January 31, 2011


My buddy does not play well with others.  Monkey bear had a preschool friend over for the first time today.  Her friend has a little baby brother.  He is now traumatized by my buddy.  Not two minutes after he was out of the carseat, my buddy shouted in his face and bashed him in the chest.  Immediate baby screams.  His mom couldn't believe baby's reaction - he has two older sisters who are loud and in his face all the time.  I told her all babies react the same to my buddy.

My buddy continued on to hit monkey bear's friend in the head, throw any toy he could get his hands on at the baby, as well as growl in the baby's face several more times.  In between this wonderful display, he threw himself down screaming because the wrong music was playing and again because I wouldn't put on a TV show for him.

I spent the whole time being a referee and trying my best to get him to stop the shouting.  It wasn't really the first impression I wanted to give this mom.  In his defense, last night was not a good night sleep and he may (or may not) be coming down with something.

My buddy is becoming increasingly frustrated these days.  He demands that the world goes his way - or watch out.  He understands so much more than he can communicate.  As his frustration rises, so does mine.  I"m sure the lack of sleep (for both of us) doesn't help.  I'm hoping we can help him with some other forms of communication so he can express himself better.

January 24, 2011


I really am grateful for this life I am allowed to live.  I tend to complain a bit, but when it comes right down to it I have never been happier in my life.

We are so lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children.  My buddy could have had so many health complications but (knock on wood) we've avoided the major ones so far.  It can be easy to focus on what he cannot do, but the things he can do are amazing. 

I am fortunate that I get to stay at home with my kids.  I can choose if it will be a muffin making house cleaning kind of a day or one where no toys get picked up and lots of books are read.  I try my best to save money where I can and keep my eyes open for little ways to make money.  I haven't come across any good making money options.  The last one I googled - becoming a surrogate - had a big payout, but just a small disclaimer I couldn't get past:  "willing to undergo abortion at the request of the parents if the pregnancy involves genetic complications."

I think this would have offended me even before I gave birth to a "genetic complication".  I'm trying in little ways to get the word out that Down syndrome isn't a thing to be feared.  Maybe some day I'll do more but for now the kids need me.

So for today, I'm just living life and focusing on the joy my two kids bring me.  They have changed me more than I ever thought they could.

January 19, 2011


Monkey bear is into fashion.  I'm not sure where she gets it, but I do know it's not from me.  My clothes scream, "please don't notice me."  Any attempts I made at putting together an outfit in my youth consisted of copying someone else's look.

Monkey bear gets out of bed and heads straight for the dresser in the morning..  It's never just a shirt and pants.  There are many layers to each look - pants, long sleeved shirt, dress, extra skirt, and just the right socks.  Usually about the time I am in the shower the outfit is deemed, "not quite right" and she is allowed to change. 

Then there is story time in bed at night.  You can't just tell a story.  Each character has to have a specific outfit - description provided by monkey bear.  There are many dresses and fancy shoes that sparkle and don't forget the hat.

When we are at Target we spend some time strolling down the toy isle.  Never once has monkey bear asked for a toy.  Then we hit the clothing racks and she wants "just one new shirt ... please."  When the bag of hand-me-downs comes from her cousin you would think it was Christmas morning.

It's amazing how girly one can become with no real role model.  I'm afraid to see what the teenage years will bring.

January 10, 2011


When your child does not have special needs, the term that floats around is typical.  I have a hard time thinking of us as not typical.  Today, for example, was just a typical day in the life of a stay at home mom:

Everyone was dressed, fed, teeth brushed and decked out in winter wear ready for a much needed trip to the grocery store.  I strapped my buddy in and went to turn the car on ... it wouldn't start.  After a quick call to my car guy (aka. Grampa) we headed inside to call roadside assistance. 

Once the car was working it was lunch and naptime.  I spent naptime on computer duty.  See my buddy likes to throw things at the computer when he isn't able to climb up onto the desk to pound on it with his fists.  So the desktop bid its final goodbye.  Luckily we have the laptop from law school.  Unfortunately, it's up to me to transfer data - the most important being iTunes.

There are nights my buddy won't eat anything unless distracted by his favorite tunes.  There went my alone time with monkey bear... straight to the computer.

Soon enough it was time for the grocery store.  I started the car before I put anyone's coat on and we were on our way.  While walking through the parking lot, monkey bear fell and scraped her knee.  Inside the grocery store, I strapped my buddy into the cart and examined the knee.  We were in need of a bandaid.  Monkey bear rode in the cart and we headed straight for the first aid.  Once a Kailan bandaid was applied, I thought we were in the clear... oh so wrong.  Monkey bear declared she could not walk.

The only carriage known to man that my buddy cannot wiggle his way out of is the front of a grocery cart.  The strap is high enough when added to the restricted mobility of the leg holes.  So in order for monkey bear and her hurt knee to sit, I had to push them in one cart while dragging another cart behind me for the groceries.  Have I mentioned it was a BIG shopping trip?

Halfway through the store after her mood had been brightened with ham and cheese and the promise of whatever kind of ice cream she wanted, monkey bear decided she could walk after all.  I did the ol' carriage switcharoo and we cruised through the rest of the store with a much lightened load.

Once home, I unloaded the groceries while my buddy put a hat on the cat.  That's when I noticed the poop smell wasn't coming from the litter box, but from the furry bottom of our furry friend.  Once that mess was cleaned, the TV went on so Mommy could make dinner.  My buddy has just discovered the TV.  He is in love with 'Baby Signing Time' and requests it with fevered grunts and many signs.  Fear ye who puts on a different show.

Home-made pizza.  Sounds like a nice easy dinner.  One pizza with butternut squash sauce, pepperoni and olives, another with half broccoli and a hint of cheese and half pepperoni and lots of cheese.  Oh and a whole separate meal for monkey bear who only eats pizza the following day cold.  Then there was the poopey diaper in the middle of all that along with every toy known to man spread out on the living room floor.

All I've got to say is thank goodness I'm a stickler for bedtime and they are out by 7:30pm because I don't think I'd make it much longer. 

I guess my point is that while my buddy makes life a little harder, it really isn't so different from anyone else.

January 4, 2011


I had a check-up at the doctor's today - on a side note:  What doctor's office does not carry People magazine?  Don't these people know that I rarely get away from the kids and that 10 minute wait is some precious me-time in which increasing my celebrity knowledge is crucial?

Anyway, I get sent across the street to the hospital to have some bloodwork done.  This is the same hospital where my buddy was born and spent 2 long weeks there while I traveled back and forth trying desperately to care for both my babes.  My usual response upon walking into the lobby is sobbing.  All the emotions of that crazy time come flooding back and I have a hard time controlling myself.

Today, I made progress.  I was preparing myself for the emotional attack while walking up the sidewalk.  Wouldn't you know, I walked in, paused for a moment, and felt nothing.  It was just a hospital lobby.  There was no grief attached to it.  No remorse or could-have-beens. 

I have always loved my buddy with every fiber of my being, but today I realized that I accept him.  I have come to terms with the words that used to haunt me:  Down syndrome.  It is no longer a scary place where people wear mismatched sweat outfits and get stared at everywhere they go.  It is a place where I am proud and where my buddy is the mayor and all who see him love him.