Monday, February 27, 2012

So, trying to redeem myself after the post in which the hair is messy, I bathed the children, anointed them with conditioner, massaged them (which they hate)and dressed them in partially color-coordinated clothing to get these splendid pictures. You have to admit the hair is looking pretty great!

For those of you who know that alopecia is common with Down syndrome, and are thinking that pride goeth before a fall, I'll tell you that Big Girl has a quarter-sized spot and a nickel-sized spot, which I neurotically check weekly to see if they've changed to the size of a larger coin. Since I'm powerless against hair loss, I figure, make hay while the sun shines, or make ponytails while you can!

As I said, getting tougher to get flattering pictures of them, since everyone hates the camera these days.  This one is pretty flattering, I'd say (although I am her mother, so maybe I'm not very objective.)

Okay, it's not just me, right?  This one is pretty darn cute!

Let's call this, "trouble with a capital T!"

I'll go for "goofy with a capital G" here.

Oh! Definitely "adorable with a..." You get the idea!

Line from a favorite song:  "Don't forget the extra-a-a CHEESE!"  Plenty of cheese here!

Let's see how it works to add another person into the mix...

If you add even one more person, well it disintegrates to pure chaos!

Mostly Little Boy

Heard about this great preschool activity called Starfall, and the kiddos love it.  The girls won't repeat words or sounds anymore for me (I've burnt them out with my emphasis on speech therapy) but they like to repeat all the alphabet sounds and words that the computer throws out there.  Little Boy never gave me the satisfaction of repeating anything anyway.  Apparently, he's not about to start for a computer.

What would you think if you looked into this sad, lost little face?  Would you feel that you'd disappointed him?  That he didn't feel loved?  Would you try harder?  Luckily for me, I see this look all the time from my teenagers when I disappoint them, they don't feel loved, and want me to try harder.  I've become somewhat immune to it.  Life's hard!  Deal with it!  You're smack dab in the middle of a family who's crazy about you.  It's not gonna get any better than this!

If I took that too seriously, would I be able to enjoy all these other moods?




Just keepin' it real. I think I may have used this title before...

Another birthday!

I'm always crazy about my beautiful kids.

Okay, I admit it.  Some days it's a while before I get to their hair.  Who am I kidding?  Sometimes I don't get to their hair at all.

True confessions.  Just keepin' it real.  And, I admit that I'm sorry about these bangs.  It's just that during snot season, it seemed to make sense...

Same day, same time-- his hair looked good.  Actually, I love my babies' hair, it's all getting so long, so most of the time, I do make it look good. 

Well, it's been kind of busy lately, and work schedules have been hectic. Work for me has been stressful, but I'm happy to have my job, and doing what I love, with a bunch of people that I love, so I'm grateful.

New things that Little Kids have been doing is learning how to sit at a table, and work on preschool-type activities. My usual is to sit on the couch, and work one-on-one with people, doing preschool stuff, but recent attempts to attend Sunday school have shown the necessity of learning a bit more self control in some arenas. So, the little table, and three small chairs were dug out of storage, and put to use. The first day, they sat for exactly one minute before they were completely done. The next day was four minutes, and we've been building up from there. We can manage a good half hour now, but that is only when the activity changes after about 5 minutes. Luckily, I have lots of different activities to trade out. If we ever decide to go to public school instead of homeschooling, I hope we'll all be able to sit at the desk, and stay on task.

The other big thing lately is focus on speech therapy. I've been researching a lot, and there's a lot to it. Stuff you take for granted. I helped one of my big kids learn to say, "R" by analyzing where I put my tongue, and then making her practice it every night for several weeks, after which she suddenly got it.

This is a little more complicated than that. I've discovered that my kids probably don't have good muscle tone in their mouths, and tongue, and that severely affects how easily they can form the words they try to say. So, lots of mouth and tongue exercises, massaging cheeks and lips, switching to straw cups (apparently, sippy cups are the devil) and blowing (whistles, bubbles.) We've focused on learning english this past year, learning lots of signs, and encouraging babbling. I think they understand a lot, and try to say a lot that we just don't get. Hoping all these exercises will make a dramatic difference.

Cute stuff: At the dinner table, Big Girl tapped me, and then signed, "I love you." First time ever, and I melted, "Awwwwwwww----!!!" Dad said, "Hmmm... Neat trick to get out of eating!" Little Girl observed this interaction, obviously thinking, "I wish I'd thought of it first!" Little Boy didn't even notice.

Just kidding-- he's signing "cracker" and "all done" with great flair. Sometimes he likes to tease me when I try to get him to sign "mama" and I say it at the same time, by signing "daddy" instead. Booger!

Today Little Girl carried the big baby doll around, patting it sweetly, and then took it, set it on the toilet to go potty, and then washed its hands. Kind of gross, but cute, too, right?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Next birthday!

I think Little Girl had the cutest birthday we've ever had around here. She knew what we meant when we told her "Happy Birthday!" in the morning when she got up. She had a smile on her face that said she knew it was her special day. All my older kids used to get bratty on their birthdays, and she tried that a little bit that day, although she tries that a little bit every day! She was so excited to blow out the candles, she was bouncing up and down in her seat, and L. put his hand out to keep her from blowing out the candles before we finished the song! She was so impatient, she just kept trying. Then she clapped, and cheered for herself, when the candles went out. That kind of exuberance is catching! So fun! She loves to be the center of attention, and the little karaoke machine was a hit. Big Girl enjoys singing karaoke, too. Adorableness reigned!

She knew what was going on, and started trying to blow out the candles before they were even set in front of her.

We were still singing, and she was trying really hard to blow out the candles... 


She was so thrilled with herself!

"It's not my birthday..."

She knows how to unwrap gifts!

She got karaoke for her birthday!

It's great to have fans...
Even better when they sing with you...

"A shiny, spinning pinwheel is all I need..."

Big Girl bustin' a move...

Boy birthdays

We have a whole bunch of birthdays all clustered together, and we recently celebrated two boys' birthdays. We forgot to have a camera available for Little Boy's birthday, so we used a camera phone. Poor kid. He was not impressed with his birthday, because he doesn't like anyone to tell him what to do (all that pesky present-unwrapping, and such.)

B. had a birthday, too, and he actually enjoyed his, and went along with the program. He spent the day with his two close friends, (one of whom also celebrates his birthday that day) riding dirt bikes on the track at a neighboring farm. I was in shock when I realized that he's getting close to driving age. He's my youngest bio-kid! Where does time go?

"I can't help it;  I must go toward the light..."

He wanted to grab the balloons, and we were afraid he'd pull them right over the candles...

Instead of letting him play with the balloons, we tried to get him to blow out candles.  "Why won't anyone let me do what I want?!  It's my birthday!!"
Around here, what we lack in talent, we make up for in gusto!

My beautiful oldest son

My beautiful middle son