Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Jul '09

What a big boy

Evidence of Wesley walking downstairs by himself (see this post). Wes is 22 1/2 months old.

Jul '09

First Parade

Friday I took Wesley to his first parade. He is really into watching stuff that moves.

This is us at the start of the parade. Not really sure what Wes is doing here. Pulling his hair out in excitement?

The parade opened with a long line of emergency vehicles, all blaring their sirens. Why? Not really sure. Especially because it usually makes the little kids cry. I kept an eye on Wes, but he was fine. The only time his face puckered like he might cry was when a fire truck blew its horn RIGHT NEXT to us. Like, five feet away. Even I jumped. But no tears spilled from Wes.

Wes liked watching the cars and people move by. By the end he was tuckered out.

But I managed to get a clap from him anyway.

The next big milestone will be when he can appreciate all the candy that was thrown to him instead of me eating it all.

Jul '09

Wes is a little big boy

Announcing the arrival of Wesley’s THIRD tooth!

I discovered it today on accident while tickling him upside down. He already has his lower front two teeth. His first tooth started coming in April when he was 19 months old. The second one started coming about a month after that. Then there was this drought where we thought he’d never get more than those two teeth. So we are surprised and happy to learn he’s not doomed to gumming soft foods forever.

I assumed his next teeth would be his upper front teeth. But his third tooth is coming in the top left side, near the back. A molar? Possibly a canine, but it seems further back than that. So at 22 months we have a grand total of three teeth.

Let the rejoicing begin.

Also, since he’s on a roll of big boy-ness, here’s something else he did that surprised us this week. Wednesday he was visited by his physical therapist, who was extremely impressed by how well he’s doing physically. She said even if Wes were “normal” he’d still be doing great. One thing we’ve been working on is helping Wes walk up and down stairs. I hold his hand and make sure his other hand is either gripping a rail or sliding along the wall. He’s been doing well with that, and I’ve even seen him walk up and down the stairs by himself, sideways, holding onto the rails with both hands.

His therapist gave us the next goal: to help him walk up and down stairs with one hand gripping a rail/sliding along the wall and the other hand holding a toy, while I guide him along by his elbow.

Not two hours after his therapist left, John and I were standing in the upstairs hallway, talking, when Wes goes to the top of the stairs and starts walking down them. BY HIMSELF. Sliding one hand along the wall. Without a toy in his other hand.

He must have just felt confident or something after his therapist’s visit. I stopped him, though, because I wasn’t quite ready for him to think he can just march downstairs on his own like that. But hey, now we know he can do it.

Jul '09


Today during sacrament meeting at church John and I looked down at Wes, who was sprawled across both our laps, dead asleep, and John whispered, “When did he get so big?”

It’s true. Wes was 3 lbs 15 oz at birth and so small you could pretty much hold the trunk of his body in the palm of your hand.

He’s still small for his age–he wears about size 12 month clothes (and we have to roll up his pant legs twice) even though he’s 22 months old –but he has definitely grown.

I was carrying him out of church today and he felt like a load of bricks on my hip. I think he weighs about 20-21 lbs. Which, as you parents know, is the magic number for moving the kid from the backward-facing infant car seat to the front-facing BIG BOY car seat.

I bought him a front-facing car seat a while ago when I saw it at CostCo at a good price. The outside of the box said the child needs to be 22 pounds to sit the seat facing front. OK. Wes is really close. So we got the seat out of the box to see what it was like and to see how Wes fit in it.

And then I looked at the actual instruction booklet, which sneakily includes more details than the outside of the box. It says the kid has to be 22 lbs AND 34 inches tall.

Wes is only 30 inches. Which is a huge improvement from the 16 inches he was at birth, but it’s taken him almost two years to put on those 14 inches. How long will it take him to get an extra four inches???

Also, when will he get more teeth? We’re extremely proud of his current two teeth. We waited a long time for them. But Wes is going to be 2 in less than two months, and how many 2-year-olds do you know with only two teeth? Alas, another lesson in patience. He doesn’t mind, in any case. He can still eat pretzels, and in his mind, this is all that matters.

I read the other day that if your child is 18 months old and doesn’t say a couple words in addition to “mama” and “dada” then he or she is probably speech delayed.

I thought, “Wow! Kids at 18 months can talk?” This was astounding to me. Since Wes is my standard, I forget that he’s not the standard for “normal” kids. Wes is nowhere near talking. But he knows three signs really well: 1) more, 2) please, and 3) snack. The essentials, you know.

I wonder when he will talk. Wes is really excellent at some things. Like physically he’s strong and athletic and loves to move and run (which is unusual for kids with Down syndrome; they usually tend to be more lethargic because of low muscle tone). He has a terrific attention span and keeps working at things even when he can’t get them right away.

But the one thing that it’s obvious he’s slower at is imitation, especially imitating sounds. I guess this is why it took him 19 months to learn his first sign, even after I’d been doing that sign to him for over a year. With sounds, we can’t get him to imitate at all. He’s really great at watching you make the sound, though, if that counts for anything. He’ll often smile at you, too, because he thinks you’re funny.

But he babbles and talks to himself (makes sounds) when he plays, and his speech therapist says that at least that’s something.

I just know that his increase in height and weight is only one indication of how much he’s grown. I was looking back at our blog posts when Wes first joined us and, wow–both he and we have come a long way.

All I’m asking for now is four more inches, just four more inches…

Jul '09

Our Adventures of Late

No, Wesley didn’t get beat up. He just found the canister of cocoa. I guess I’ll have to be more diligent about closing that pantry door.

Wes is at that age where he is into EVERYTHING. Like baskets.

And he’s like a little rocket, zipping from one exciting thing to the next without pausing. Therefore, our living room (and rest of the house) frequently resembles this:

It’s exhausting trying to keep the house in perfect order, so I save my energy for when I know we have company heading over.

This week we spent some time in Park City after one of John’s interviews and visited the Olympic Park. A few highlights.

Future bobsled driver?

We took a guided tour that included a handful of tourists who were obviously parents/grandparents based on how much attention they gave to Wesley. When they were taking photo ops at the bobsled, they insisted Wesley get in for a picture, offered to take the picture for us, and waved their hands wildly and made funny noises to catch his attention. I tell you, you can’t be inconspicuous with a baby. Especially with Wesley.

We also watched the aerial jumpers practice. In the summer they use a pool with bubbles (to pad the landing). Can you see the ski jumper in red pants doing a flip?

The tour took us to the top of the ski jump. I decided I’m too afraid of heights to be a ski jumper. Do you see how STEEP and HIGH and ON THE EDGE A MOUNTAIN this is? I’m just saying. Good thing that wasn’t one of my great life ambitions.

A family photo in the mountain heights.

Jul '09

How to Get a Free Pizza

1. Purchase Red Baron frozen pizza, preferably on sale.

2. Cook said pizza according to directions on box.

3. Notice that pizza is considerably sparser in toppings than picture of pizza on box, e.g., there are only six pieces of sausage on entire pizza when the picture shows fourteen.

4. Call Red Baron’s customer service number on the back of the box.

5. Give nice representative codes from the box over the phone.

6. Receive coupon in mail for free Red Baron pizza.