Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Feb '08

Baby Potato

Lately I’ve noticed that sometimes when the TV is on Wes is watching it. The first time I saw his eyes trained on the TV was when I was following an aerobics workout. Wes was lying on the floor, supposed to be playing with his play gym above his head, but instead he had twisted his body around so he could watch the aerobics instructors dance around.

Then the other day I was watching some show while feeding him, and when he finished I sat him on my lap and saw that his eyes were glued to the telly. I don’t even know what I was watching, but when I saw him watching too I turned the channel to KBYU to an educational animated show. Cartoon animals were singing songs about words, and Wes was riveted. Given that he’s only five months old, should this concern me? On the other hand, I wonder if the visual stimulation is actually good for him. Any thoughts out there?

Feb '08

Five and a half months already

Here are some things Wes is up to these days:

1. Sucking on his hands a lot, specifically the thumb and first knuckle on his right hand. Binkie days are behind him.

2. Standing up on his feet with support. He seems to prefer standing to sitting. This is how he spends sacrament meeting at church, standing on my lap and looking at everyone around him. I’ve been told that such determination and strength to stand up is unusual for a five-month-old with DS.

3. Trying new foods! So far he’s had rice cereal, bananas, pears, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and diluted apple juice. He loved the apple juice, sucking it down as fast as he could. The worst reaction so far was with his first taste of sweet potatoes, when he made a face and started to whimper. I waited a few days and tried them again, and he did better the second time.

4. Bouncing and swinging. Our friends lent us a bouncy swing that hangs in a doorway. It’s terrific because it forces him to hold his head up by himself like a big boy, and we can give him a toy to hold and focus on while he’s sitting there. I think his therapist will be pleased; he’s doing so much better every week with neck strength, focus, and interest in the world. He lasts about five minutes at a time in the swing right now, but I expect that will improve as he gets stronger.


Feb '08

Movin’ Up!

Tonight Wes wore his first-ever 3 month size outfit. I was looking at his unworn 3 month clothes hanging in the closet and thinking how big they look next to his newborn and 0-3 month clothes. But then I took a gander at the 3 month tags, and they say they fit babies up to 24 inches and 12.5 lbs. (!) I’m pretty sure Wes is right around there, somewhere. So I quickly pulled one out and put it on him to see if it was too late. Of course it’s not; I mean, even though the kid is five months old, he can still fit in newborn clothes (although they’re getting snug), and his 0-3 month clothes are still plenty loose.

Here’s a picture of Wes taken October 11 when he was a whopping four weeks old. He’s wearing a preemie outift on the left.


Here he is today, 22 weeks old, in the same outfit from the above photo, size 3 months. Look how he’s grown!




That’s the government, I guess

Today I had a meeting with the social security office to see about getting Wesley social security disability income. Wesley passed with flying colors. Turns out that Down syndrome qualifies him automatically.

His parents, however, didn’t pass. Turns out that good things like having cars paid off, working towards owning your own home, investing money in stocks and bonds, having 401K accounts, and earning more than minimum wage–things that the government wants every American to achieve–makes it impossible for Wes to receive disability income. He has to wait until either 1) John’s company flops and we end up on the streets or 2) he turns 18 and is suddenly suppposed to be self-sufficient.

One of my friends told me recently how her friend’s dad was trying to put her through college by working two jobs but was still struggling to make ends meet. So he sought help from the government. The government official told him there was nothing available to help him unless he made less money. The official’s advice? Quit both jobs and go on welfare. Now how’s that for working toward the American dream?

Feb '08

Just a smile to lift the clouds…


Feb '08

Happy Valentine’s Day!