Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tricky tricky!

Yeah -- finally Halloween! I can't honestly remember the last time I was this excited for it. L will have so much fun, so here is fingers crossed that the weather clears and it is nice and warm for him.

Oh and there was a little email floating around about putting vicks on your babies feet if they have a cough... Yeah, well it works and works WELL!! R sick as a dog and has STTN for the last two nights. I have NO IDEA what that is about. The first night of the cold he was up like 3-4 times, so I can only say THIS is an improvement.

Enjoy Halloween and link me to pics of your little ones in their costumes... I love costume pics!

DS tidbit: There are no more tidbits for you. I hope that along this journey you were able to learn something about Down Syndrome. The one constant that I have been able to glean from my best friend and her daughter are this. A child with DS is a child first and foremost. That child needs love, comfort and understanding and the most important thing one can do is give any child unconditional love and support. I love you W and I love you O.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bloggy giveaway

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Why YES ... I am a follower! I saw this on Alicia's blog and had to check it out myself. After entering about a dozen of the giveaways, I thought that I needed to give something away myself, so what am I going to give away.

A Meditation pack -- includes instruction book, music CD, 2 candles, 10 incense cones and a holder. Why did I pick meditation pack, well for lots of reasons....

1) most people who read this are moms and in need of relaxation methods that take little to no time
2) I find this kind of thing facinating
3) after my experience with Hypbirth and how well my labor went, I am sold on the use of mediation and hypnosis in your every day life.

So, you know the rules. Leave a comment -- if it doesn't link me to a way to contact you, leave contact information. I will randomly draw one person from my comments on Nov. 3 at 9 pm Eastern time.

If you want to participate and give something away look here. Now have fun and good luck!

Silver lining

I am going to try an upbeat post today... So here were my "problems" of yesterday and the silver lining..

1) 5 pairs of pants and not a single one that fits -- 12 are too big and my normal size - 10 - are still just a bit too small. Half of these pants were bought in the last 6 months and now nothing freaking fits. SILVER LINING -- baby weight finally coming off.

2) Car would not start. Just nothing when I tried. Called B, he came home and fixed it (battery was disconnected from when he jumped his own car that morning) and I headed off to work. SILVER LINING -- nothing was really wrong with the car and B answered his phone on the first call (rare) and was home within 10-15 minutes (unheard of!).

3) Work meeting that lasted 2 hours and resulted in more work for everyone but the co-irker who will of course take all the credit. SILVER LINING -- yeah, I have work to do and I can do most of it independent of the co-irker!

4) Work computer keeps changing my time to daylights savings time. SILVER LINING -- having no idea what time it really is at work and getting to jump ahead an hour makes the day go by fast!

5) R has a horrid cold and is pouring snot. Screams when laid down (having his ear checked today), but did sleep from 8 until 4am. SILVER LINING -- sickie kid means Mommy works from home today, so I am in sweats and can run up and see the kids at any time!

DS tidbit: Life tables published in 1989 showed that more than 50 percent of infants with Down syndrome could be expected to live more than 50 years. As mortality rates for the operative repair of congenital heart defects continue to decrease, survival may increase considerably. Since the trend toward deinstitutionalization began in the 1970s, it has become apparent that the maintenance of optimal health is a major factor in the lifelong functioning of persons with Down syndrome. Primary health care has become essential to helping these persons have longer, more productive lives.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Revising history

Ok, so maybe L wasn't all that bad this weekend. Yes, B and I were fed up with all the whining, but looking back at all the pictures we took, it was a busy weekend and there wasn't all that much napping done. Gotta love the holidays, right?!

L looking at all the pumpkins

Finding the perfect one

L had a blast carving his pumpkin with B and I painted one with R. R really couldn't have cared less, but there are now two pumpkins sitting in front of our house.

R thoughts on all of this -- FEED ME.

DS tidbit: When the parents return to work, they may need assistance in finding appropriate day care. Most large day care centers accept children with Down syndrome. However, in these large centers, the infants with congenital heart defects may be at increased risk of infection and resultant congestive heart failure. Alternatives include in-home care or a home day care setting with a smaller number of children. A smaller day care facility can often maintain stricter infection control measures.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Driving me mad

What do you do with almost 12 straight hours of WHINING?? I do not know what has gotten into L today, but he has been the whine monster extraordinaire today. Right now he is creating havoc in my office, but who cares -- he isn't whining for a change.

Consider my last button pushed.

AND I had 2 hours of ME time when L and R were napping, so how can I possibly be at my breaking point?

DS Tidbit: Cognitive function varies tremendously and cannot be predicted at birth. No relationship has been shown between the number of Down syndrome features present in a newborn and later cognitive function. IQs that have been reported for persons with Down syndrome range from low normal to profoundly retarded. However, there are anecdotal reports of children with Down syndrome who have IQs of 135 to 140. Early intervention programs can improve the academic prognosis for children with Down syndrome.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cabbage Roll Soup!

As promised....

1 pound ground round

3 1/2 cups water

2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage

1 cup sliced carrot

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 cans beef consommé -- undiluted--10.5 ounces per can

2 cans diced tomatoes -- undrained--14.5 ounces per can

1/2 cup uncooked converted rice

Brown meat in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; drain well. Place meat in a 4-quart electric slow cooker; stir in water and next 10 ingredients. Cover; cook on low-heat for 8 hours. Increase heat setting to high; stir in rice. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes or until rice is


DS tidbit: Ideally, therapists should be pediatric specialists who have particular knowledge about Down syndrome. Since most infant therapy is play-based and not strenuous, even infants with medical problems can benefit. Consequently, except in extreme circumstances, referral for early intervention should not be delayed until after surgical correction of a heart defect. Indeed, unrepaired ventricular and atrial septal defects without pulmonary vascular occlusive disease are classified as category I (no restrictions) by the American Heart Association. However, a therapy session should be curtailed if an infant shows signs of fatigue.

Friday, October 26, 2007

No recipe

I know it is Friday and that should mean a recipe, but would you mind terribly if I waited until tomorrow to do that??

B has a cold. And a ho hum cold at that -- no fountain of snot, no hacking cough, no low grade temp -- just a sore throat and a "dry" nose (what that means - I haven't a clue????). But you would think the man was DYING. I don't get it. How can a manly man like B be such a WUSS when it comes to a little cold.

Anyway, why is this important to me -- because I don't sleep when B is sick. He snores on his best days. Chainsaw, window rattling snores... and with the insomnia that I have developed... oh back when I was pregnant with L, I have a hard time sleeping through it as it. With a cold... I can't believe the neighbors weren't calling to complain.

Add to that the one dog seems to also have a cold and was snoring up a storm last night, the other dog decided to drink her body weight in water and was slurping along, R was up 3 times last night and you have one TIRED mama.

The upside of my day and being up all freaking night -- I am half way done knitting wool soakers for R and I have already prewashed the diapers twice (three more times to go) and R's little tushy may be cover in cloth by tonight!

Have a good one and if you are looking for ideas for dinner -- I promise I will post something good tomorrow!

DS tidbit: With appropriate therapy, developmental delay may be minimized, and the child's social quotient may be improved. Such training can provide a foundation for mainstreaming the child with Down syndrome in schools and the community.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weekly round-up

  • R's 3rd tooth FINALLY popped through the gum yesterday. It wasn't there at noon when I nursed him and it was there when B got home from work at 4ish. Funny how that happens. Now I just need to remember to put it in his book.
  • And surprisingly enough, I am doing a good job in keeping his book semi-up to date. His milestones are more likely April 07 then April 17, 2007 at 1:13pm like I would do with L, but close!
  • The speech therapist is very impressed with the progress L has made so far.
  • I am fuming mad at the NYS Early intervention program. 3 weeks after L's evaluation, 10 days after I got the news from the OT that he qualified and NADDA from my coordinator. I may have to request a change because this woman is not doing her job.
  • Did I ever mention L's hearing test??? No... well that might be because it was in scary-ville, in a nasty building and L kept ripping the headphones off. Afterwards, I told B it is his job from now on! L needs a follow up in 6 months. Yuck.
  • Halloween candy is in the house!!! B already ripped into one bag, so now it is hidden in the basement! Well, not so much hidden then just far enough away that B won't walk his behind down to the guest bedroom to get a few pieces!
  • I made the lacation cookies with L today. Yummy! A great excuse to eat cookies.
  • The remainder of the diapers should arrive today. Is it bad that I checked outside about 20 times yesterday in the hopes that they might just arrive early???
DS tidbit: Preschool programs for children with special needs include physical, occupational, speech and educational therapies. In these programs, each child receives individualized multisource stimulation. Often included is the total communication concept, which combines signing and oral language.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

When fertility friend sucks...

I am in a funk today. I have been playing around with a post complaining about the FF message board again, but can hear it in my head and shoot --- I wouldn't even want to read it. I just don't understand some people. One mom spent the entire 19 months between having her children bemoaning the fact that she wasn't "ABLE" to breast feed because the hospital took her little one to the nursery and fed him a bottle because she was so exhausted after her labor (it was almost the exact same length of time as my first labor -- granted, very tiring, but I still made an effort to nurse and was so jacked up after having L that I couldn't have slept if I wanted to, so I also just do not understand). Anyways, she has her second, in a fast labor, he nurses well from day one and a week later she quits because.... "SHE IS TOO TIRED" he is getting up every two hours and she can't do this with a toddler (um, NORMAL anyone?? This by the way is a nurse too -- so that made it interesting). WTH!!!! Not for nothing, this was when her hubby was STILL home with her? When she ultimately decided to quit, her post was "Hubby is not able to bond with the baby as well as he did with the first."

Now I don't know whether that is a comment on how lame her hubby is or just an excuse, but OMG I wanted to bang my head into a wall.

So why do I still post there? Search me... I truly have no idea anymore. Some of the woman were fine for a bit, but now there is one who can't have anymore kids because she almost died during her 1st pregnancy (she has a heart condition) who is thinking "maybe" a surrogate -- but only if the surrogate eats what she thinks is important, doesn't drink COFFEE, gets what she thinks is adequate rest, etc. In otherwords, as long as MOM can micromanage the surrogates life for 9 months. As somone who has considered being a surrogate, let me tell you, how much that was such a turn off for me. You don't go in to the surogacy agreement with a women who assumes you are only going to harm the fetus that you are carrying to help them! I mean what is the point. I would treat a surrogate pregancy just like any of my other pregancies. Up my calcium, take prenates, make sure not to over due it, make my appointments and most of all drink my fucking coffee, thank you very much. That would be like me saying -- well I will only be a surrogate if you agree to breastfeed after the child is born, or to cloth diaper, or practice baby wearing, or attachment parenting, etc. If I can't decide how the child is parented, then you can't decide how the baby is grown in utero. You are renting my uterus, not my life.

Anyways, off to do some real work. I was out of the office for a class yesterday, so I am sure I have a mounting pile of "to dos".

DS tidbit: An infant with Down syndrome can be breast-fed. Breast milk is generally easier to digest than formulas of all types. Furthermore, breast-fed infants have fewer upper and lower respiratory infections, as well as a lower incidence of otitis media, atopic diseases and respiratory allergy. Breast feeding also enhances oral motor development, which is the foundation of speech. The psychologic benefit derived from the bonding of mother and infant can be extremely important at a time when, because of the infant's disability, the mother may be questioning her own adequacy. Even if the infant is unable to breast feed directly, expressed breast milk given another way may be beneficial for the child's health and the mother's emotional well-being.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

They arrived!!

The pocket diapers I ordered from Kelly's Closet arrived yesterday. Only 3 more orders to arrive -- I tried a few different places in order to know where to order from in the future -- and then we can make the official switch. Poor B has no idea what all is yet to come!

I have to say the Kelly's Closet has been fabulous. I have tons of stuffers for the pocket diapers. I thought I only got one for each diaper I ordered, but I ended up with a dozen stuffers or more. She did a great job in picking out colors for me. So I highly recommend her.

Cotton babies and the Stork Wearhouse are yet to arrive, but I ordered them after Kelly Closet. Don't worry -- R's cloth covered behind will be on here shortly!

DS tidbit: Because of the range of ability in children with Down syndrome it is important for families and all members of the school's education team to place few limitations on potential capabilities. It may be effective to emphasize concrete concepts rather than abstract ideas. Teaching tasks in a step-by-step manner with frequent reinforcement and consistent feedback has been proven successful. Improved public acceptance of persons with disabilities along with increased opportunities for adults with disabilities to live and work independently in the community, have expanded goals for individuals with Down syndrome.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh, what should I write about today??

Should I write about how R decided that last night wasn't a good night for sleeping? How he got up hourly from 230 to 530 this morning? How he only slept from 530 until 700 this morning because he was sleeping in bed with me? How I have no idea if it was his teeth or because he is trying to crawl or because he was too cold or whatever it was that was waking his butt up? Nah... no one wants to hear about sleep problems. Pretty much everyone who reads this has their own.

Should I write about how L threw a temper tantrum for a good ten minutes yesterday for no apparent reason? I tried the Saints method of a tight hug and bouncing to see if he was just over stimulated... it didn't work. So off he went to a time out where he did sit, but continued to scream. How he just continued to do that and still attempted to scoot across the floor to take a toy away from R? How then after a while he just turned it OFF, so we have NO CLUE as to what started it or stopped it? Or how I HATE HATE HATE the temper tantrums, the whining, the TWOS?????????!!!!!!!!!! Nah -- because again, most people either have a terrible 2, had a terrible 2 or just have no freaking clue as to what I am talking about.

How about I write about how I never have a clue as to what to wear or even what fits on any given day? Pants that I wore last week, falling off of me today. Not to worry though because next week I won't even be able to get the same pants past my hips. Or how I have a mounting pile of ironing that needs to be done but no idea when in the hell I could even begin to try doing it? Nah... that isn't interesting either.

Or finally, maybe I should write about our trip to the farm this weekend. The trip that I have been looking forward to all month because L loves TRACTORS and TRUCKS and animals. How he loves to run through the field and touch all the pumpkins or how he likes the hay ride so much he had a perma-grin last year the whole time. About how this year it was HOT, and the hayride sucked and how the pumpkins have exploded in the field so you can't even get off the hay ride and pick a pumpkin. Or how we didn't time the trip to the farm right and L was hungry and had fallen asleep in the car on the way there, so all the pictures of him this year have a perma-scowl. Oh and how there isn't a single picture of me with the boys because any time we tried L threw a fit. Why it is the stuff I look forward to the most are usually the trips that turn out the worst?

Nah, not that either. Ok, so how about this rant is my post for today?

DS tidbit: Just as in the normal population, there is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior, and developmental progress in individuals with Down syndrome. Their level of retardation may range from mild to severe, with the majority functioning in the mild to moderate range. Due to these individual differences, it is impossible to predict future achievements of children with Down syndrome.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My missed calling.

Rima had this on her blog, so I had to take it... - Test your disease knowledge

Anyone who knows me in real life won't be surprised. I have a weird knack for knowing EXACTLY what is wrong with someone -- except my own kids for some reason. I especially know what the heck is going on with shoulder/knee/hip/etc problems. My dad was having a hard time breathing, no cough, flu like symptoms though and my sister and I correctly diagnosed him with pneumonia before the doctors did.

This is a family thing. My mom knew I had mono before the blood work came back (and it came back negative 3 times before it finally came back positive). No, we aren't a bunch of hypocondriacs, but we always have a 6th sense of this sort of thing.

Is that weird?

Anyways, I wish I hadn't wasted all that time in law school, because a lot of times, I feel like I missed my calling.

DS tidbit: Children with Down syndrome may have a tendency to become obese as they grow older. Besides having negative social implications, this weight gain threatens these individuals' health and longevity. A supervised diet and exercise program may help reduce this problem.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bad things come in threes...

Poor R.. he is having a bad time of it. Just cut one tooth last week and the two tops ones started poking through today. That little guys is a drooling fiend!

Not to mention he got 2 shots on Friday. So he is working on getting over that and working on getting 2 teeth in now.

I have a bad bad feeling we are in for a few nights of hell... Thanks for the 2 nights of decent sleep this past week R. I was finally remembering what it felt like to not be a zombie.

Although R did sleep thru the night last night... I mean like 12 hours straight! That is a first for him (now I am racking my brains trying to figure out if there was a trick to it!).

DS tidbit: Some people with Down syndrome also may have a condition known as Atlantoaxial Instability, a misalignment of the top two vertebrae of the neck. This condition makes these individuals more prone to injury if they participate in activities which overextend or flex the neck. Parents are urged to have their child examined by a physician to determine whether or not their child should be restricted from sports and activities which place stress on the neck. Although this misalignment is a potentially serious condition, proper diagnosis can help prevent serious injury.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Glow Pork Chops

Did you know cloth diapering is like its own culture? Seriously, I was warned it was addictive, but I had no idea. Wish me luck while I await my multiple orders of prefolds, all in ones and pocket diapers (no idea what I am talking about -- either did I three days ago!).

Now for food:

5 whole pork loin chops -- (5 to 6)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
8 ounces tomato sauce
29 ounces cling peach halves
1/4 cup vinegar
to taste Salt and pepper

Lightly brown pork chops on both sides. Pour off excess fat. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, tomato sauce, 1/4 cup syrup from peaches, and vinegar. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Arrange chops in crockpot. Place drained peach halves on top. Pour tomato mixture over all. Cover and cook 4 to 6 hours.

DS tidbit: Approximately one third of babies born with Down syndrome have heart defects, most of which are now successfully correctable. Some individuals are born with gastrointestinal tract problems that can be surgically corrected.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday bullet points

  • I have a meeting with my boss today to ask for a raise. I am shooting for the moon here (asking for a 33% raise), so I am nervous beyond belief. Any raise will be appreciated, but lets hope I get what I want (and deserve, I am not picking blindly here).
  • R slept through the night again! Actually had to semi-wake him at 7 this morning because of my poor engorged boobs!
  • Cloth diapers -- who knew there were a million different varieties!!
  • B has finally agreed to cloth diaper R -- R is apparently allergic to normal disposables.
  • R has all his catch up shots tomorrow -- that I delayed at 5 and 6 months because he had "something" at both of those.
  • I win bad mommy award - AGAIN - because I have been shoving L's feet into too small shoes. Finally gave in and got him some cheapie walmart ones because - hello, $60 for Geox shoes every 2 months!!
  • And finally -- OMG, when am I FINALLY going to get a post pardum period? Seriously... since March of 2005 I have had exactly ONE period. I am cramping like a mad fool, so come one already and lets get it over with!
DS tidbit: Individuals with Down syndrome are usually smaller than their non-disabled peers, and their physical as well as intellectual development is slower.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm King of the World

I guess that really should say Queen of the World, but it doesn't have the same ring to it, now does it.

R finally slept well last night. My previously sleep through the night from the age of 8 weeks, hasn't been sleeping well for the last 3 months. Last night, he woke up, whined a bit around 1, put himself back to sleep and then slept until 6 this morning. That is 9 hours of sleep!! I woke up this morning thinking I can do anything. I guess you need those times of crap sleep to remember how wonderful a full nights sleep can be.

And by blogging about this, yes, I realize I am completely jinxing myself and he will be back to his 3-4 wakings a night, esp since those top teeth are causing his little gums to bulge something awful.

R and I are off today to a breastfeeding support group to show new mommies that "big" babies can be breastfed. Guess at a whopping 21 lbs at 6 months R is officiall a "big" baby! Who woulda thunk it?

DS tidbit: There are over 50 clinical signs of Down syndrome, but it is rare to find all or even most of them in one person. Some common characteristics include: Poor muscle tone; Slanting eyes with folds of skin at the inner corners (called epicanthal folds); Hyperflexibility (excessive ability to extend the joints); Short, broad hands with a single crease across the palm on one or both hands; Broad feet with short toes; Flat bridge of the nose; Short, low-set ears; Short neck;
Small head; Small oral cavity; and/or Short, high-pitched cries in infancy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"I don't want to worry you"

Hello Houston, we have a rash!

As I was leaving the train station yesterday on my way to the house, I finally got ahold of B. He was acting weird and I finally got him to say what was up. It started like this.... "I don't want to worry you, so I will just tell you what is going on when you get home."

Yeah, nothing like those words to get your mind reeling.

In the end it turns out L just had a rash. B called The Saint and my mom to see what to do about it and a dose of benadryl seems to have done the trick, but this morning he STILL has a slight hivey rash. It runs across his shoulders, up the back of his neck, on his forehead and a bit on his belly. I am still holding out hope that it is an allergic reaction and not the start of a viral infection -- although his increased crying/whining seems to suggest that SOMETHING isn't right. Poor guy is constantly scratching though and I found out The Wife let him try duck sauce -- so that could be the source of the problem.

Anyone have any suggestions??? Rash kinda means anything, right? I hate this part of parenting.

DS tidbit: Diagnostic tests are about 99% accurate in detecting Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. However, because they are performed inside the uterus, they are associated with a risk of miscarriage and other complications. For this reason, they are generally recommended only for women age 35 or older, those with a family history of genetic defects, or those who've had an abnormal result on a screening test. If you're unsure about which test, if any, is right for you, your doctor or a genetic counselor can help you sort through the pros and cons of each.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Now back to our regular programming…

L had his occupational therapy consult about 10 days ago. I was told he had Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) by the psychologist that evaluated him for the Early Intervention Program back in July, but only a Occupational Therapist (OT) can give me that “official” diagnosis.

I pretty much knew that L had SPD even before the evaluation, but getting the news was hard.

Well, this past Thursday it got worse.

The OT called with L’s official results -- he has Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), SPD and delays in fine motor and sensory modulation -- and yes, that was all Greek to me as of Thursday. I am still trying hard to figure it all out. And the difference between SPD and these diagnoses is anyone’s guess. I BELIEVE that he has SPD and these are his specific problems rather than SPD AND three other things. Anyone who can clear that up would be great!

B’s reaction is “no big deal,” my reaction is far from that. Especially the APD part of it because try as I might, I am just not “getting” that. Pretty much what I can grasp is that while L’s hearing is fine, he doesn’t process the sounds properly -- meaning if I say couch, he could hear couch or cow. Also makes sense why his signing is always consistent, but his use of words is not. It also means that he is going to be a visual/hands-on learner -- again something that makes no dang sense to me, but pretty much describes B. Maybe that is why B isn’t all that worried -- because each test that comes back pretty much reinforces that L is his little clone.

So, spinning that off, this is what I think I am going to have to look forward too -- someone who takes apart radios and VCRs (or I guess DVD players in L’s case) to see how they work and can some how put them all back together in good working order. Someone who can’t sit still in school and will get in trouble as hyper or the class clown. Someone who will never like to read, but will want to do physics experiments and chemistry projects. Someone who can sleep through calculus and it just makes sense to him and finally, someone who will probably never work a desk job because being inside and chained to a desk is a fate worse then death.

Mind you -- that is when I am thinking positively. When I am not I think I am going to have to deal with temper tantrums, bad grades, constant calls to school and whining -- incessant whining!

Lets hope he is more like B then the imaginary monster I have invisioned.
DS tidbit: Screening tests are noninvasive and generally painless. But because they can't give a definitive answer as to whether a baby has DS, mostly they're used to help parents decide whether to have more diagnostic tests.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Out numbered...

Explain this math to me...

For 3 days in September I had, L and R and my three nieces -- that would be 5 kids right? I took them to Chuck E. Cheese, I got the girls to school on time, I even managed to feed them well.

So why it is when there were 5 kids and SEVEN adults this weekend, I felt totally outnumbered and my kids had 3 meals from McDonalds?

The kids were younger, but I was responsible for fewer of them, no? Anyways, looking back at it, L and R were pretty good, but for L's 20 minute temper tantrum in the middle of a store My parents got to spend a fair amount of time with the boys and I think L was really well behaved for both of them (isn't that ALWAYS the case anyways -- your kid will push your very last button and then be a saint to grandma and grandpa!). I got some shopping done, didn't overspend, and even bought myself something!

It only took me 8+ months to see my friends daughter Emmi and K -- what a cutie you got there.

Oh and apparently K seeing what it was like with two kids, has decided that maybe one is plenty! Yet a second week in a row that my children served as birth control (I also get to spread the blame around because I think W's kids helped out in the birth control method too -- or maybe it was that W and I showed up 20 minutes late with 4 kids in tow that changed the dynamic K had going when it was just her, Emmi and 4 grandparents)!

DS tidbit: There are two types of prenatal tests available to detect Down syndrome in a fetus: screening tests and diagnostic tests. Screening tests estimate the risk that a fetus has DS; diagnostic tests can tell whether the fetus actually has the condition.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

away again

Another weekend and another trip out of town. Heading to PA this weekend to go shopping with friends from high school and the grandma's. B and W's hubby, are going golfing and W and I will have 4 kids between the two of us. Lets home L and E (W's oldest daughter) play well together.

Oh and lets hope that 5 kids and 7 adults don't leave the adults feeling out numbered!

DS tidbit: Other medical conditions that may occur more frequently in children with DS include thyroid problems, intestinal abnormalities, seizure disorders, respiratory problems, obesity, an increased susceptibility to infection, and a higher risk of childhood leukemia. Fortunately, many of these conditions are treatable.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Coke and Pork

This is the easiest way to get tender pork out of your crockpot that I have found. I do have to caution you -- if you crockpot runs hot -- like mine does, you are going to have to make SERIOUS adjustments to the time that you cook some of these things. N tried the cheesy chicken recipe from 2 weeks ago and it got burnt and dry. My adjustments are usually as follows -- nothing in the crockpot for more than 5 hours, if the recipe says high for 4 hours, it is usually LOW for 4 hours in mine, extra fluid never hurts as it can always be cooked off and finally, use a food thermometer -- if the inside of the chicken reaches 165, your done! Anything more will just dry it. Good luck.

1 (10 oz.) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
2 tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 (12 oz.) can Diet Cola
4 (3 oz.) pork chops, trimmed well (or substitute a pork roast)

Mix the soup, soy sauce, and Diet Pepsi together in the bottom of the Crockpot. Place the chops in the mixture and cook on high med. or High for 4-6 hrs. Meat will be very tender.

DS tidbit: Approximately half of all kids with DS also have problems with hearing and vision. Hearing loss can be related to fluid buildup in the inner ear or to structural problems of the ear itself. Vision problems commonly include amblyopia (lazy eye), near- or farsightedness, and an increased risk of cataracts. Regular evaluations by an audiologist and an ophthalmologist are necessary to detect and correct any problems before they affect a child's language and learning skills.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My super power

Jen provided us with yet another Writing challenge, so here it is... feel free to steal it if you would like:

If you had one superpower, what would it be?
I actually spent entirely too much time contemplating this. Really, I threw around a few -- ability to turn anything into money, ability to be invisible, ability to split myself 3,4 or 5 ways, etc, but then I finally decided...

I want to teleport -- and be able to bring those that I am touching with me. I think it makes sense, especially since both B and my families live so far away. It would also be handy for work -- I could visit the client any time any where at no cost, serve papers in the blink of an eye, and come and go from work in a flash. Meaning, I could pop home for dinner, baths and bedtime and still work from my desk for hours on end into the night. I could pop in and out to visit family and friends and drop the boys at my sisters house for night evenings out with B.

Also, my teleporting would cut down on emissions because I wouldn't need to drive anywhere. It would make B happy because without fail we fight when we travel (how can you not with 2 kids and all the CRAP that you need to bring in tow) and the kids would love not having to be strapped into the car for 4-5 hour drives to visit my family.

Not to mention -- hello, they could sleep every single night in their own rooms, own beds, etc and we could spend the rest of the time across the country visiting friends!

I could also be more helpful to my friends. Like I could have been with W in an instant when she was first dealing with O's diagnosis or with N when she was sick and needed help with the kids or The Saint when she needs an extra set of hands with the girls.

So, what would your superpower be?

DS tidbit: While some kids with DS have no other health problems, others may experience a host of medical issues that require extra care. For example, half of all children born with DS also have congenital heart defects and are prone to developing pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs). A pediatric cardiologist can monitor these types of problems, many of which can be treated with medication or surgery.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More about the potty

This week looks like it is going to be bathroom humor heavy. Sorry about that.

Here is what I don't get -- I work for a large law firm, however, the group I work with is small, tight-knit and totally in each others business. To the point where two of my co-workers knew I was pregnant before B (this is with R and I totally didn't believe it so I needed confirmation -- nothing like waving a stick with your own piss on around to bond you to others for life, right). Anyways, here is the deal.... there are like 20 women -- partners, associates, assistants and paralegals -- in our group. Guess what -- one of those woman, or multiple women, have to hover.

Ok, you know what I mean by hover -- where your ass floats over the top of the seat, God forbid it TOUCH the toilet seat because what.... there may be GERMS there??? Then, only to make matters worse, these ladies also PISS all over the damn seat. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with them?

1) it is a small group -- every single person that is pissing in this bathroom is WELL known to everyone else, so this isn't a "public" toilet like you would find in Grand Central Station or something. No one is BATHING in these bathrooms people.

2) People seem to think it is a-ok to steal OTHERS food out of the kitchen. Ya know -- half eaten stuff. Guess there are more germs on the effing toilet seat that your SKIN will touch then in a sandwich that you are willing to put in your mouth.

3) Each stall is well stocked with seat covers. Use them.

4) Why in hells name would you walk out of a stall when you have PISSED on the seat. If you find it so gross that you can't clean it up, why the hell should someone else have to.

and finally 5) These are probably the same women who don't understand why we have a lactation room and think that expressing milk should be done in the bathroom -- ya' know, among all the piss covered seats. I am supposed to express food for a baby in a room that you find so damn nasty that you can't even put your bare ASS -- where shit comes out -- on a toilet.

I know people have issues with public toilets, but I have never understood it and especially not in a office bathroom.

DS tidbit: Down syndrome affects kids' cognitive abilities in different ways, but most have mild to moderate mental retardation. Kids with DS can and do learn, and are capable of developing skills throughout their lives. They simply reach goals at a different pace - which is why it's important not to compare a child with DS with typically developing siblings or even other children with the condition. Kids with DS have a wide range of abilities, and there's no way to tell at birth what they will be capable of as they grow up.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

L and the potty

L WAS doing great being potty trained. Most pees and poops were on the potty up until about a week ago. Now he absolutely refuses to even acknowlege that he may have to potty.

This is the standard evening refrain during dinner time (great timing he has, no?):

L do you need to go poo poo (said with a long o -- po po might be more accurate)
*Violently shaking head*
Are you sure, why don't we try
*More head shaking*
Ok, tell mommy or daddy when you have to go poo poo

3 minutes later

L do you need to go poo poo
*more grunting*
hurry up B get him out of his seat.... (race to the potty, attempt to rip off diaper only to see poop already in the diaper)
L you need to tell mommy when you need to go poo poo
"poo poo mama"

Gee thanks kid!

DS tidbit: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all pregnant women be offered a screening test for Down syndrome, regardless of the woman's age. Screening may consist of a maternal blood test done in the first trimester (at 11 to 13 weeks of pregnancy), along with a special ultrasound examination of the back of the baby's neck (called nuchal translucency), or a maternal blood test done in the second trimester (at 15 to 20 weeks) (8). A screening test helps identify pregnancies that are at higher-than-average risk of Down syndrome. However, a screening test cannot diagnose Down syndrome or other birth defects. There is now talk of making this part of standard prenatal care, so mom's may not have a choice of whether to have the screen done like they do now.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Birth Control for CoCo

Here I thought I had it all set up to publish posts so I didn't have to log on over the weekend (hence the massive postings with pics and info from Friday). Guess I haven't figured out Blogger all that well though.

Anyways -- another weekend come and gone. We spent a great deal of time on Saturday in the car traveling to and from an Oktoberfest to meet friends. Ended up only staying at the O-fest for about 2.5 hours though because it was just too damn hot! Who would have thought that we would all be in shorts the first week in October??

On Sunday a friend from college came to visit. When she first got there we joked about how domestic she is -- likes to bake, cook, clean, loves kids -- and how she is just missing the husband. Well, I think we might have changed CoCo mind!

L threw one of his glorious temper tantrums that B and I are so used to that we just ignored it and CoCo looked like she was going to freak out. L hits pitches that human ears should not be subjected too, but since it happens so frequently (and I know a lot of it is because he can't TELL us what he wants) B and I just tend to ignore it. CoCo is not similarly familiar with toddlers though.

I will say that CoCo loved R (even though his obsession with her boobs was probably a bit disconcerting) and he acted like his normal angelic self. The neighbor P and B tried to convince CoCo that L was not normally like this, but I don't know who they think they are fooling. L is always like that when B is around (B gives into the whining and temper tantrum-ing a lot more than I do. I am mean mean Mommy -- B is the softy!).

Anyways, I think CoCo has decided that kids may be nice, but in the far distant future, or at least is trying to figure out how to keep a toddler acting like R acts right now. If she figures that out, I want the trick.

DS tidbit: Speech therapy is usually performed because of the enlarged tongue which many children with Down Syndrome have, which makes clear speech difficult. Speech therapy and immersion in social situations where conversation is common and extended can result in excellent language development. Unfortunately, relatively little is done in early intervention programs to foster cognitive development. A good Montessori school may be an excellent environment for fostering learning in individuals with Down Syndrome. Significant work on cognitive development has been done by Dr. Raymundo Veras of Brazil. Dr. Veras worked from the model of early childhood education established by Glenn Doman of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, in Philadelphia. As a result of his work, he wrote a book entitled Children of Dreams, Children of Hope, in which he recounts demonstrating to Mr. Doman a preschool age girl who was able to read in four languages and play the violin. Children with Down Syndrome often have an enhanced ability to memorize songs, stories, vocabulary, and other language material, which can be capitalized upon.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

All about L

Friday was a busy day for L. For the next 13 weeks (and maybe even more), he has swimming lessons on Friday mornings. Works out well -- R gets one on one attention and naps well (without screaming brother to wake him) with The Wife and L gets one on one attention from Mommy.

Anyways, L has always been a water baby and he just went ballistic on Friday (happy ballistic!). Was very very well behaved, went to the instructor, put his face in the water, blew bubbles and all. Pretty much was the angel child that we all know that he CAN be.

Then in the afternoon we had the long awaited and much dreaded Occupational Therapy consult and he officially has a SPD (now a second opinion confirmed it). I am waiting for the full report, but he appears to be sensory seeking (for those of you who know the lingo) and he qualifies for weekly OT appointments. So now he will have 3 therapy appointments a week as well as swimming lessons. I am starting to worry about over scheduling him! We will see how it goes though and how he reacts to the new schedule. I currently like that he spends a few hours at the park when it is nice, so I don’t want him to lose that on a regular basis.

In the end, L is impulsive, high-energy, frustrates easily and has crap fine motor skills (duh, duh, duh and DUH!!).

But he is one hell of a brother and just so sweet to R.

DS tidbit: Health concerns for individuals with Down syndrome include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, gastroesophageal reflux disease, recurrent ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunctions.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

All about R

So, since this is supposed to be a Mommy-blog, I figure I should do a post about the kids… good idea, no?

Well, R had his 6 month pediatrician’s appointment yesterday and he is officially HUGE. 29 inches long and over 21 lbs. That makes him bigger than L at a year. Even charting his stats as a 7m old he is off the charts for height. Surprise, surprise the kid is going to be tall -- who would have ever guessed (those who don’t know me IRL -- I am 5’10’’ and B’s male family members are tall too).

R is also crawling. He does this adorable inch-worm like crawl where he gets up on his hands and toes, moves forward a bit and then does a walrus-like belly flop on the floor to move himself forward. The sure way to get him to crawl -- put the remote on the floor. Although, this is difficult to do at times because L loves to be helpful and will run at full speed to the remote and then deposit it smack in front of R to save him the effort. All in all -- very cute!!

His sleeping is getting a BIT better. As of right now we are only getting up once or twice a night. He still won’t eat solids to save his soul -- although he will chew on frozen solids in the “baby safe feeder” that we have for him. Independent little stinker!

Anyways -- he is the sweetest little guy ever -- and that isn’t just mommy talking. Everyone who sees him, plays with him, etc. thinks he is just a doll. I so wish I could freeze him in time at this age because I am well aware of the tantrums that are fast approaching….

DS tidbit: Many of the common physical features of Down syndrome also appear in people with a standard set of chromosomes. They may include a single transverse palmar crease (a single instead of a double crease across one or both palms), an almond shape to the eyes caused by an epicanthic fold of the eyelid, upslanting Palpebral fissures, shorter limbs, poor muscle tone, a larger than normal space between the big and second toes, and protruding tongue.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

Wait -- you didn't know you could make desserts in your crockpot too! I LOVE this one. Your house smells wonderful, your oven doesn't get all hot and messy, etc. It is particularly good for small dinner parties (see the wonderful smell thing).

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

12 slices white or wheat bread-- torn into medium-size pieces
3 1/2 cups cooking apples -- cored, peeled and chopped
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup lemon-lime soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice

Spray slow cooker with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray. Combine bread pieces and apples in slow cooker. In small bowl, combine apple juice, soda, sugar and apple pie spice. Drizzle evenly over bread mixture. Mix gently to combine. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low, or until done. Mix well before serving.

Now for a DS tidbit --

Can a child with Down syndrome go to school?
Yes. There are special programs beginning in the preschool years to help children with Down syndrome develop skills as fully as possible. Along with benefiting from early intervention and special education, many children are integrated into the regular classroom. Many affected children learn to read and write, and some graduate from high school and go on to post-secondary programs or college. Individuals with Down syndrome participate in diverse childhood activities both at school and in their neighborhoods.

While there are special work programs designed for adults with Down syndrome, many people with the disorder hold regular jobs. Today, an increasing number of adults with Down syndrome live semi-independently in community group homes where they take care of themselves, participate in household chores, develop friendships, partake in leisure activities and work in their communities.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Grosser than Gross...

I was tagged by Alicia to post my grosser than gross moment... OMG, you have no idea the can of worms you opened...

Luckily, most people IRL know this story, so W, N, mom, The Saint -- it is the Bella story, now go away so you don't puke...

Everyone else... get a bucket.

October of last year, it was a Saturday morning. B was at work (like most Saturdays in the fall) and I was home with L. I had just passed the 16 weeks of morning sickness that only Reglan made better (my good friend Reglan... oh how I love thee), so I was in my second trimester. Well, I was playing with L who was just crawling/walking and he was playing outside his room. All of a sudden, I saw him put something in his mouth. It was dark, I didn't know what it was, but I told him to come to mama. He didn't come to me, so I got up to go to him.

What had he found....


Oh that is right... a DOG TURD. And yes, that means he ATE the dog turd. Puking yet??

Lets suffice to say, I got most of it out of his mouth, cleaned him up, thought of killing the effing dog (instead made a vet appt for her because what the hell was going on - turns out it was impacted anal glands -- ever see those expressed. Oh, your puking again... my bad!), called my mom and W in hysterics (so much so that my mom was certain I miscarried and W couldn't understand my blubbering). Called L's pediatricians office -- still in hysterics -- and thinking they were going to send CPS my way, only to be told they get calls like this all the time and the nurses daughter ate cat poop before -- supposedly way worse then dog poop, by the way, just in case you get your choice down the line. At the end of the day, I kept saying to B -- how am I am going to be a mom to two kids?? I couldn't fathom it and of course blamed myself. (BTW -- I still have no idea where he FOUND the damn turd!! This also was about the time the dogs lost any hold on my heart too.)

So, that is by far my grosser then gross moment. I vividly remember what my hands looked like and L's too. BLECK.

Oh and it did make me puke. Even my friend Reglan couldn't help me there.

B thought is was the funniest thing he had ever heard in his life. God that man is a riot! Ok, so now I tag -- Kirsten, MamaC, Jennie and Rima .

DS tidbit -- Shortly after a diagnoses of Down syndrome is confirmed, parents should be encouraged to talk with their doctors to understand the relevant down syndrome facts, and to enroll their child in an infant development/early intervention program. These programs offer parents special instruction in teaching their child language, cognitive, self-help, and social skills, and specific exercises for gross and fine motor development. Research has shown that stimulation during early developmental stages improves the child's chances of developing to his or her fullest potential. Continuing education, positive public attitudes, and a stimulating home environment have also been found to promote the child's overall development.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


L is through his first week of speech therapy and has now had 3 sessions. The end result of this... I adore his therapist.

Her name is Lauren and she is gorgeous and he loves her and thinks she is great. Shoot, I would think so too if I were him. She brings fun and new toys, gives her undivided attention.

She also called me on Tuesday at the office to tell me that if I wanted an update after the session to give her a call on her cell phone. The Wife was going to be home with L that day and the therapist will give her the update, but so I don't have to wait. And during our conversation she asked ME for parenting advice for her little one!

I was thrilled the first time I spoke to Lauren. She is just coming back from maternity leave and there is nothing like a new mom to heap praise on your little guy.

So wish us luck. And soon I hope to complain that L just won't shut up!!!

DS tidbit -- Because chromosomes and the genetic information they carry determine how we grow and develop the presence of an extra chromosome does affect a child in a number of ways. The word "syndrome" means that many different characteristics are seen together as a package. Some of these physical characteristics may include low muscle tone, eyes that appear to slant upward, a flat nasal bridge, extra skin folds at the back of the neck, relatively small nose and ears, a larger gap between the first and second toes, and a single horizontal crease on either palm. While these characteristics are more common in an individual with Down syndrome, they are features that can be seen in anyone in the general population.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why am I blogging for DS?

As you can see there is now a 31 for 21 button on my website...

Why am I doing this?

Well, as I mentioned before, back in July one of my best friends had her second little girl, O, and was told the next morning that she had Down Syndrome. To say it was a shock to all of us, is an understatement and I am truly impressed with how well W has dealt with it thus far.

BUT -- I was shocked and dismayed to find that I knew next to nothing about Down Syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21 or T21). So for the month of October, I will be doing my best to also post little facts about DS. It is sad that so many people, myself included, were totally ignorant about this genetic condition. Since I only know information that I have been able to read, most of my information will be "duh" stuff to those who live with it every day. To those people, i am sorry, but for those, like me, who are totally uneducated, it will hopefully be helpful. So, since today is the 2nd of October, here are two pieces of info....

#1-- Down syndrome occurs in about 1 out of every 800 births worldwide. In the United States each year, about 1,600 babies are born with this condition.

#2 -- Down syndrome results when a person inherits all or part of an extra copy of chromosome 21. This can occur in a variety of ways, the causes of which are unknown. The most common chromosomal abnormality that produces Down syndrome (accounting for about 95 percent of all cases) is Trisomy 21, a defect in which an extra, third copy of chromosome 21 is present in every cell in the body. The risk of Trisomy 21 is directly related to the age of the mother. The number of Down syndrome births is relatively low for 18-year-old mothers—about 1 in 2,100 births. In the later childbearing years the risk increases significantly—from 1 in 1,000 births for 30-year-old women to 1 in 100 births for 40-year-old women

Monday, October 1, 2007

31 for 21

Now I have a reason to bother you all over the next 31 days...

The idea is to blog every day for the next 31 days. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so lets bring more awareness to everyone we can. For more info, look here. Now get to blogging!

No fashionista, but...

I know when something isn't right.

So, as most of you have heard, I live in the burbs and commute via train to NYC. This is all well and good usually, but commuting results in some humorous stories. This one is more of a WWYD situation.

We get off the train and I am walking down the platform. Young girl in front of me. This is usually when I check out everyones shoes/clothing/bags, etc, so I see she is wearing this adorable flats, blah blah blah. But looking up I see she has a GIANT hole right on her ass. YIKES. So... what do I do???

1) Fight the crowd to quietly mention it to her?
2) Cringe in horror and think, OMG I hope someone would tell me about it if I were in her shoes?
3) Wonder exactly how to tell a stanger that you were aparently just checking out her ass and saw a hole?
4) Think, YEAH, blog material!

Any guesses?