Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lots of Changes

Life has been busy in our house. In my last post I talked about our change of routine now that school has started again. Well, in addition, we have just found a new, beautiful place to live. My mom is stopping by today to help me do a little packing. Thanks, Mom!

At 22 months, Max is changing right in front of our eyes. Check out the following list. My photography skills are not good enough to catch any of the moments on camera so you'll have to use your imaginations.

  1. Eating with a fork. Mostly just stabbing, but occasionally getting the food into his mouth.
  2. Signing. I plan on writing in more depth about this soon, so let me just say that communication alleviates a lot of frustration!
  3. Eating new foods. Max got into a rut and would only accept of very few number of foods. He is suddenly eating things like fresh apples and hamburgers. 
  4. Standing without support. He usually does it several times in a row, but of course I never have my camera nearby.
  5. Walking. Max still uses his walker, but lately he has been letting go to take a few steps to Sean or I.
It's all so exciting!

Now, a quick phone pic:

He's in the elevator at the mall in one of those life-saving (and probably germ-infested) carts. See, my mom and I went shopping last Saturday and took her car. Just as we pulled into the parking garage, Mom turned to me and asks, "Did we bring the stroller?" I instantly deflated. Of all the stupid things we forgot to bring the stroller, and were now faced with carrying a 27 pound dead weight (Max doesn't help hold himself up. I assume it's the low muscle tone).

Well, that's exactly what we did, and tired ourselves out along the way. Then, just as we were leaving, a man walked by us with this cart and said, "Do you want this? I don't need it anymore." And that's when we saw them: a whole line of carts just waiting to save silly, forgetful parents. If only we'd seen them sooner! Max, as you can see, thought it was just about the coolest thing he's ever seen!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

So Sorry I'm Late

Changes in routine are hard. The start of this new school year has given whole new meaning to the word, "tired." I'm really struggling to keep on top of things both at work and at home. As a result, My Boy Max gets pushed to the end of the list. I need to make it a priority because I feel so good after every post. In a way it's cathartic. If that's too big a word, then it's stress-relieving and relaxing.

So I don't have a lot of time right now, because I've got to get a handle on all that stuff that's piling up, but I wanted to show you a handful of relatively recent pictures. Please enjoy! And I'll be back with gusto really soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Too Cute!

Okay...I know, I know. It's been way too long. I'll save you the sob story and just say that since going back to work, being tired has taken on a whole new meaning. So, to make up for lost time, I offer to you a list of some of the uber-cute stuff Max has done recently. But beware, your cute meter is about to overflow.

Hugs and Kisses

On Monday, Sean and Max were waiting for me at the front door when I got home from work. What a fabulous sight!

After scooping up my boy in my momma bear hug, Sean squeezed in. Max loves group hugs! Then when Max seemed satisfied with our communal squeeze, Sean and I leaned in for a quick hello peck. Honestly, I didn't even think Max noticed, but when we separated, Max grabbed the backs of our heads and pushed them back together for a second kiss! Awwww...

Pew!! Stinky!

Last night, while Sean and I enjoyed the Red Sox defeat of the Yankees at Fenway, Max had a sleepover at Grammy's. It seems that Max consecrated the visit with a sizable deposit in his diaper. Well, of course Grammy came to the rescue, but she did not hesitate to express her mild disgust at the, uh, fragrance that wafted her way as she disposed of the goods. "Pew! Stinky!" she said, to which Max replied, "Stinky!"

That doubles the size of Max's vocabulary which was previously comprised of the single, but important word, "eat."

Mmmm... Cream Cheese

On a recent Daddy babysitting day, Sean went to Dunkin Donuts and got himself a bagel with cream cheese, and was promptly disappointed that they put the cream cheese on it for him. What a rookie! At least now he knows to ask for it on the side.

Well, back at home he set up camp in the living room, and left the bagel open on the coffee table while he went off to the kitchen for a drink. When he came back he found his bagel on the floor, and a happy toddler covered head to toe in cream cheese. Again, what a rookie!

"Oh, No You Don't!"

Sometime over the weekend we are all hanging out in the living room. Max did something he shouldn't have, but try as I might, I just can't remember what. It doesn't really matter though, cuz the good part's still coming. Anyhow, whatever it was, I remember that it warranted a stern reprimand, which Sean delivered along with the ASL sign for "No!" (Hold your thumb and first two fingers out and facing away from you. Now touch all three tips together, release, and repeat. You've just signed "No!") Max was having none of that, and responded with a very aggressive and enthusiastic signed "No!" He told him!

I picked on my lovely husband a little bit in this post, so here are a few pics of him being a great dad:

And finally, this video of Max taken back in June but never posted because I forgot about it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stand and Deliver

A little high & mighty maybe, but teachers will certainly know the movie I've so shamelessly used as today's title. It's a terrific film about a teacher in L.A. who inspires his at-risk students to take and pass AP Calculus. It stars Edward James Olmos, and you'll see a very young Lou Diamond Phillips.

Okay, okay, so it's over the top, but a mother is entitled to feel proud when her 21-month-old toddler with Down syndrome stands up from a sitting position in the center of the floor with absolutely no help whatsoever. Not a stitch.

Apparently, I missed his first successful attempt last weekend. He was hanging out with Grammy while Sean and I went away for the night and stood for her. Grammy was very proud, but I felt, well, gipped! So you can imagine how thrilled we were when he did it again so enthusiastically on Tuesday.

This impressive accomplishment was unexpected so we obviously did not get a pic. However, let me entertain you with some pics of Max practicing his standing during out trip to Cape May, NJ last month.


Hee, hee.
Downward Dog.

Celebrating with Grammy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Back...

Croup. Ugh. It reared its head again last night. We'd been croup-free for more than eight months, then last night at 1:00 am Sean and I both heard the stryder.

Within seconds we sprung into action. While I located and assembled the nebulizer, Sean filled the bathroom with steam. We don't use anything medicated in the neb, only saline, but since our shower heats up slowly, the added moisture helps to clear Max's airway more quickly.

Five minutes later, we all headed outside to shock Max's airways with the cold night-time air. Sean, in his perpetual mission to lighten the mood, stood in the road under the street light and juggled. Max loved it.

With his Down syndrome, Max has a narrow throat, so cold viruses that cause inflammation usually lead to croup. Those same narrow passages make it take a little bit longer for the croup to clear, so last night we repeated the steamy bathroom and nebulizer, followed by a few minutes outside.

By then, Max's airway had cleared enough for him to breath normally, so the next step was a dose of prednisone.  Max tends to spit out meds, so we usually put them in his milk.

It's incredible what a year's worth of experience can do. Last night we were all calm and collected. It was more like a middle of the night family reunion than a medical crisis.

But a exactly a year ago, it was a totally different story.

We'd never experienced croup, so when Max woke in the middle of the night with stryder we all panicked. We piled into the car to go to the hospital, but the twenty-minute drive was more than I was willing to tolerate. I kept having visions of my baby passing out in the back of the car, so I made Sean stop at the fire station a mile and a half from our house. The firemen were great and took us to the hospital by ambulance.

Our first croup episode on Labor Day weekend 2011. A huge contrast to last night's calm adventure.
As you can guess, Max was fine, but as new parents all we could do was what we thought was right. Max's pediatrician commended us for our quick action, but assured us it would have taken a long time for Max to reach critical condition. That wasn't very reassuring at the time, but a whole year and a dozen croup episodes later, that assurance helps.

So now, to quote Sean, "We got this."