Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Mar '13

Pictures by the Kiddos

Wes or Carissa sometimes snag my camera without me knowing it.

And this is my favorite, courtesy of Carissa. Reminds me of a picture I have of us in my kitchen from our dating days back in college.


Skating and Bounce Houses

A couple weekends ago there was an activity at a local “Fun Center” for families with kids who have special needs. It’s nice to have activities like this where the entire facility is open to just these families. Wes gets let off easily sometimes as having an excuse for his behavior because clearly he has Down syndrome. His disability is obvious, but not every kid’s struggle is so easily labeled. You see kids sometimes having meltdowns in crowded places and you may wonder what’s wrong with him, or with his parent, when really he has a disability such as autism that is harder to identify. At activities like these, everyone understands and accepts and is patient. It’s nice.

We took Wes and Carissa to the roller skating rink first.

Wes was excited by the idea of it, but not by the actual skating part.

Carissa was acting very put-out and sad.

So we didn’t spend long at the rink. I would’ve loved more time to practice my skating and go a few rounds with John, who is an excellent skater from his days on the ice hockey team in college.

Next we went to the area with the bounce houses. Wesley’s specialty! I always forget how fearless and boundary-less he is with physical activities like this. He climbs the highest bounce houses, even the ones that make me nervous with their height. I usually climb right behind him to make sure he’s safe, but I’ve never seen him in danger of falling. Here he is in action:

Carissa was still out-of-it and only played a little. I took her down a few slides.

Wes had a ton of fun and was perhaps a little over-excited. Carissa wanted to go home. So we finally left. We were able to get away without a total meltdown from Wes by promising him ice cream. Carissa was asleep before we even got to the drive-up window that was only a few blocks away.

Later that afternoon Carissa threw up a few times and had a fever. So that explains her sad morning. Poor kid. It just wasn’t her day. But we’re still glad we had that time together as a family.


Fun Times

Because what are beds for?

What happens when ice cream becomes paint and Mom’s not around.

Carissa trying to jump rope in a toy store.

Warm weather means no pants!

Letter Soup. Carissa is a master chef.

The cutie Elizabeth is four months old and getting quite good at many things like holding her head up, gnawing on her fingers, and I even caught her rolling over once from tummy to back. We’re not sure but think she may be getting a tooth. She is still the sweetest baby girl we’ve ever met. We count her as a great blessing every day.

Wes likes to hold his baby sister. When he hears her cry he’ll go up to her and replace her binkie, or play with her feet and say endearing things like, “Oh goodness!”

Well, this was Carissa’s doing.

Carissa painting with water on the backyard shed. Those are leaves in her hair. The rocks in the water table are Wesley’s.

Miss Happy Face.

Carissa’s favorite place to be.

Mar '13

School Pictures

Last October Wes has his annual school photo taken.


We thought he could be mistaken for a missing child. So we got retakes.

This was better, but I forgot to order copies.

So when the final round of school pictures came up in February I jumped on board. Maybe not the perfect, ideal picture, but better than where we started, I think.

Mar '13

Missing Kids

Oh, dear. We lost our kids again today. We’ve had a few scary times when Wes has been missing, including from our own backyard and from a hotel in London, England. It is never a good feeling to realize your kids are gone.

Today I have a cold and everyone was in bed. I was going to lie down, too. If the kids woke up before me I didn’t want them to go into the baby’s room while she slept (as they sometimes do) and either wake her up (as they sometimes do) or pile blankets on top of her (as they sometimes do), so I went downstairs and took the child-proof doorknob cover off the door leading to the garage to put on the baby’s room door. It gave me peace of mind to know the baby was safe, so I could rest.

I actually never fell asleep, but what I didn’t know is that my two kids never fell asleep either. I just thought, “Gosh, they’re being quiet” as I lay in my bed in the room next door. After about a half hour I went to check on things and discovered 1) no kids in bed, 2) the baby’s door room was open (baby was safe), 3) the kids were nowhere in the house, and 4) the door to the garage was open AND the garage door was open. Escape opportunity.

Cue the panic, cue the “what-if” thoughts, cue the worst-scenario images racing through head. John was home so I called to him and we ran out in search.

I called a neighbor who kindly interrupted her day to take her two little boys out and help look too. I ran toward the park that’s a block away, John was a bit ahead of me, and I arrived in time to see him walking back home with both kids in his arms.


Carissa was crying because she had two owies on her foot (no shoes, either of them). It seems like they exited our house and followed our side-street in the less-busy direction (thankfully; the road right by our house is very busy). My neighbor who was helping look said she thought she noticed a “trail of Wes” in the form of her lawn decorations pulled out and strewn across the grass. That kinda sounds like Wes. So at least they probably weren’t near a very busy road, and once they saw the park, obviously they went there. It’s probably a good thing Carissa hurt her foot because it made her sit down and cry, and Wes stayed near her.

Disaster averted. Each got a stern talking to about how they are not allowed out of the house without Mommy or Daddy. I think Carissa understood. I don’t think Wesley gets it. It’s hard to tell.

So. We get another day with these guys.