Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Technical Difficulties

I'm currently living in the land of electronic nightmares.  My MacBook has reached its' capacity and our PC is no where near capacity but also not anywhere near functioning properly.  And to top that, tonight Blogger told me I'm out of storage space.  All too many technical difficulties to manage at the moment.  Please bare with me as I work through them.  I promise, I'll be up and running soon, with lots of adorable photos!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It Will Happen (Video Included)

I think it's safe to say that no matter what you may or may not go through in life, you have yours ups and downs. We've had a lot of major changes going on lately.  None of them really related to Down syndrome.  In fact, Down syndrome does not play a big part in our life.  But some days I do get a little sad about things.  Latley I've struggled a bit with Kennedy's speech delay.  Everyone is constantly reassuring me how wonderful she is doing, and I have no doubts about that.  I'm so incredibly proud of her.  But every now and then it hits me a little harder.  Especially when I see other kids her age doing things so easily when we work so hard. 

Today we made an impromptu trip to the park.  Because, well, I'm officially a North Carolinian now and I was thrilled that it was 65 degrees and a "warm" day.  So despite my middle of the night shopping trip induced exhaustion, we headed to Kennedy's favorite swing spot.  The same park that we had a play date at just over a month ago.  The very park that Kennedy took her socks and shoes off at, and refused to walk more than 5 steps.  Well, today, she didn't take her shoes off.  She spent the majority of the time we were there running around the grass.  She was wild.  She was happy.  She was the social butterfly that she always is.  The baby that wouldn't take more than 5 steps on her own outside of her home last month, was now RUNNING through the grass at the park.  I remember the days that felt like Kennedy would never walk.  And now, just three and a half months after she started standing independently for a few seconds, she's running!!!!!!!!!  When she took her first steps, I felt like we were far from having an independent walker.  But I think that we can officially call her that!  So although some days feel like Kennedy may never really "talk," I just have to keep reminding myself that she will get there. 

I should also mention that not only was Kennedy a social butterfly today, she was a stalker.  She was chasing after babies, toddlers and older kids, trying to play with their balls and run around with them.  Some of the kids were more receptive than others.  And none of the parents looked at me like I was crazy, as my toddler ran around kissing strangers.  I keep trying to tell Kennedy she should blow kisses to these people, instead of kissing them physically.  She isn't convinced.  Here's some video.

And one more.
Check back tomorrow for more photos.  I had computer problems that delayed my blogging tonight, but I have some seriously adorable photos.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Settling In

After a few very hectic weeks I'm happy to say we made our move over the weekend and we're settling in to our new home nicely! The house is put together and we are enjoying some relaxation. And shopping. And preparing for Thanksgiving.

Kennedy is really enjoying her new home. Her favorite part is the stairs . She is like a pro going up them. I just need to teach her to go down them. One of the greatest parts about our move is that Kennedy has her cousins and family nearby. Yesterday one of her cousins came over to play with her for the day. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more. And it was fun for me to watch Kennedy playing with Hannah. I'm really looking forward to seeing Kennedy grow up with her cousins. I'm also excited to have a designated play room and a fenced in yard! We can finally play outside and not worry about alligators. The biggest downfall to North Carolina is the weather. We are still adjusting our wardrobe and neither of the kids like to wear hats and winter coats.

I'll have lots of photos tomorrow and a little more serious of a post! I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blogger Fail. Updates.

It's a miracle that I made it through 31 for 21, because I haven't blogged in almost two weeks since it ended.  It's been a busy two weeks, preparing for the move, dealing with illnesses, teething, and appointments.  It's hard to believe that we're leaving in just 3 days.  In the past two weeks so much has happened.  We saw cardiology and were cleared not to come back for a year.  As I sat in their waiting room, watching Kennedy run around, playing with all the toys, another mom started talking to me.  She had a baby Caleb's age.  She was tiny.  When the mom asked me how old Caleb was and I told her, I saw that look.  The look that I remember giving off, when Kennedy was a baby and I met other kids her age, two or three times her size.  It made me think back to the bi-monthly cardiology visits that we were making for so long.  The time leading up to her surgery.  My life was centered around that.  And now here we are, not going back for a year.  Through the Mended Little Hearts program, I've also been speaking with other parents lately.  Parents of children who are having their AVSD repaired.  In answering some of their questions, it's occurred to me that something that was once the center of my universe are now fuzzy memories.  I actually had to reference my blog to answer some of their questions. 

In the past two weeks we've also said goodbye to a lot of friends.  Mostly people that I've met since Kennedy was born.  People who will always have a special place in my heart.  People who promised me that "it" would be okay.  The women that I cried to, in fear of what our future would hold.  The women who supported me through my struggle with breastfeeding.  The women who were present for the birth of both of our children.  The friends who have supported us through open heart surgery and helped us to celebrate Kennedy's milestones.  The friends who have recognized Kennedy for who she is and how many chromosomes she has.  I feel like we've come so far since we met them.  I distinctly remember meeting Amanda and her son at my first Mom's Group.  We compared horror stories from the NICU.  We had swim dates with the kids.  We were both pregnant with our second children at the same time, battling the fear of another NICU experience.  We welcomed our babies into the world just weeks apart.  I'll never forget when my midwife visited me in the hospital, and gave me Stephanie's phone number.  She told me she had a son with Down syndrome, and that she would love to talk to me.  I remember the first time we talked.  I cried.  A lot.  And I hung up, replaying in my head that things would be great, and that it gets easier.  She offered to take newborn photos of Kennedy.  And Kennedy flopped around in her flower pot, making it difficult to get photos.  And just a few months ago, she offered to do Caleb's newborn photographs.  And Caleb was equally as uncooperative. 

The hardest goodbye of them all was my Doula, Angie.  We reminisced about the day we met for the first time.  AS usual, I had 5,000 things going on and my mind was in 20 places.  The day that I made the decision to hire her, I had no idea just how huge that decision would be.  I never imagined that we would need the amount of guidance and support that we did.  Angie or "Aunt Angie" to the kids, has become a part of our family, and will hold a special place in our hearts forever.  Of all the "goodbyes" this was the hardest, and the most tearful. 

Today we said goodbye to our Physical Therapist, Holly.  Holly has been with us since January, and I owe her some credit towards Kennedy's success with walking.  She has given us some excellent guidance and has always praised Kennedy for how wonderful she is.  I know by experience that good therapists are hard to come by, so this was a difficult goodbye. 

Of course, with all that said, we're very excited about moving forward.  I'm ready to put all of the stress of the move behind us.  To get the kids rooms and play rooms set up.  To run around the back yard with the kids and not worry about snakes and alligators.  To see Kennedy learn and grow around her cousins and to watch the fun that they will have together.  Most importantly, to have more time as a family.  I'm looking forward to meeting new friends, and play buddies for Kennedy (and Caleb.)  I know that I will form new friendships with memories just as special as the ones I have here. 

Enough rambling.  Here are some photos from the past few weeks. 

Showing off my walking and my hair cut!

The nice therapist at Hope Haven told mommy to give me Twizzlers to help strengthen my jaw.  Mommy wasn't too thrilled with the idea, but this is one therapy I'm okay with.

Can we do this therapy more often?

My little brother is getting to be more fun.

Playtime with Grandma.

We went to vote.  It was exhausting.  I was being adorable, and all the people loved me.  And then I fell asleep because it was taking so long.

Even with two teeth and being sick, I'm still smiling.

What do you mean I can't wear tank tops after this week?

Come on mom!  I want more swinging.  See....I'm signing "more."

Bedtime, what?  No thanks.