Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving has come and gone…now it’s my favorite time of year! We had a fabulous Thanksgiving and were blessed to be able to spend it with family and friends whom are like family. The road trip to Kerrville is long, but so worth it. I always have the intention of taking tons of pictures of Austin with my parents and family friends, but some how I never have quite enough time. Austin has yet ANOTHER ear infection, which is sad and frustrating at the same time. My poor baby. Of course, it happened while we were out of town.
Austin turned 9 months old on Wednesday. He continues to amaze me every day. He’s doing so many new things…like TALKING. Yes, talking!! He said “Mama” 3 times while we were on our trip. I’m not sure if he can comprehend that I’m “Mama” yet, but I’ll take it! He’s really playing with his voice these days and it’s so cute. I’ll post a video when he’s in the mood to talk. Hopefully it won’t be at 4 in the morning, because as of lately he’s been talking to us non-stop at 4 A.M. He’s still a good eater and he LOVES his solids. He eats all sorts of baby food, but I still have to “sneak” the veggies in with fruit. He LOVES chicken, turkey and beef baby food. Table food is a work in progress. We’ve tried puffs, dry cereal and part of a biscuit. He doesn’t yet understand how to chew and swallow, but he’ll get there. He’s happy with his Stage 2 and 3 baby food for now. He still has no teeth, but exhibits every single symptom and sign of teething(and has for MONTHS!)

We have a busy week ahead, so I’m going to bring this to an end. I’ll leave you with Pictures.

Thanksgiving Day

Checking out the "cooler" weather with Daddy.

Austin with his (and our) friends L & L. We had so much fun visiting these sweet ladies.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Austin...working out and doing a baby push up.

Blowing his infamous spit bubbles.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gobble Gobble

Here are "sneak peaks" of my beautiful baby boy from our amazingly talented photographer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let's See How Far We've Come

Before Austin was born I was overwhelmed with feelings of uncertainty. I didn’t know if I was going to be a mother of a “typical” child or a child with Down syndrome. I kept telling myself that the chances were slim and I was probably worrying over nothing. In the midst of my pregnancy induced insomnia I often found myself thinking…”What am I going to do is my baby really does have Down syndrome?” Each time the OB nurse would enter my weight and blood pressure, I could see the typed words on that computer below my name. I don’t know why, but I read them EVERY time. It was only 2 sentences, but it echoed in my head at during and after every OB appointment.

"Quad test came back as high risk for Down syndrome. Patient declined amnio."

I don’t know why, but the fact that I was high risk for Down syndrome never came up at any of my OB appointments. The baby was healthy and I think that’s what my OB was concerned about. I’m thankful that she didn’t treat me differently.
As my due date approached, I thought about Down syndrome a lot. Would I want to hold Austin? Would I even want to take pictures of him? Those were my thoughts before he was born, and while I know they were “normal” at the time…I still feel ashamed for having these thoughts cross my mind. The truth is, it wouldn’t surprise me if my computer crashed at any given moment due to the insane amount of pictures I have on it. Austin is the celebrity and I’m the paparazzi.
I remember taking one picture of Austin when he was a week old and his Pediatrician said we could begin “tummy time.” You have to keep in mind that we didn’t find out at birth that Austin had Down syndrome. It wasn’t conclusive, some doctors suspected it and other doctors thought he looked “normal.” We had to wait 2 weeks before receiving the results. Anyway, I remember snapping several pictures of his first tummy time experience. As I was reviewing the pictures, one really stuck out. I noticed that the back of his head was slightly flat. His profile…I could really see the characteristics in his side profile. This picture only confirmed what I already knew deep down. What I did next isn’t something I’m proud of, but it’s a profound part of my healing. I erased the picture. I wanted to erase his Down syndrome. We didn’t know for sure if he even had Down syndrome, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t mad at God for giving me a baby with Down syndrome. I was mad at God for giving my baby Down syndrome.
As time has gone on, my outlook has drastically changed. Hearing the results of Austin’s karyotype made it all so real. I knew that I had to focus on Austin. I used all my energy to learn as much as I possibly could about Down syndrome. I’m still learning. I’m pretty sure I’ll have my Master’s in Down Syndrome by the time I’m 30. ;-) I think a lot of my fellow DS parents feel that way, too.
I don’t necessarily know why I’m sharing this. I feel it’s important to not only touch on the good times, but also the not so good times. I had to go through sadness and uncertainty to get where I’m at now...a good place. And guess what? It feels so good to look back and see how far we’ve come.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Little Cold

We are alive, just busy. Austin has his first official cold. You know what that entails...snot, snot, suctioning the nose, more snot, coughing and not being able to breathe due to congestion.  My poor little guy has been miserable, but he still manages to give us big smiles and “laughs” himself to sleep. Apparently, bed time and nap time are HILARIOUS.
Thanksgiving is almost a week away and then it will be my absolute favorite time of year…Christmas! I have the best childhood memories when it comes to Christmas. I can’t wait to share the fun with Austin. He really won’t know what’s going on this year, but it’s still going to be all about him.(When is it not? ) I’m so excited to decorate our home with the Christmas decorations and tree. I guess I shouldn’t get ahead of myself because Austin has surgery on December 10th. From what I know so far, he’ll have some type of “drainage tube” for the first week. He’ll see his doctor 7 days after the surgery to have it removed. I don’t know very much about this “tube”, but the thought of it scares me. My mom will be flying in a few days after Austin’s surgery and will accompany us to the follow up appointment. Thank God for Grandparents. We have several appointments at the end of November, so this is sure to be a busy month. We’ll also have to make time to pay a visit to Santa Claus. You know, so mommy can get that classic first picture with Santa.


Speaking of pictures, our sweet photographer said she’ll post some “sneak peaks” this week. I cannot wait! I’ll be sure to share them with all of you.

Please keep little man in your prayers and pray that his yucky cold will take a hike sooner than later.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Life Worth Living

It’s been a crazy week at our house. Austin has yet another ear infection. It’s so difficult to tell when he’s sick because he’s such a happy baby. He would scream for about an hour on and off, but would be fine after that. I figured it was his teeth because he was still sleeping through the night and wasn’t running a fever. Mommy was wrong and being the extreme perfectionist Super Mom that I am, I feel awful for not knowing. The good news is: after a Rocephin shot and numbing ear drops, Austin is feeling MUCH better. My little man is so tough. I’d like to take credit and say he got this trait from me. But I think we all know he inherited his “toughness” from his Daddy.
As of lately, It’s been weighing on both mine and Ryan’s mind about the 90% termination rate for prenatal diagnosed cases of Down syndrome. Please understand that we aren’t here to judge...that's not our job. We were scared too and we didn’t have an actual prenatal diagnosis. Rather, we just had the knowledge that there was an increased risk. More than anything, we feel sorry for those whom have chosen to abort their unborn babies due to the presence of the extra 21st chromosome. They’re missing out on so, so much. Each and every time I look at Austin, hear him giggle or see him smile…I’m reminded of how much God has blessed us. I just wish parents with a prenatal diagnosis would do extensive research on Down syndrome before choosing termination. I wish they’d go to and talk to the other moms of children with Down syndrome. I wish they would see that our lives didn’t end when Down syndrome made its entrance. I wish they’d see that our children have lives that are WORTH LIVING.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
- Romans 8:28

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Beautiful Day

I’m so incredibly humbled by our amazing family and friends. The Buddy Walk was a huge success. It was also a reminder of just how blessed we are to have so many people in our life who love Austin. Oh, he is loved…so loved. Our friends and family love him for exactly who he is…a sweet baby. Each and every person that participated in walking for Austin did so because they wanted to be there. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being around my son, you know that he radiates pure goodness. He has the sweetest disposition. That’s the only way I know how to describe this beautiful angel that God so graciously gave me.

There were 90 teams this year. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. However, NONE of the news stations bothered to cover the annual Buddy Walk. I know anger won’t solve anything, but I can’t help it. This bothers infuriates me. I’ve decided that I’m going to write AND email the news stations…every day if I have to. We will get coverage next year. This may seem extreme to some, but The Buddy Walk is about promoting awareness for Down syndrome and raising money for The Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas. The majority of the population probably doesn’t know that last month was not only Breast Cancer Awareness month, but also Down Syndrome Awareness month. I’m not saying that one if more important than the other, but is it too much to ask for a little coverage?

One of our close family friends said it better than anyone, here’s an excerpt from her email:
…well, actually it really isn’t your little boy who poses more challenges is it? It’s the world around you….the odd questions from people who don’t understand, the way society bunches people together….that’s really what creates the particular challenges that surround you…

No one has ever said it better. It’s so true. My son’s disability is nothing compared to all of the people out there who have no clue of what children and people with Down syndrome are capable of. They are more like “typical” children than different. These are just basic facts, yet it saddens me that most people aren’t even aware of these simple facts. Babies with Down syndrome grow up and attend school, work, go to birthday parties, have friends, graduate high school and some even go on to college. Most of all, they have feelings. And, again, please, tell me WHY the news stations couldn’t bother to cover The Buddy Walk? Why couldn’t the NFL add a little Blue or Gold to all the pink we saw out on the field during the month of October when it’s so obvious the need for awareness is there?

In other news, we had a successful photo shoot at The Dallas Arboretum on Saturday. Austin did so well and he didn’t start to melt down until the very end when he let us know he’d had enough! Our photographer is so genuine and patient. At the same time, she moved from scene to scene very fast because she knows better than anyone that babies can only take so much. The entire photo shoot took about an hour and we had 3 wardrobe changes. Our photographer even commented on how Austin radiates sweetness. She was so good with him. We should get our pictures back in about 2-3 weeks. She said she’ll post a “sneak peak” on her website too. I can’t wait!!

It was a busy, but amazing weekend. I get teary eyed when I think about all the people who genuinely love Austin. We are so blessed.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Art Projects and Hoodie Weather

Bed time, why must you torture me? Bed time at our house has become a drama fest. We have the acid reflux under control, but Austin still screams when we put him in his crib. He has to fall asleep on one of us or while I’m rocking him and then I “sneak” him into his crib. What’s the big deal? Why not just let him fall asleep on you or rock him to sleep? The problem is that he will rely on these methods to go to a crutch. He needs to be able to put himself to sleep and self soothe(to an extent). I can’t let him fall asleep on me or rock him every night when he’s 5 years old. It’s so hard because I cannot stand to see him upset. At least he’s not throwing up in his crib anymore, now we have to deal with the severe separation anxiety. We’ll get through it, I just have to remain tough and consistent. Knock on wood, but he only cried/whined for 10 minutes tonight before he fell asleep. Mission accomplished.

We worked on Austin’s very first “Art Project” today. I tricked him into working on his fine motor skills by finger painting with pudding. I’m not brave enough to add food coloring yet, so we just stuck with plain ole’ vanilla for his first project. He actually enjoyed painting and tasting the pudding.

The final project before it went in the trash(due to the pudding, of course).

I think we will attempt to make a “hand print turkey” later this week. We won't throw that in the trash since it won't be made with pudding or any other food products.

We’ve been working diligently on sitting independently. It amazes me that my son can stand while just holding on to one of my hands, yet refuses to sit. He fights me when it comes to sitting…he’ll straighten out his legs when I try to get him to sit from the standing position and let me know just how much he despises his sitting exercises.

We’ll get there soon :)
The weather is finally getting cooler. And I don’t mean cooler as in 85 degrees, which isn’t that cool at all…but feels cooler when you’re used to temperatures of 95 or above for months on end. ThankyouverymuchTexasweather. I actually busted out Austin’s Fall/Winter hoodies, jackets and pants today. It was actually COLD outside. I was actually able to wear one of my favorite items of clothing…A HOODIE!
Happy Tuesday…almost Wednesday, everyone. Enjoy the “hoodie weather.”