eventually get into a routine and a rhythm... I just hope it comes sooner rather than later!
Luke signing off for now.
Check out this guy's long fingers, arms and legs. Future basketball player, perhaps?