Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Feb '10


A baby sister for Wes come August.

Feb '10

Last week it was warm enough that Wes and I strolled over to our neighborhood park for 15 minutes. (It wasn’t thatwarm. I spent a good portion of the time wiping his nose.) He had so much fun that he didn’t want to leave. I hope spring hurries here.

Wes is so smart. He knows how to get into things I’m not ready for him to get into yet.

He loves it when we put toys…or things…on his head so he can anticipate them falling off. Hey, who needs fancy toys when we’ve got empty toilet paper rolls?

One thing I’ve had to work on with Wesley is eating. It’s taken a couple of months (at least) but just this past week he’s started using a spoon without me having to hold onto it with him the entire time. Before, he would use the spoon fine as long as I helped him guide it. The second I let go so would he. He still struggles to scoop up the food, but at least now he can get it to his mouth and feed himself successfully. I’m very proud and happy for this accomplishment.

He’s also eating more “big boy food,” which is good progress. For a long time he didn’t want much more than just his bottles of milk and baby food. His appetite seems heartier. His breakfast usually consists of oatmeal (maple and brown sugar–NO substitutes!) and often some yogurt or a piece of toast. He doesn’t always eat a real lunch because sometimes he falls asleep for a nap before I get around to making lunch for myself and John. But he’s always ready for dinner by about 4 o’clock. He’ll usually eat a couple pieces of toast, some mashed fruit (he likes pears and sometimes peaches), and if we happen to be eating around the same time he may sample what we’re having (no guarantee he’ll like it, though). He’s picky and very opinionated about what is allowed to stay in his mouth.

Some things he likes:

Starches: toast, bagels, oatmeal
Fruit: canned pears or peaches, mashed. Sometimes I’m lucky and get him to eat a banana, but not often. He’ll eat it in baby food form, though, no problem.
Veggies: still only in baby food form. I can’t get him to eat any “real” veggies except for a few bites of salad now and again. But he eats baby food really well: peas, green beans, carrots, and squash.
Dairy: yogurt. NOT cottage cheese.
Snacks: pretzels, pretzels, pretzels, did I mention pretzels? Also chocolate pudding and sometimes crackers.
Junk: french fries, ice cream, cookies (ONLY the fudge-striped shortbread cookies)

The other thing I’m struggling to transition him to is drinking from a cup, sippy cup, or straw. He doesn’t understand how to suck, so a straw and some types of sippy cups don’t work for him. He gets the concept of a cup but mostly he likes to chew on the edge and isn’t so interested in the purpose of drinking. Often the liquid goes into his mouth and spills right down his front and onto the floor. This is frustrating to me. We want him to be comfortable drinking liquids that are cold (like milk straight from the fridge rather than microwaved warm) before we go on vacation next month, but right now that goal seems waaaay off. And I haven’t even touched on the apparent impossibility of weaning him off the bottle. He’s going to be eight and taking bottles of milk to school in his lunch box.

In good news, though, his love for balloons has helped him say his first two-syllable word: “ballooo.”

Speech is notoriously hard for kids with Down syndrome. We’re just so happy that he’s making sounds that actually resemble words. He’s making good progress! In addition, he knows a lot of signs, more than we even realize (thanks to Signing Time videos). Some things he says that John and I recognize as words (he always accompanies these words with the signs):

“Dow” for down
“AyDuh!” for all done
“Mo” for more
“deesh” for cat
“balloo” for balloon
“no” for no
“wawa” for water
“dydydy” for dry (we always tell him, “dry dry dry!”)
“yay!” for yay

All in all, we think he’s one super smart kid.

Completely unrelated, here are some pictures snapped at one of my Zumba classes at BYU last month. I love teaching there. It’s one of the funnest ways I get to spend my time every week. If you haven’t tried Zumba, you should.

Feb '10

Mega Updates

For anyone who cares, here’s what you’ve missed in our house lately:

1. Wes has been sick, it feels like non-stop, since about Christmas. But in reality it comes and goes. Last week it really came and he had a fever five days in a row.

He would wake up totally fine, then get a fever and become listless around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. The next morning, he’d wake up and be fine…until the fever came again. On the fifth day he woke up with a fever, so I finally took him to a doctor. The doctor couldn’t pinpoint the trouble, except to say that Wes had a very mild ear infection in one ear (not really enough to cause 5 days of fevers, though). Wes is on an antibiotic and he is doing much better this week.

2. Wes got a trampoline (on loan from his therapists). He’s been trying to jump for weeks and this is great for him to practice on. When it first came he wouldn’t go near it. Eventually he ventured on top to test the buttons. Then, finally, he started to bounce.

Eventually he started to full-out jump.

3. Wes can climb into his booster seat all by himself.

4. He can also do dishes.

This is a long video. He likes to stack things, whether it’s toys, crayons, dishes, whatever. He’s very organized.

5. He still likes to dance.

6. Wes loves our two cats.

They usually eat in the basement, but now and again I’ll feed them upstairs because Wes likes to watch them eat. Sometimes he flips their food dish upside down while they’re eating, which causes him to end up in the Bad Boy Chair and gives me a chance to learn how to discipline.

7. I’m still teaching Zumba and aerobics. I love it and learn a lot. One of my aerobic idols, Kathy Smith, said, “The more you get out of your comfort zone, the bigger your comfort zone becomes.” I’m finding this true as some of my current classes are more challenging to teach than others. Here I am with three other local Zumba instructors at a recent Zumba benefit that we all taught at.

8. We’re going on a cruise this spring to the Mexican Riviera.

I’ve traveled with Wesley before (to Iowa and San Francisco), but this will be the first time John comes with us. Our first bona fide family vacation! We’re stopping off in LA for a few extra days to visit John’s mom, and we got tickets for a taping of The Price Is Right.

I also hope to hit the Getty Museum, the LA Farmer’s Market, take a walking tour of Hollywood, and maybe tour the Queen Mary.

9. We’re expecting an addition in August.

Let me clarify that this shows two pictures of the SAME baby.

Since I had four miscarriages in a row last year, ranging between 5 and 11 weeks, I was allowed to get an ultrasound at what was supposed to be about 6 1/2 weeks. It showed only an empty sack.

When I was pregnant with Wes ultrasounds were these magical experiences that let me see and connect with our future baby. In the last year I’ve had so many ultrasounds I’ve lost track, and they were purely medical and very unmagical things–mostly checking on the progress of reducing uterine lining during miscarriage.

So to see yet another empty sack wasn’t particularly unexpected nor encouraging. The technician told me to come back in two weeks to see if maybe our dates were just off.

Two weeks later the magic reignited when we saw this:

And heard a heartbeat. It was surreal–after SO many empty, silent ultrasounds–to finally see and hear something promising life. This little guy is 7 weeks and 2 days. It’s basically a yolk sac (on the left) and the body attached to it.

Three weeks after that we went back for my first “real” appointment and saw this:

This guy is about 10 weeks 5 days (even though it says 3 days). And has a heartbeat.