Thursday, April 26, 2012

Must. Get. Cheerios.

Kennedy has been "crawling' so to speak for awhile.  Whether it be army crawly, scooting, whatever you want to call it.  We've been working on the hands and knees crawling, but this kiddo has always hated being on her knees.  Until recently.  She's been getting on her hands and knees for brief amounts of time, and yesterday she just decided to go with it.  We are mastering the hands and knees crawl!  Of course, her biggest motivation is - you guessed it - Cheerios!

She has definitely taken off with it and has been crawling on her hands and knees with more confidence and a little less effort.  I suspect in no time, I won't be able to keep up with her!  I could not be any more proud, especially because I know how hard this little princess has been working at this!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Changing Perceptions

When I started this blog (over a year ago!) I did it with many intentions.  As a way for me to get my feelings out on paper, and to document our journey so I would never forget anything.  A way to keep friends and family informed.  Because I learned so much from reading others blogs, I had hope that mine would one day help someone else.  And although I didn't have it in mind when I started the blog, I decided that I wanted Kennedy (and her blog) to help change people's perception of Down syndrome, and to educate them about how wonderful life really is. 

It seems like that's a mission that a lot of parents of special needs children have.  We should not have to convince people that all life is valuable, or that Down syndrome doesn't mean your world is no longer "normal."  I read a post from a physician this morning.  She has a child with Down syndrome, and she admitted her fears upon getting the diagnosis, and the discovery that medical school did not provide her with a real life example of what Down syndrome was.  She's not set out to change that.  Sadly, she's met some resistance.  I know for a fact that Kennedy (and this blog) have changed at least a few people's perception of Down syndrome.  For me, changing one person's perception makes a difference.  But I'm not going to stop there.  You can read Dr. Julia Kinder's article here

Life really is normal for us.  Better than normal actually.  Sure, we have a few more appointments, and Kennedy may not be doing everything "by the books" but the same can hold true for a child with 46 chromosomes too.  Right now, as I sit here typing this, I'm watching Kennedy crawl around, in search of the Cheerios she left on the floor last night.  Sadly, she doesn't know that mommy cleaned up 99% of them after she went to bed.  Yes, *most* kids her age are walking.  But I'm okay with crawling.  She will walk when she's ready, just like any child. 

Here's some photos from last week's adventures on the fake grass.  I finally got around to getting unpacked and downloading them.  Maybe now that our marathon travels are over, I can get back to regular blogging (but don't hold your breath, something always comes up.) 

Mommy it's windy out!!!!!

 But I think I like it!

 This is much better.  My piggies aren't blowing around.

 Can we please get fake grass at home???

I promise, I will use it all the time!

Grandma?  Will you buy me fake grass?

On that note...Kennedy has given up her hunt for Cheerios and is now making a toy out of the DVR.  Guess it's time for a new activity!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Learning & Growing

Kennedy is 14 months old today!  It's so hard to believe that it's been that long since I held her for the first time.  It does not seem like that long ago that I was neglecting my housework to let the little baby snuggle on my chest.  Now she is growing more and more every day.  She's learning and discovering new things on a daily basis.  But she's not the only one who has done a lot of learning and growing over the past 14 months.  When I think back about what life used to be like, and where it is now, it's hard to imagine how much I've changed as a person since becoming a mother.  Part of it is just becoming a mom.  Having someone else to take responsibility for and to care for.  And part of it comes along with the unexpected.  Kennedy has taught me so much about life and living.  We truly celebrate the little things in life, and we REALLY celebrate the big things.  Things that used to stress me to no end, don't seem like such a big deal anymore.  When you've been faced with what we have over the past 14 months, you start to trust that everything really does work out for the best.  You learn not to take the simple things in life for granted.  Kennedy's open heart surgery taught us a lot.  It put life into perspective.  A lot of the things that used to be a big deal, aren't any more.  You realize that no matter how bad things may seem, someone always has it harder.  Watching my 4.5 month old go through open heart surgery seemed like the end of the world to me on July 5th.  But after a few days in the CVICU I realized that we were one of the lucky ones. 

Don't get me wrong, I still get stressed, and I still get frustrated and angry, especially when it comes to dealing with things like Early Intervention.  But in the grand scheme of things, it's a lot easier for me to sit back and enjoy the things that I have, and not worry so much about what I don't have, what needs to be done, or what could happen.  I've learned not to worry about the things you can't control.  Somehow things have a way of working out.  Had you asked me how I felt 14 months ago, I never would have responded in this way.  Kennedy, you've made me a better person in more ways than you could ever know.  Mommy and daddy love you more than anything and we are so incredibly proud of you.

On that note, I've got some really cute photos to share.  My memory card hasn't made it out of my computer, so here's just a few from my cell phone to hold you over.
Yes, I'm a pool bum, and I know it.

Mom...those people dancing on the grass look funny.

It's kinda windy out here.  Can't you fix that?  Please?

I really want fake grass at home, even if it hurts my knees when I crawl.  Can we talk to daddy? 

No mom, I don't care if it is 11pm, I'm not ready for bed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Flying High (And Other Ramblings)

I'm not even going to try to make excuses for my lack of blogging anymore.  Some day life will settle down and I'll have the time to keep everyone up to date more.  Or maybe if I set the expectation that I won't be blogging much, I'll somehow find the time to prove myself wrong.

If you've been reading the blog since the beginning, or even sometime after Kennedy's surgery, you've probably picked up on the fact that we travel quite a bit.  Kennedy has been on several road trips totaling over 10,000 mils.  And she's stayed in more hotels than I can count.  Fortunately for us, she's an excellent little traveler.  But seeing as how we've made three road trips to the Virginia/Carolina area since I've been pregnant with Caleb, we decided to do something a little different this time.  FLYING!  The only way that mommy was taking another trip to Virginia, was if it was on an airplane.  Being 6 months pregnant, there was not a 13+ hour road trip anywhere in my future.  Of course, last Thursday I was questioning our decision to fly, as I tried to pack everything we would need for 9 days, into luggage suitable for air travel.  Unfortunately for Kennedy, this meant that we had to leave ball poppers and pool floats at home.

I'm so excited!  Mommy says we're going to another hotel!

Helping with laundry is hysterical.

Don't forget daddy's gym socks.

Yes, we were "those" people in the airport.

 While waiting for Marlon to park the car, I hung out with our massive pile of luggage.  Everyone was looking at Kennedy, and despite the fact that it was a late night followed by an early morning, Kennedy was in a great mood and was hamming it up for everyone.  Including winking at a man when he got out of a cab.  In fact, she was such a ham that he walked straight into a glass door while looking at her.  After maneuvering our way through the airport, getting checked in, and through security our first stop was Starbucks, of course.  Followed by the overpriced airport gift shop.  Kennedy DEFINITELY needed an overpriced monkey that said "Tampa" on it.  In my defense, I knew it would provide significant amusement over the next few hours.  

Mommy says my monkey is silly like me.   I have no idea what she's talking about...

Was I right about the monkey or what?  

Getting ready to board.  Kennedy was still highly amused by the new monkey.

Terrible photo quality.  But we HAD to have a first flight photo.

The flight was just under 2 hours and Kennedy was an angel.  She could not have been more perfect.  She ate, drank milk, played on my lap, and took a nap.  As we were getting off the plane, the family in the row behind us commented that they had NO idea that there was a baby in front of them.

I have some really great family photos that I'm excited to soon as I get them from my uncle!  In the mean time, here are some snapshots from the weekend!  We had a wonderful time with my family and Kennedy enjoyed her first Passover celebration!

Play time with Great Grandma!

Quality time with daddy!

Mommy, I'm starving!!!

Give. Me. Soup.

My first matzo ball!  Pass me more please.

No one minds if I play with my food for entertainment.  Right?

Oh? Was I supposed to be listening?

A special ice cream treat!

Spending time with Grandpa!

And some quality time with Aunt Michelle.

I love to party with my family!

Visiting with Great Grandma before leaving for North Carolina.

I'm so excited!  I love this hotel...

...and everyone here loves me!

And on one last note, I just have to mention how difficult it has been to get Kennedy to go to sleep lately.  Now that she's more mobile she just wants to go go go.  Tonight I kept laying her down, and she'd go right back to sitting.  This little girl cracks me up!  Even though I wasn't laughing so hard after 40 minutes of this. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Midnight Milestones and Other Antics From Kennedy

Kennedy is growing up.  Becoming much more mobile.  She learns more and more every day.  This is such a fun age, but she's also getting hard to keep up with!

She has started escaping from play areas...  I caught her trying to get out the front door yesterday.  Good thing our house is mostly baby proofed....

 I didn't do anything.  I didn't try going anywhere.  I'm not guilty at all.

Last night I went to bed, and just as I was getting comfortable and dozing off, I felt something on my hip.  I rolled over to see Kennedy sitting on the bed with a huge smile on her face.  Two minutes before that she was sleeping on her belly.  She then continued to show me over and over how she could now go from her belly to sitting up.  I always say that we celebrate all milestones and I could not be more proud.  But practicing this from 11pm until 1am was a bit extreme.  Hopefully we all get a better night of sleep tonight.  (Though, for that to happen, I'm pretty sure I should be sleeping not blogging.)  

What else has Kennedy been up to?  Let's see, she has 3 ball poppers.  The most annoying part of all of them is that the balls fly every where, and I used to have to chase after them constantly.  Now that Kennedy is mobile, she is willing to fetch them, when they bounce out.  However, she has discovered the art of throwing balls.  She laughs every time she foes it and then waits patiently for you to retrieve it and throw it back.  Okay, so maybe she isn't very patient.  This afternoon she was standing and eating Cheerios off the ottoman.  When the Cheerios were gone, she got down on the floor, then laid down, and rolled over, in search of any lost Cheerios that she may have dropped.  It was a pretty silly sight to see. 

I'm pretty sure I dropped a few mom.

Did they go UNDER the ottoman?

Must. Find. Cheerios.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter! (A bit late...)

Let me start by saying that I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!  We had my mom and my husband's mom over for a nice relaxing day of swimming and barbecuing.  Kennedy was definitely more into Easter this year than last.  She loved all the goodies in her Easter basket.  As much as I never let Kennedy eat candy, it was fun to give her a few marshmallow peeps and a chocolate bunny.  The peeps were fun to play with, and she put them in her mouth a few times, but she was NOT a fan of eating them.  They were more of a fun mess to play with.  The chocolate bunny on the other hand, went straight to her mouth over and over again.  She definitely ate more of that than the peeps, but she still wasn't obsessed with it, and most of it ended up in the trash, after being tossed around the floor.  Here's some snapshots from the day. 

Hey peeps!  Happy Easter!

I have my own version of the bunny hop.

Thanks for the card Grandma!  I love you too!

I'm going to give my brother kisses like this.

What else is in here?

I wonder what these taste like.

I'm not so sure mom...

They're kinda weird....

 And sticky...

What am I really supposed to do with it?

 How about I give you the pirate wink?

And get a little more sticky....

 Then come after the camera!!!!!

Look!  I got a chocolate bunny!

 Now this is pretty good.

What?  Is there something on my face?

I could get used to this!

How come Easter only comes around once a year?

What's so funny mom?