Welcome to my blog!

A blog about our busy family with two amazing kids, one of whom happens to have Down syndrome!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sibling love

I'm in a better mood now than the last time I posted, thankfully. Getting all of that off my chest felt good. Honesty feels good.

Today has been a busy, yet fun day! We went to Baby Group at the Early Childhood Development program school. We normally don't go because you can't bring siblings and it's on a morning where Greg isn't home. He's off for spring break so we went. Also, Lauren's teacher recommended that she be evaluated by the physical therapist for added PT services. Now that she's offically a year old and refuses to bear weight on her legs she qualifies for PT. Right now she sees a teacher who does weekly home visits.

I took Lauren to baby group a couple of times over the summer and wasn't impressed. It's busy and largely unorganized and I didn't feel Lauren got a whole lot out of it. We learned a few things but I just continued those at home. Today wasn't much different, honestly. But I really wanted to see the PT!

We saw the PT and she just said, "Lauren's not ready to stand up yet. She's not interested" and that's kind of it. So I assumed that she wouldn't be getting additional services. I was disappointed.

But then when Lisa, Lauren's teacher, came over today she said that Lauren will be getting PT services! I'm very happy about that. I'm not sure when that starts or what needs to happen administratively to re-open her IFSP. I didn't think to ask.

Lauren's home visit went great today, as usual. I am so thankful for Michigan's Early On services. Having a whole team of people who really care about Lauren meeting her goals is amazing. Invaluable, really. Lisa brought over this little wooden chair today for Lauren to sit in to practice putting some weight on her legs. She looks like a little grown up!

She's been talking up a storm today, it's so cute. She will NOT say mama though! I say, "Lauren, say mama!" She cocks her cute little head to the side and proudly says, "Dada!" I almost think she does it on purpose.

Ryan has been playing with Lauren a lot more too. It's adorable! Now that she's more interactive and chatty I think he relates to her a lot more.

Be still my heart.

I said, "You guys are the best!"
Ryan: "We know, Mommy!"


He really loves her! That is such an amazing feeling that I can't even describe.

Today is a great day!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A vent-y, angry post.

I was finishing up the thank you notes for Lauren's birthday gifts yesterday when something made me a tiny bit sad and question myself.

Lauren got a lot of money for her birthday. When I was writing those thank you notes I originally wrote, "Thank you so much for the gift of money, I'm saving it for college!"

But will she go to college? Will people think I'm crazy for even hoping?

I ended up starting over and writing, "Thank you for the gift of money, I'm saving it for my future!"

It was the first time in a while that Down syndrome made me a little sad. I know college is not the end-all-be-all. It's not even necessary to be successful! So why did that tug on my heart so much?

And then this morning I read a news story about a little girl who's three years old that was pulled out of line by the TSA while flying and screened. I get that, I guess. Terrorists could be anywhere? (My feelings on this are a post for another day, believe me.) But then they tried to refuse to give her back her stuffed lamb, even after it too had been screened. I can only think she was singled out because she looked different.

Lauren and I are flying alone next month (YAY! So excited!). But now I'm starting to get a little nervous. Will a young (ha!) mother and daughter be pulled out of line because one of us looks a little different? Will we, too be singled out because we don't fit the mold of what a family "should" look like?

Another thing I'm mad about. Mad doesn't even describe it, actually. The situation with Russian adoptions is killing me. The Russian government is all up in arms because several Russian adoptees (now Americans, actually) have been killed while in the U.S. I understand their anger. But how in hell can they be so angry about how "their" children are treated here? Do you even know how some children are treated there? Children -babies, really- are starved, neglected, forgotten and hidden away by the government. Many just because they were born with too many chromosomes. They are transfered to adult mental institutions around their 4th birthday. Starved of human touch. Compassion. Love. Nobody cares if they have sweet dreams. If they're clean. If they ever learn to walk, much less get out of bed. They die from infected bed sores, starvation, lack of medical care. But now Russia is angry? It's okay if it's sanctioned by their government though? It's infuriating. Believe me, I agree with everyone in saying that one child killed is one child too many. But outlawing adoption to the U.S.? Trying to outlaw foreign adoption all together? It's disgusting and hypocrisy, at best.

Sorry for the depressing post, I'm in a mood I guess. Time to put on my big girl pants and cheer up. Lauren is unpacking her diaper bag as we speak!

I am lucky enough to be this girl's mama and today we will have fun.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aunt Bubbles took the Plunge!

It's kind of blurry, but the girl in the pink tutu is my twin sister jumping into the Detroit River for the Polar Plunge! It was so heartwarming to see so many people care so much about the Special Olympics. It was 26 and snowy that day!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day photo bomb!

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is also the 1 year anniversary of bringing Lauren home from the hospital! Greg and I went on our first date 11 years ago today as well. It's a day of celebration!

Last year at this time we were bringing Lauren home...and I was TERRIFIED!!! I thought they were nuts for just sending us home with a "special needs baby" who had a heart defect. Luckily, it all worked out ;)

Here are the flowers from my amazing husband:
And my usual photo dump:
Lauren fell asleep while having a snack on her  birthday. Birthdays are hard work!
We had a playdate yesterday! She was excited!
The one picture I have from her party. Ryan was so busy playing we barely saw him!
Ryan after his sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa. Sleepovers are tough!
My main squeeze :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Lauren!!!

Today my smiling, blue eyed, sweet baby girl is a year old!

I can't even believe that she's mine to keep. There were days I couldn't let myself believe we'd make it this far. Lauren has taught me to trust God, have patience, enjoy life and love deeply.

Her party was Saturday and it was amazing! I'm sad to say that I didn't take any pictures! I think my wonderful mother in law did so as soon as she puts them up I'll put them here! We had an awesome time with our family and friends. Lauren ate pizza, meatballs and cake!

Today for her actual birthday we're just hanging out. Ryan and Lauren are excited to go to Babies R Us to shop around with Grandma Pam and Baby Cousin (so am I!) and Lauren has therapy at 2:30 :)

This is the life!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The barfing saga continues...

We've tried Zantac, special formula, different feeding schedules, making her sit up for an hour after each bottle, praying, wishing and quite possibly doing a no-barf rain dance.

This girl "spits up" aka barfs up her entire bottle almost every single time.

We talked to the pediatrician about it a couple of months ago and I suggested that maybe it's a cow's milk sensitivity. Even formula is made from milk protein. She agreed it could be a possibility and at first suggested soy formula. But Lauren already has constipation issues so that wasn't a viable option for us.

The plan has been to switch her to cow's milk at 12 months old just like any other baby. She's had it here and there already. She drank about 4oz yesterday and proceeded to throw up all freaking day! Way more than usual. I'm starting to really get concerned with her liquid intake and I don't understand how she isn't dehydrated. She doesn't spit up food, just formula and milk. And yogurt- all over my phone which now doesn't always have sound!

It's to the point where she's starting to wean herself from bottles, I think because in her mind she thinks, "Every time I drink this it comes back up and hey, it hurts!" But she hasn't quite mastered a straw cup.

We bought her unsweetened coconut milk yesterday from Trader Joe's. Or "Joey's" as Ryan calls it. She chugged it and didn't spit up even a tiny little bit. Not a drop. That's not happened since I quit breastfeeding.

The problem is that coconut milk doesn't have any protein. So I don't think it's a long-term option for us even though it's high in "good" fats, which she certainly needs. Her diet is really varied and she eats healthier than most adults, much less most 1 year olds. So I know she's getting protein in her diet! But I'm positive that the pediatrician won't give the OK to give coconut milk instead of cow's milk. Maybe almond milk? Anyone been here? I never realized how frustrating food sensitivites could be. Oh my word! I'm at my wit's end!

I'm afraid the pediatrician is going to think I'm some kind of weirdo who doesn't want to give my kid cow's milk- NOT that people who don't want to give it to their kids are weirdos! I'm just afraid that it's how I'll be perceived. And even more concerned that it will make our pediatrician wary of giving me solid advice on an acceptable alternative.