Wednesday, July 28, 2010


First, why is this such a big deal? I know my fellow DS moms know why but to those that don't have a child with special needs, milestones like this are HUGE! Almost all kids with Down syndrome have low muscle tone so the physical milestones usually take a lot longer to accomplish compared to typically developing children. Months can go by and you don't see much change and sometimes you wonder will they ever do it? Even though you know they probably will but it seems soooo far away. So even though Bennett is not a speed demon when it comes to crawling-yet- and it's still just an army crawl, he decided that a simple green stick, basically, was what would be his motivator and he wanted it.

I am one proud mama right now, I cannot lie. Join us as we celebrate!:)

So here he is in all his glory: Bennett "crawls" for the very first time: Turn your volume up!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Love of Shoes...

continues to thrive...
I mean, how could I resist?
Pass up cute, little, red converse? I don't think so.

Sure, he may play with them now, but come fall...
He'll be stylin'.

Seriously, the rollie, pollie legs are too much, in a good way;)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Swimmin' and Stuff...

This past weekend Ainsley decided to throw off the "swimmies" and show us what she could do. We have no idea where this came from because even with Mike and I having extensive swimming/coaching/swim instructor backgrounds, she hasn't let us really teach her how to swim. I'll try to casually teach her something and she'd rather play or say "that's too hard!" Until this day...

Again, came out of nowhere but we're very proud of her! She ended up swimming the longer length of the pool and swam over the "scary" deep water and only had to stop once! Bennett even clapped for her! Good swimming Ainsley!!!

In other news, Bennett has a double ear infection and may be getting tubes at the end of the summer. I'm actually all for it because I want him hearing to his fullest potential and he's not hearing at a normal level right now, according to the test done at the ENT's office. He has fluid in both ears so if it doesn't clear soon, he'll probably get the tubes. He's still very happy though and "talking" up a storm so you would never know his ears hurt. {Kids with DS tend to have smaller ear canals so fluid doesn't clear out at easily causing most doctors to go straight to ear tubes before it can start affecting their hearing and speech}
And in very sad news, my Aunt Allene passed away, rather suddenly over the weekend. She was my dad's oldest sister and will be missed terribly. I have such fond childhood memories of my Aunt Allene and staying at her house on the lake with cousins during the summer. One of the most caring and fun loving women I know. I could go on an on about all the sweet little memories I have at her house and of her. She really was a special lady.
We love you Aunt Allene and we'll miss you so, so much.

I also want to ask you all to pray for Bennett's buddy Parker- he is just 2 days younger than Bennett and will be having his open heart surgery tomorrow. His mom's blog is Parker's Purpose so if you get a chance, please leave an encouraging comment and let them know you're saying a prayer for their sweet boy. Thanks so much!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Child Proofing In Our Future?

Perhaps one of the good things about having a baby with Down syndrome {I say one because there really are a lot more;)} is that since it takes them a little longer to do things, you don't have to worry about them getting into stuff, as quickly as other children and you kinda get used to that. Like, I can plop Bennett down on the floor and unless he decides to have a rolling fest, I'm pretty sure he'll be in the same general area if I step away for just a minute.

Well, now that he can sit himself up, things that used to be out of reach while laying down are suddenly at perfect trouble making height....

Obviously I caught him before he decided to try this new thing out. He was just staring at it and you could tell he really wanted to touch it. And just look at this little face...

Pure trouble.

"You just wait mommy, remember...I'm a little boy and little boys are very curious!"

{for the record I have no idea what is all over his onesie- we're working on self-feeding if that tells you anything and I think more food gets on his clothes than in his mouth;)}

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bennett's Favorite Thing To Do...

So Bennett has been doing this for a few weeks now but it was always a mystery as to how he did it...until this past week or so and I finally got in on video. He does it all the time and will go from laying on his tummy to pushing up to laying back to his tummy and likes to do it often! I think he's proud of his new skill and he shows that by his clapping;)

He has become quite the "wannabe mover" because he's always leaning out of my arms now like he's going to go somewhere when he gets down. This happens especially at the pool, he literally tries to crawl from my arms into the pool-so funny!
So hopefully now that he's mastered this, the next video I share will be him crawling! Hopefully within the next month-just maybe??

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bennett Meets Anna!!

On Saturday we got to meet another blog family!! It's so funny how things happen because I was reading Anna's blog- Banana Pants and I noticed that they had pictures taken for the Littlest Hero's Project by the same photographer that we will be having in September. So I contacted Lori (Anna's mom) to see if she liked this photographer and told her that we must live close since this photographer was assigned to both of us. Turns out we were less than an hour away so we scheduled a day to meet up and what a perfect day it was!

Here's some pics from our fun visit to Anna's house...
Anna is such a sweet little girl and crawled right up to Bennett to figure him out. There was patting of the tummy, the shoes and the head-she really liked his hair:)
Lots of hugs and a few sweet kisses;)
Bennett wasn't sure how to handle all this attention from Anna.
But they got along just fine and it was fun to see a child a little bit older than Bennett (Anna is two) doing things that I'm excited to see him do one day. Anna got around just fine and was such a great eater and she knew so many signs!! I'm hoping Bennett picked up on some of her skills;)
Oh and she has the prettiest blue eyes!
Ainsley and Harper had a great time with Anna's older sister Paige, playing dress up...naturally.

It took some time but big brother Charlie came around to playing with the girls and by the end of the evening the big kids were having a blast playing "star wars" in the yard. Harper cried because she didn't want to leave;(
It was so nice meeting you Lori, Jonathan, Charlie, Paige and sweet Anna!! Thanks again for welcoming us into your home and for a wonderful evening!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Disney Tips!

In no way am I saying I am a Disney pro, these are just little tips I learned while going last month, some things that I wish I had done, some things I think we did right and some things I'll do next time;)

So, you're going to Disney? My #1 tip: Don't go in the summer! Ha! Just kidding.

These next few tips pertain to those going in the summer.

As we all know, Florida is H.O.T-HOT in the summer but I had no idea how hot I would be. It just happened that this was the best time for us to go so we did and don't get me wrong we had a blast but we were HOT. So some things I would have done differently are:
Wear better clothing.

I saw many women walking around in what I would call "running attire" which I am very accustomed to since I run and I thought to myself -if you're going to sweat, you might as well sweat in stuff you're used to sweating in. Wish I had thought of that! It's not like I wore pants or uncomfortable clothes but a sports bra with a cool tank and running shorts would have been much better.

Another thing I wish I would've thought of:
Bring our own cheap fans!!!

We were desperate people, as were the millions of others there and we paid a whopping $17 for this little fan that sprays water and cools you off at the same time. It was worth it but I over heard someone say you could get similar ones at Walmart for next to nothing. We were all fighting over this little gem and Mike wasn't about to buy another one- I don't blame him but it sure would have been nice if we each had our own.

Another thing that we could have saved a bit on:

It pretty much storms every afternoon in Florida in the summertime- I knew that but just wasn't thinking!! So we went to one of the many Disney stores there and bought our ponchos and again I overheard someone say you could get them at Walmart for next to nothing!

Bring your own ponchos if you're going in the summer!!

Okay, as most of you know we did not bring Bennett along and I'm so glad we didn't because again it was HOT! It was just too hot for babies but if you must bring your little bambino along in the summer months bring one of these:

A fan! Attach it to your stroller. We had one when we went to Dutch Wonderland in May. It helps a lot and you can get them at Babies-R-Us and I'm assuming Walmart. Oh and of course Disney sells them but you're going to pay a lot for it.

Now, on to some things that pertain to any time of year:

Are you on the fence about Bibbity Bobbity Boutique? I was because as girly as Ainsley is, she doesn't like her hair messed with a lot and pulled back tightly and Harper could care less so I was afraid that I would fork out all this money and I would hear complaining for the rest of the day. A couple of friends recommended a breakfast (do the breakfast-not the lunch-American vs. Norwegian food) at Epcot where you could see all the princesses. So we signed up for that and I decided to bring our own (much cheaper and perhaps not quite as nice) dresses for the girls to wear to the breakfast. They LOVED it! They got to see all the princesses, dress up for a bit and eat yummy food-what's better than that? No fussing over tightly pulled hair or "I'm hot in this dress!" I'm happy with my decision to forgo the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique.

Here they are at the breakfast-only princess we never saw, accept from afar was Jasmine. I heard she is hard to see for some reason.

Now onto some hotel tips, fast pass tips meal plan and park hopper tips.

Hotels: we stayed at Caribbean Beach and really liked it. Several of our friends stayed there and liked it too. The pool was fantastic with multiple water slides and an awesome kiddie pool so for the summertime it was perfect. The rooms were decent-nothing spectacular but ours had beds that looked like pirate ships and other pirate looking things but you don't spend a ton of time in your room so to me that's not the most important thing.

If you stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort- try to get a room close to the food court. My friend Renee suggested that but we booked it too late I guess and we were a little too far from the pool and food in my opinion.

If you want to spend a little bit more or maybe a lot more- stay at the Grand Floridian! We had two of our character meals there and it's gorgeous. It's right next to the Magic Kingdom but again, you will pay more for this fancy hotel.

Meal Plan: We signed up for the meal plan and the thing we didn't realize was that the 4 character meals we had, counted as two meals so we ran out of meals by the end of the week and had to pay for a couple. So pay attention to the meal plan you choose if you're staying on property that is.

Character Meals: This is you and your kids preference. If you have little girls, I highly recommend the Breakfast with the Princesses at Norway in Epcot-again do the breakfast unless you and your kids like Norwegian food. We also enjoyed breakfast at the Grand Floridian where we saw Pooh Bear, Tiger, Alice, Mary Poppins and the Mad Hatter. Other meals I've heard were great that we didn't book in time were Chef Mickey's and Cinderella's Round Table- you need to book these way in advance.

Fast Pass: Mike was the fast pass expert but he said it really wasn't hard to figure out once you got there. Basically you go to the big rides, pick up a pass and it tells you to come back within a certain time frame but if you want another fast pass for another ride you have to wait until a certain time to get it-err something like that. He said the people there are very helpful and you just need to plan out your day a little so you can get back to some of the big rides that have long wait times.

Park Hopper: We did the park hopper and it's well worth it but for our kids ages, Magic Kingdom was by far the best place, followed by Animal Kingdom-we all loved Animal Kingdom. The park hopper gives you a lot of flexibility and if you have older kids it's definitely worth it.

Strollers: I had no idea how much walking we were going to be doing at Disney! Just to get from the bus stop to the entrance seemed like miles! So we brought one umbrella -mainly for Harper in the airport and then rented the double stroller for the week that they have there. Even though Ainsley is 5, you better believe she was in that stroller due to tired little legs. Near the middle of the week we started bringing the umbrella to the parks because Harper was so tired and did not want to walk from the bus station to the entrance! So we had the double and then I pushed Mike's book bag in the umbrella-it worked for us. Believe me, you do not want to carry a tired 3 year old after a long day at the park-the umbrella stroller was a life saver.

The Magic Height: We've determined it's 44". 44" will get you on just about every ride. Ainsley was 43" so she missed out on some good ones and I was hoping her bow would help but no such luck.

Some other little tid bits that seemed to help our trip was eating lunch and dinner and odd hours like waiting a little and eating lunch at 3- not as crowded or dinner earlier or later. Also, this may seem silly but I dressed the girls alike every day-1)because I'm like that and I think it's cute;) and 2) it really was easy keep track of them with so many people there- not like I let my children run wild but there are a ton of people at Disney World and to lose a child-I can't even imagine.

So there you have it. Like I said, no pro just tips friends gave me and things we learned while there. If you have the chance to go, there really is nothing like seeing it all through your children's eyes and every bit of money you spend is all worth it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Weekend!

Another of 4th of July has gone by and this year was a little different from last...
here's little Bennett, just 6 weeks old last year and we were all nervously awaiting his surgery date. I think I constantly checked him for symptoms of heart failure and was sure he would get sick.
But here is my happy and healthy boy this year!
Bennett LOVES the camera and it's always easy to get a smile out of him! {and I must say Harper is getting better at her smiles!}

Okay, so he didn't want to smile much with his pirate gear on. We had a pirate treasure hunt for the big kids and Bennett was our baby pirate;)
Nope, he didn't like it too much. But the other kids loved it! Ainsley and Harper had the best time with their cousins Micah and Ty (my sister's kids), fishing, riding the jet ski, swimming, zip lining, playing pirates and basically just being kids.
I finally got Bennett to like his float and he enjoyed just cruising around the pool, watching the big kids jump in all around him.
Here's my sister and her cute little family. We don't get to see them very often so it was great visiting with them and I can't believe how big our kids are getting!

My parents were busy the entire time cooking, playing with the kids and making sure everyone was having a good time so I didn't get a ton of pictures of them;( but thanks again mom and dad for hosting another 4th of July vacation for us!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Partners in Crime...

Okay so there's no crime involved but these two have been
my side kicks while running this week...
The weather has been beautiful these past two days and it makes me look forward to that first month of fall!!

Anyways, Ainsley is at vacation bible school this week so it's just these two and at first I thought it would be easier but it hasn't been. The first couple of days Harper and I had our battles...big time. She missed her older sister playing all the things they play and well, I'm starting to see how perhaps Harper really is more like me rather than Mike. She's very head strong, stubborn, gets frustrated easily and is a bit moody and I guess I am too:). My entire family (including extended) are shaking their heads "yes" after reading that sentence-LOL.

So we've survived the week but I think the things that have really made it easier and totally exciting are the new things Bennett is doing! On Monday (after my pity party in the church nursery-and thanks so much to all that commented, it really means a lot) I came in to get him in the morning and he was sitting up in his crib!! I couldn't believe it! I have no idea how he did it, he's done it one other time since and I've yet to see him do it {of course} but at least we know he can do it, right? And then he's also just started standing at his activity table for 5 minutes at a time! He's not pulling up but he wouldn't even bear weight on his legs without help last week and now he's doing it all by himself!! It's just so exciting to see him doing these things-finally! But I know like with everything that Bennett does it's in his own time.

One more thing I'm thrilled about is that he's down to 2 bottles and takes the rest in either his honey bear cup or a sippy! I'm a stickler about bottles past a year old and I've adjusted my thinking about this when it comes to Bennett but I'm just so glad he's getting the hang of the straw cup-although he won't hold it but at least he'll take his milk from another source. We're still having big issues with his self-feeding but I'm not really stressing over it since really Bennett is probably more like an 8 month old if you look at most of the things he's doing so I'm going to give it more time before I totally freak out about it.:)

So it's been interesting with just two kids but I really do feel 3 is easier! Ha! So now I'm off to have my last day of jogging with the two of them!

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!!