Thursday, February 16, 2012


Mea Culpa!!!

Please forgive my slacking on blogging. We have seriously been hit HARD with the nasty cold and flu viruses around here and making its way through 5 kids took a couple weeks. Then, something new pops up and we're at it again! All the kids were in school today for the first time in 2 weeks. Let's just say, I was soooooo ready!

Memory.  Cognition.

It's something that I often joke is failing (in my brain...), but it's really no joke. My grandmother in Germany had Alzheimer's Disease in her 90's and it was a very difficult time for her family. My grandmother's son also died with Alzheimer's. So... it runs in my family. 

Knowing that, I felt immense guilt when John Michael was born with Ds and I read that people with Down syndrome have a greater probability of getting Alzheimer's Disease by age 40. Yes, 40!  I know there is research being done for this very reason (Dr. William Mobley is a leader in this area) and I am hopeful that by the time they find a treatment and it is approved for people, it won't be too late for John Michael. You know how research goes...

Well, the image above made me smile, which also sparked this post.

2 years ago, when I was pregnant with Luke, and John Michael was just about 2 1/2 years old, Doug's Uncle Piet, Aunt Bettie and great grandmother "Granny" visited from Holland (I posted about it back in May 2010).

John Michael fell instantly in love with his distant relatives, but was especially drawn to Piet. Something about John Michael drew him in and they enjoyed each other's company.

Piet used to do this silly thing by pulling on his ears and sticking out his tongue (see 1st photo above). John Michael thought it was hilarious and soon copied. The relatives visited only for a few weeks and John Michael hasn't seen them or had contact with them since.

So, I recently asked John Michael, "What does Piet do?"

And he immediately gave me a big smile, tugged on his ears and stuck out his tongue and then said, "Piet does."

This is sooooo cool!

We love to play little memory games with John Michael to get him to recall the past. But 2 years is awesome!  He wasn't very verbal at that stage yet, but he understood most of what you told him.  The fact that he could recall it, do it and say it was fantastic.  Just look at how little he ws back then!

Just had to share...

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  1. I have Alzheimer's in my family, too (both grandmothers). :-( And because Samantha is an only child and our families are small, this scares me even more...

    Love the note about memory - and the photo is just too cute! I'm often truly *amazed* at the things Samantha remembers. John Michael's a smart little cookie!!

  2. He is such a cutie, and it is so awesome that he has such a great memory of that time, and knows exactly what you were talking about, and did it himself. Awesome! Just love those little things that please and thrill a momma's heart!

  3. He has gotten so bi!

    I wish my memory worked that well. What a smarty pants he is!

  4. I love hearing about JM, this post was awesome!

    My Grandpa had Alzheimer's too...I worry about Russell, 40 is so young, that alone makes me sad :(

  5. Awesome, Good for John Michael!! What a cutie pie.

  6. Such a cute guy! I know that feeling, when they remember something you weren't sure they would. Beth was close to my mom, then we moved out of state. Two years later my mom moved to be near us, but moved away a few years later. (She thought we were moving again.) It's been 15 years since Beth hung out with my mom, but she still talks about places they visited, malls they shopped in. It's amazing the things she remembers!