Friday, March 25, 2011

Fine and Gross Motor Explosion!

Bennett has been doing some fun things lately and I just had to share!  This is a short video of all the things he's been up to lately.

The first one though is not a skill, just hilarious {if you asked me} and I couldn't resist getting Bennett's belly laugh on tape.  He's actually working with his OT on feeding and she's got banana on her hand and is trying to get Bennett to enjoy the stickiness of the banana-remember Bennett DOES NOT like table food and has some texture and small sensory issues.

Bennett has also become a mad stacker...of everything.  I caught him trying to stack a block on our little maltese the other day-lol!  He loves it!  And in one of the videos he's stacking rings and he used to hate this toy-like would throw it when he saw it and refused to stack the rings.  But now he just concentrates so hard to complete the task!

He's also cruising now!  Still robotic looking but I'm just glad he's moving towards walking some day!

And....we finally have a four point crawler!!  More and more I'm seeing him crawl up on his hands and knees rather than do his quick army crawl-the girls always shout out "Bennett's crawling for real mom!", when they see him do it-too funny!  But I'll let you see for yourself....


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baby Bennett....

Still so little in so many ways.

But I'm slowly starting to see this little boy emerge.  From making car noises when he sees a picture of a car or truck {or anything with wheels;)} to carefully stacking blocks and then excitedly pushing them over to make them crash.

Hard to believe baby Bennett {who is looking very much like a little boy rather than a baby these days by the way}, will be 2 in just 2 months.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today is World Down Syndrome Day!  3-21 represents a third copy of the 21st chromosome {Trisomy 21} or more commonly known as Down syndrome.  

I've been blogging for over 2 years now and I hope that by reading you've learned a little something about DS that you may not have known.  But more importantly, I hope you have a different way of thinking about individuals with Down syndrome than you may have had in the past.  I hope that when you see a child, a teenager or an adult with Down syndrome or any person with special needs, you will be a little more open minded to their abilities rather than just seeing their disabilities.  

Today we celebrate Bennett and while he may be different in some ways, we hope that others will accept his differences fully and completely and will love him just as he is.  Our boy is worthy, he is loved, he was perfectly created to be in our family.

Thanks for all your support over these last few years!!  And...



Friday, March 18, 2011

Bennett's Certain Things....

Bennett has certain things that at any chance he gets, or if the opportunity presents itself, he's going to attempt to get into them.  2 main things are:
  • the dog bowls (never fails, if they are on the floor, Bennett is in super fast army crawl mode, heading straight for those bowls) and 
  • baby wipes.  

If the little lid is up on the wipe container, forget it.  Wipes are everywhere.  And recently, even if the little lid isn't up, he's figured it out....

Umm, whatcha doin' Bennett?? (He totally knows he's not supposed to do this.)

"Oh hi mommy, umm, just looking at the wipe box"


"Did I just pull all of those out?"

"Don't be mad at me mommy."

"C'mon, how could you be mad at me?"

"Here, you take one."

"They're so much fun!"

"Really, they are!"

"I love you mommy."

Hmm, he is pretty convincing, isn't he?;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Does a year make a difference?

I don't know, hard to tell.  I think Bennett's cheeks have slimmed down though and he's sitting much taller;)   What do you think?


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A little bunny here, a little bird's nest there...

So Easter is up at our house!  I realize it's over a month away but I'm not really into decorating for St. Paddy's day and I'm well over being ready for spring, so it's up.  Shall we take a look?

This was my inspiration {no this is not my house-don't I wish!} Picture is from Pottery Barn.  I'm obsessed with bunnies, eggs, birds and nests this year.  I apologize a head of time for the lighting in some of these pics- I guess we're getting our typical spring weather...which is rain, so there's not much natural light coming in-blah!

This is my version of the pottery barn inspiration.  I couldn't find cream colored eggs to save my life so the speckled, pastel eggs would have to work.  I then attempted to stencil on the letters...that was a big mistake but thankfully the paint came off and I just put stickers on the eggs-you can't even tell that they're stickers.

Hopefully I spent less then I would have if I purchased them from Pottery Barn.  For some reason many of my "oh I can do that!" projects turn out to be a mistake but I always seem to fix it some how.  Whatever.

Anyways, I had this broken glass in this frame that was sitting in the garage for about a year and I actually spray painted it in this robin egg blue a long time ago.  So I pulled it out and went through every room trying to use it somewhere because I LOVE robin egg blue.  It ended up on the dining room table and I think I like it there.  Kind of unexpected.

And here are some of my eggs and nests in all their glory.  I don't know who is the mother of all these eggs-are they bunny eggs?  Do bunnies lay eggs?  Well of course they don't, they're mammals but that little bunny on my table seems to be protecting tiny eggs??  So then they're bird's eggs?  Well I don't care whose eggs they are, I love eggs!  For the record, I know bunnies don't lay eggs;)

I found these little place card holders at Hobby Lobby and since they are close to my robin egg blue, I thought they added a nice touch.

I just like how these chocolates look in the glass jar!  Plus they are in the dining room, a room I don't walk through ever day so they are a tad less tempting;)....A TAD.

So I've had these palm tree pictures for about 10 years now.  Our first home was in Myrtle Beach, SC and I had a safari theme going on throughout the house.  That's not really working up here in PA and quite frankly, these pictures are the last safari type thing I have up and then there will be no more safari-I'm over it.  However, they are nice pictures so maybe I'll put them in a basement one day if we ever have a finished basement, I don't know.

Sorry, bad photoshop job but I've seen a really cool and inexpensive way to add texture and color to a room:  purchase blank canvases at Micheal's or wherever and then use your favorite fabric to cover them-I plan on just hot gluing mine.  So this is what I would like it to look like...or something along these lines. I think the "blonde" color and blue look cool together and again unexpected!  And yes, those are little birds up there perched on their newly painted, blue wall sconces;) {they were green before...of course.}

Okay, moving on.

This bunny (Hobby Lobby) seemed like she needed a few more eggs so that's what she got!

I don't know if this is a deviled egg holder or what but I thought it would look cute on my kitchen table and of course the bunny needed to be surrounded by eggs.

What's this?  More eggs?  Well, yes and why not have a monogrammed egg? LOL
Love bird cages can't get enough of them...

And finally...

Yes, finally, here comes the sun!  Hopefully in more ways than one.

So I suppose my next project will be to set up the back porch and gazebo-it's probably going to be another month or so but I can't wait!!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lil' Swimmers!

The kids have been busy lately and getting ready for summer with swim lessons!  I've got all 3 of them in the pool this year and so far, so good...

Ainsley is getting quite the work out in her class but I think she's really enjoying it!  I have the feeling though that the instructors think she's better than she really is so I'll admit there were a couple of times I had the momma instinct to jump up and save my daughter but I didn't and she survived;)

Harper LOVES the water and every time I looked she had a smile on her face!

I love listening to Harper tell me everything she did in class- "We did not do big arms today mommy", "We kicked a lot with our surf board", "That's called a kick board Harper", "Oh, kick board.":)

And then there's little Bennett and man was I shocked last week when we took our first class!  He LOVED it!!  
Bennett loves music and this class is all about singing songs, splashing, kicking and being comfortable in the water.  I signed him up in the 6-12 month class because the next class was for ages 18 months-3 years and that's just too big of an age gap.  

For the first time I didn't feel a tad bit sad because Bennett wasn't doing what the other kids were doing and yes, I know it's because they are younger but he just fits in better with younger kids.  Not that I don't want him to have peers his own age but well, I don't know.

Just look how happy he is in these pictures though....

Okay so he looks a little upset in this one but he really likes the "jumping" in part!  {Doesn't he look like such a big boy??  Where did my baby go???!}  

It's so strange because it's very hard to get Bennett to stand unless he has something like a table or walking toy in front of him.  I think he just feels more secure.  But for some reason he stands right up on the side of the pool for me.  I've got a video of him "jumping" in at the bottom:)

It's a great workout for him and for me!  

So we had another exciting thing happen with Ainsley that you'll see at the very end of this video....{sorry for the poor quality, our little flip video has about had it.}

Way to go Ainsley!! So proud of you!!!  Now that you can ride this bike I think it's time for one that actually fits you-lol!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Sun Will Return....

...but all this rain we're getting isn't helping my current mood.

I think I've made it pretty obvious that things have been rough lately.  And recently, receiving some "hard to take news" about my dad has only made it worse.  It's been a year (since last March) of bad news, then good news, then bad news, then okay news, then great news, then bad news and then really bad news.  But the sun always seems to come out after the dark clouds pass through.  And I know it will again.  It will dad.  It always does.

Besides we've got spring around the corner {yes, my Easter decor is up, does that surprise you?!} and Bennett has his "hot dog" hat on again....

Just need to work on keeping it on-yep, he's determined to throw it right off as soon as mommy puts it on.

Ya know, when you're cooped up inside for most of the winter, the kids can drive you crazy but they have this amazing way of turning things around when things don't seem to be going so well.  I think it's the contagious laugh that my girls have.

The other night they were doing something and cracking up over it and I couldn't help but just laugh right along with them.  A good laugh goes a long way.

So while we wait for the sun to return, we'll keep playing with play-doh, we'll keep laughing uncontrollably, we'll keep dancing. Because the sun will return.  It always does.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"It's not all hugging and the special olympics"...

Ha!  Well isn't that the truth?  

So hear me out.  

I heard this on a Grey's Anatomy recently and the episode (which you may have seen) had a small part about one of the doctors trying to decide if she should have an amniocentesis because she's slightly older (increased risk for DS) and her partner (another doctor) doesn't necessarily want a "special needs baby".

So it got me thinking.

No, I'm not going to write about an amnio and whether a mom should find out or not.  I am going to tell you that in fact the one doctor is right, it's not all hugging and the special olympics.  Again though, hear me out.

 It's hard having a baby that's "different" from most babies.  But don't go thinking, yeah, I could never do it.  

Right now I'm having a hard time in general.  With life "stressors" to be honest.  I've got quite a few things on my plate and while I've always thought "I can deal with it", "Just suck it up Adrienne and keep on keepin' on", "You're used to being stressed." I guess I can't really "deal" with it.  I mean I can, and I will but I'm not dealing with it so well right now.  And sure others are in more stressful situations but I guess we all handle things differently.  I'm not going to go into details and I don't want to sound like another mom that's majorly stressed out because aren't we all?  Oh and for the record, having a child with special needs really isn't my main stressor, just one of many.

But you see, I've got this super competitive personality and I'm rather impatient {probably doesn't go well with stress, huh?} and why God thought I would be a good mom to a child with special needs is sometimes questionable, well at least to me.  Like:
"Really God, you know how I am, you really think I can handle a child that is most likely going to be doing things later than children that are even younger than him?"

"Don't you know that hurts my pride just a tad?"-as if He cares if it hurts my pride!

"And really, can I deal with having to work on things over and over with him, you know how impatient I am, right?"  "Right???"

Yep, He knows exactly how I am.  And yet He still chose me and Mike of course.  But Mike's not really like me, that's why we work well together.  He handles stress very differently.  However, even though I sometimes find it odd that God thinks knows that I can do this, I'm still so thankful that God chose me {us}.

Raising a child with special needs {for me anyway} is like riding an emotional roller coaster at all times.    Clicking your way up to the top of the hill can be scary and rather stressful, okay super stressful but once you've reached the top, man, it's like you're on top of the world.  I mean, you've never felt so good.  It's hard to explain but the pure joy you experience is quite remarkable.   You've got your hands up in the air with a big smile on your face!  And I don't care if your kid just rolled over for the first time, you're going to scream it from the roof tops that....

"My kid just rolled over!!!"

lil' B at 4 months 


But then going down, you know you've got another steep hill to climb and the frustration creeps in, the fact that your kid is delayed shows up almost everywhere you look.

The highs are high, like really high, higher than you ever thought but the lows can be really low and sometimes lonely.

How is one to cope with it all?  One that is competitive, a worry wart, a bit of a stress ball, if you will?  Asking herself "Should I being doing more?"  "Should we try that with Bennett?"  As if not doing one specific thing is going to effect Bennett's entire future...I know, silly.

  I suppose a lot of it is fear.  Isn't it true that when we have our future painted out in front of us, for the most part and it's not necessarily the future you imagined, there is a lot of fear involved?   For example in my case:  your son has Down syndrome so the general consensus is:  he may never learn things most kids learn, he may never drive, he may never go to college, or live on his own, etc.

 Hello F.E.A.R!!!

Nope, it's not all hugging and the special olympics.

BUT {and this is a huge but, like the biggest but ever}

The highs are high baby.  And those lows aren't from God.  Not the God I know.

Oh, I still haven't figured this whole thing out.  Like I said, I've got some things going on that are telling me I'm not handling all the stress in my life like I should be.  I think it may be an accumulation of stress that I've stored away for years.  And I'm not quite sure how I'm going to tackle it all at this very moment.

Maybe get back into yoga, more time for me, better diet-lol-I don't know!  But what I do know, is that I'll take every stress there is that comes with Bennett and him having Down syndrome because I'm pretty sure, around the corner is a huge

"My kid just rolled over!!"

moment and well, frankly...'s all worth it.

Every.Stressful.Bit of it.

Because when this little guy smiles at you after doing something grand, your heart melts, seriously melts.

And the rest of it, well I've got some work to do.  And yes, I suppose I still have some work to do as far as my issues with Bennett go too though: not doing this or that, comparing him to others, etc.  But I wouldn't change it, I wouldn't change Bennett {okay maybe I'd like to change the fact that he's not eating solid food at 21 months but whatever};).

So while "it's not all hugging and the special olympics", those "highs" do stand out.  And they far outweigh the stressful, scary hills leading up to them.