Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Dec '08


Wes has made two major breakthroughs! (And no, I’m not taking about teeth, which we’re still waiting for…)

Friday we went to Tucanos for lunch. Oh, the yumminess. I had brought a PB&J sandwhich for Wes so I could enjoy my own lunch without having to share much. I ripped off small pieces and put them on the (Wet-Wiped) table surface for him to pick up and eat. After a while John pointed out that Wes seemed to be rubbing the table with his hand when his PB&J pieces were gone, like he wanted more. I’ve been doing the “more” sign to Wes for months and months, and although this wasn’t the actual “more” sign he was doing, he appeared to be doing it deliberately. I had ordered a smoothie with mango and pineapple and banana blended with ice cream. I poured a little into a kid’s cup and helped Wes drink it. Have I mentioned that Wes looooooooves ice cream? Giving him this drink kicked his sign-making into high gear. Whenever I pulled the cup away he’d start rubbing the table top like crazy and smiling. I wish we had our camera with us. We were so proud of him.

Yesterday at lunch we gave him more pieces of a PB&J, and although I had to leave mid-lunch for an appointment, when I came back John said that Wes was still doing the table-rubbing. So maybe he’s finally learned his first sign! Even if he did make it up himself.

The other good news is that Wes seems to be getting the hang of turn-taking. His speech therapist first visited him five months ago when Wes was ten months old and asked if Wes would mimic sounds or actions. That answer was a big fat “no.” But turn-taking is one of those skills that kids need to have in order to be successful with speech, so we’ve been working on it and working on it (without much success; he’s really good at staring at you, though). But the other day Wes was making noise and I started making noise back to him. He’d yell, then I’d yell back. He thought this was the funnest game ever, and it made him giggle. He was purposely “talking” so I’d talk back, and he thought it was hilarious. I’ve tried this game in months past, but he didn’t seem to get it like he gets it now.

Several months ago I took Wes to library time where they were learning baby signs. There were babies there six, seven, eight months old who were making the sign for “milk,” and I thought that was amazing. The director asked me if I’ve been doing signs with Wes, and I said, yes, ever since he was about a month old. Then she asked if he’d ever done them back to me, and that answer was no. Never. She recognized his Down syndrome and said that kids with DS get it, but they get it when they want to get it.

So maybe things are starting to click for Wes. Two big milestones this week. Maybe the next one with be a tooth….

Dec '08

Ding Dongs

Yesterday morning I brought home two boxes of Ding Dongs. I thought they’d be good Christmas treats to hand out to the eleven-year-olds I teach at church this Sunday, and the leftovers would be good for special Christmas Eve treats when my family is over for dinner. They’re wrapped in cute silver foil (I opened a box to see), which I think is very Christmasy and would look good stacked on a tray with other Christmas goodies.

Last night John pulled me into the kitchen and said, “I saw something today,” and opened the pantry door and pointed to the Ding Dongs. I told him, “Yeah, I know,” and told him why I got them. Then he blushed a little and said one of them is missing.

I just laughed. I knew he liked chocolate treats but hadn’t realized that Ding Dongs were one of his favorites. Then he pulled out the box and showed me the nutritional facts.


Each Ding Dong has:

180 calories, with 80 of those calories coming from fat
9 g fat (14%), with 7g of that (35%) being saturated fat

A serving is actually TWO cakes, which ramps up your fat intake to 29% of your daily needs, and saturated fat to 65%.

You might as well kiss your arteries goodbye. I hope my eleven-year-olds are heart-healthy to start with so the Ding Dongs don’t kill them right before Christmas.

Dec '08

Bad Mom?

Tonight I was making myself a smoothie in the blender for myself. It had skim milk, ice, banana, and chocolate (yummmmm). Wes was hanging around watching intently, and was a little fussy, so I thought maybe he was hungry, too. I’m trying to feed him more of what I’m eating so he can get more Big Boy Food in his diet (this morning he ate some of my pancakes and eggs, and sausage ground up in the grinder). But I didn’t want to share the smoothie because it had banana in it, and bananas mess him up in the diaper department. So I pulled out a jar of baby food, which I don’t feed him very often, except for prunes. This jar was macaroni and cheese. (It tasted bland to me, and I don’t know how babies put up with it when there’s Kraft in the world. I guess he’s better off not knowing what he’s missing.) He ate half a jar, and then I thought maybe I should give him some version of my smoothie. So I blended together whole milk and Ovaltine– which has vitamins in it, at least, on top of the sugar. I put it in a bottle for him and he seemed to like it.

So, essentially I fed my baby mac and cheese and a chocolate milk shake for dinner. I was aiming for something good, but maybe I missed the mark?

Dec '08

Wesley Updates

Wesley turned fifteen months old last week. I took him to the doctor yesterday for his checkup, and he was pretty unhappy to be there. Between the nurse and the doctor, Wes was measured for length four times because he kept twisting and trying to roll over. Then it took about five minutes to weigh him. Once he’s on the scale he has to hold still until the scale settles on an official weight. He kept reaching for the nurse, reaching for me, trying to leap off, trying to escape any way he could. Finally a second nurse came over and distracted him by telling him how cute he is. Then the scale slowed enough that the nurse took a close guess before taking Wes off. To top it all off, the poor guy came away with four shots, two in each leg.

On to the stats. The computer was down, so the doctor couldn’t pull up the Down syndrome growth chart. Instead he went away and came back with a book that has a chart in it that he used to generally figure out where Wes is.

Weight: 16 lbs 10 oz
Height: 26 3/4 inches (this started at 21 inches and went as high as 28…hence why they had to measure him four times)
Head circumference: 42 cm (16 1/2 inches)

This puts him in the 10-15% for weight and 5% for height. On the charts for normal kids he doesn’t even show up. At his 12-month checkup he was 15.95 lbs and 27.5 inches long. I’m not sure what happened to his length; did he shrink? I guess it wasn’t very accurate last month. I have to think that after four measurements his most recent length is probably more accurate.

At every checkup the doctor gives me a paper that says “What is Going on at (age).” I know Wes is doing great, but whenever I get these papers I read them and always go, “Wow! Kids can do that at this age???” It amazes me. Like, “Children at this age usually can walk well, walk backwards, and crawl up stairs.” We’ve got one of the three; he loves those stairs. Also, “They will scribble spontaneously, recognize themselves in the mirror, and find an object placed out of sight.” I’m not sure he does any of those things yet; possibly he might look for something out of sight. Then there’s, “By now your baby should have been weaned from a bottle to a cup.” We are far from that. The kid still drinks formula as his mainstay, but he’s eating more big-boy foods, like PB&J sandwiches. He’ll eat about a fourth of a sandwich if I tear it into small pieces for him to pick up. I also feed him a lot of prunes and yogurt and oat bran to help with constipation. And he likes graham crackers for snacks. Beyond that, though…life’s a little limited when you still have no teeth. If he is still toothless at 18 months he’ll get some X rays.

Last week I made chocolate chip pancakes. I made them for me, but Wes was eying them, so I popped him in the booster seat and gave him some. The result?

One of Wesley’s favorite pass times is playing with his burp cloths. I don’t know why they fascinate him so, but sometimes he can be playing with one quietly for a long time. He also likes the dishwasher. I have to be sure to push the dishes inside so he’s not pulling out plates and knives. And the other day I found him bent over with his mouth on the surface, sucking up the water that had accumulated there. No idea how clean/not clean that water was, so I pulled him back, but he kept going for it. So now I have to make sure the dishwasher surface is dry before he plays near it.


Oreo Pops

We try to share small gifts with our neighbors and John’s coworkers each Christmastime, and this year I decided to try making Oreo suckers. I got the instructions from this blog. I got the dipping chocolate, sucker sticks, and sprinkles at Roberts Crafts. I found out that sucker sticks are different than lollipop sticks; the sucker sticks are less slippery and stay inside the Oreo better. Wes was content playing all afternoon while I listened to a book on CD and made them. They were really easy!

Dec '08

Shopping with Wesley

Wes has a cough, a deep cough. I bought him some Vicks Baby Rub today, but not sure it helped. I took him shopping with me this afternoon (it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, so I got it out of the way today). First I took him to a toy store called Funfinity. I’d never really been there before. I bought Wes three Christmas presents:

3 Magnetic Farm Friends (for him to play with on the fridge)
– 20 Wooden Dinosaur Magnets (ditto)
30 Wooden blocks in a cart (for him to stack and to practice pulling the little cart)

Hopefully he wasn’t paying too much attention and will still be surprised. When I checked out the guy at the register asked if I wanted to make a $1 donation to Kids Who Count, and I said sure. He started to say what a great organization it is and I said, I know, we use it for Wesley. He told me about two disabled kids in his family and how great Kids Who Count has been, and I told him how Wes gets three therapists to visit him every month and how great they are. He asked me what Wes’s diagnosis is and I told him. And he said he thought DS kids have the cutest faces and smiles. Which of course they do.

Then Wes and I went to the Quilted Bear. I was looking for candy-making supplies, but alas, found none. I had Wes in the Baby Bjorn carrier so I wouldn’t have to hold him or lug the car seat with him in it. People always stare at Wes when he’s in the baby carrier like that, with his little face poking out the top. After Quilted Bear we walked down the strip to the Dollar Store, then Robert’s Crafts, and then Deseret Book. At the Dollar Store Wes and I bought some sandwich bags that have holiday motifs on them for giving away goodies to our neighbors and friends. And at Roberts I bought melting chocolate, sprinkles, and sucker sticks. Lastly, we headed to Kmart and bought three bags of double stuff Oreos. (We’re going to make some version of these.)

By the time we were in Kmart Wes was getting tired and very vocal. Not whiny or crying–just making noise. Kind of loud, insistent noise. “Ba ba ba BAH!!!” Then I dragged him one more place–the grocery store to get French bread for dinner. We had been out shopping for a while, and Wes fell asleep just as we got home a little before six p.m. He’s still asleep in his car seat. I should probably go wake him and see if he wants a bottle or a clean diaper or something.