What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

(3) 21 - A Truth, A Tip, and a Photo

A group of bloggers in the Down syndrome community are putting on a blog hop: three questions on the 21st day of the month.  And yes, I do know that I missed the 21st.  The hop is open for a week, for the slackers among us.

Better late than never, though.  :)

(1) A Truth

Our life is pretty normal.  Our family goes on vacation.  We grill.  We play board games.  Our kids alternately love each other and drive each other crazy.  Today, Evan and Corrie played Minecraft together while Ben napped.  When we ran errands, Ben pulled Corrie's hair.  Repeatedly.  We said, "No, Ben.  Be gentle."  Repeatedly.  After dinner, the big kids created a massive sofa cushion obstacle course and explored it with Ben.  Evan refused to share a toy and Corrie whined.  Everyone groaned when it was time to clean up.  Pretty typical, I think.

That's not to say that we don't get stressed or frustrated.  We love all of Ben's therapists, but it does take time to see them all - and it's annoying over the summer because all of the kids are home.  And I do worry about medical issues - Ben's heart, his hearing, etc.  

But ... life still feels normal.

(2) A Tip

Use sign language with your baby!  I didn't do much signing with my other two kids - just the very basics. "More" and "all done" sufficed until they started talking.  After Ben was born, I read lots of recommendations online about Rachel Coleman and the Signing Time videos, so my in-laws got them for Ben for his first birthday.  

Signing has been so much fun!  At just about two years old, Ben doesn't have any spoken words yet.  He babbles, he makes lots of noises, but no deliberate words.  But he signs ... and signs ... and signs.  I deeply appreciate that we can communicate.

(3) A Photo

Here's my boy at our vacation cabin in June.  My little rancher-in-training.  :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer. Weeks Four and Five.

These weeks alternated between busy-ness and boredom.  Do other people's summers have that same pattern?

Emmett was out of town for a few days.  During that time, the kids and I celebrated cows at Chick-Fil-A, ate lots of macaroni and cheese, and hung out with some friends.  

I also stayed up way too late multitasking.  I watched Season One of In Plain Sight on Netflix and did lots of blog-reading and researching Down syndrome and Down Syndrome Associations.  The highlight of the weekend was a big pool party with our local Down syndrome families.  It was our second annual pool party - and we had more than 80 people there.  

I took a sweet friend (all star babysitter, house-sitter, college student and cleaning help) with us to the pool party because there was no way I could take the 3 kids by myself to a pool party AND try to be helpful.  When we left the pool, my friend looked at me and said, "I keep thinking that this - the party, all these people - this happened because Ben was born."


Benjamin learned to climb onto the arm of the couch and jump off onto the cushions.  He doesn't speak yet, but he sits on top and counts to three: "Ah da.  Ah da.  Ah daaaaah!" as he throws himself onto the cushions.  This is just what his brother and sister do - even though none of them are supposed to be climbing on the couch.


Meanwhile, Emmett returned - hooray!  And we had a typical week - pool, playdates, TV, some board games at home.  Evan had a couple of school friends over.  Emmett, Evan and Corrie bonded over Minecraft.

Evan saved up enough money to buy a new Skylander.  He's been spending a lot of time in this position.


Corrie is in a great creative stage of life.  We recently watched Mulan and Mulan 2, and Corrie was inspired to design her own princess costume.  Note the bow, the fan, the chopsticks in her hair, the bag of goldfish tied at her waist, and her attitude.  I love her.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer. Week Three.

I'm falling behind!  And no photos from last week either!  I've misplaced the memory card for my camera, so I have no photographic evidence of anything I'm about to tell you.  Just trust me.  :)

Highlights of the week:

Playdates!  The kids and I met up with another mom and her kids at Mr. Gatti's for a lunch playdate.  Plus, we got to hang out with some of the neighborhood kids - once for a Lego playdate and then again when the kids on our street shot fireworks.

And dinner ...  Our sweet friends Tonny and Kevin are in the process of moving to another town in Texas.  They happened to be in Edinburg for a few days, so we had Tonny and their girls over for dinner on Wednesday night.  It was great to just hang out and talk for a couple of hours while the kids played.  We grilled all of our 4th of July food a day early.

The 4th of July.  We all woke up early-ish on the 4th.  The kids wore red, white and blue, and we drove down to the parade.  It was fun - not very many floats, but some nifty cars, horses, tumblers and one marching band.  There were lots of veterans riding on trucks and trailers, and it was neat to see how families celebrated their loved ones who had served in the military.

We ate grilled cheese sandwiches, since we had cooked the burgers and hot dogs the night before.  My 4th of July food success story: I combined some recipes to make a yummy lemon tart - covered with whipped cream, and decorated with blueberries and strawberries.  No pictures, but it got rave reviews from the neighbors.

Other happenings this week: therapy for Ben, the kids and I went to the pool one day, we played some family games, Emmett and I stayed up late eating pizza and watching The Avengers, I went out for dinner with some friends from MOPS ... this was just a good summer week.  Pretty low key.