Seth is enjoying the wooden train set this year here the FunHouse. It’s hard to turn this guy down when he asks you to play. How can you?
Kyle is probably the baby at the Fun House with the most nicknames….I could probably count past twenty in no time at all. One of our favorites is “Cowell,” given to him by his big brother and it kind of stuck with everyone. But I call him “Coco.” Not sure how that one came about, but it’s fitting nonetheless. Again, I could reiterate everything I wrote from his post about his first birthday: he is the ultimate baby, we spoil him to death unapologetically and he is truly a joyful little guy.
Not much has changed in a year other than mobility and the word “NO!” But even the ultimate of all toddlers has to test authority with the word “no,” I guess. We celebrated his second birthday in early October and Joel put together this video.
Here’s a list of Kyle’s favorite things, in no particular order:
1. Pappy. If Pappy is in the room (Em’s dad) nothing else seems to matter. It’s a funny thing, because out of my three, we think Kyle looks most like my dad. Even one of my best friends growing up calls him “little Clarence.” Too cute! Kyle talks about Pappy constantly and everything we read in books or discuss at home somehow seems to come back to Pappy for Kyle. Like the other day we were out in the yard and saw a big helicopter fly by. He saw it, pointed and yelled, “Pappy!!!!!” What on earth!?!
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Have you bought your decorations yet? Just kidding….isn’t it funny that there’s now and “month” and a “day” to celebrate or bring awareness to most everything these days? But this momma can’t think of anything more noteworthy than to bring awareness (and maybe even dispel some fears) about Down syndrome!
So, a little more than four-and-a-half years ago, I would have found myself in the shoes of someone who knew nothing about Down syndrome, other than the fact that it is some sort of “condition” that a “friend-of-a-friend” had a child with, etc. Under-informed, hesitant, scared and generally uneducated were some phrases that you might use to describe my perspective on DS, though I’d probably tell you very quickly that I knew a lot about it because I have (at one time or another) been in close proximity (or even the same room) as someone with Down syndrome.
So, here’s my list of preconceived notions about someone with Down syndrome that qualified me to talk about it and feel sorry for people with it……and the truths that I now know about the beauty of the extra chromosome. WOW…wish I had read this years ago! Here goes:
Now, I don’t know many little boys that enjoy/sit still for/tolerate haircuts. And if you have one, I don’t want to know about it. But, I’m going to put Seth in the category of “kids that hate haircuts more than anything.” Truly. Haircuts are awful….well, so are trips to the ENT, or any doctor for that matter. Now, I’m no super-mom-pediatrician like Noah’s mommy and my sweet friend Abbie, so I can’t just grab an otoscope and check Seth’s tube placement at a moment’s notice. However, I’ve watched some videos online and personally observed several little boys’ haircuts, and I’ve decided that to simplify our lives a little, I can start giving Seth haircuts.
Texture issues: I think Seth hates the clippers more than anything. But there can’t be anything quicker and more fool-proof than a guard and a few targeted swipes up the neckline with a good pair of clippers. So, that’s where I start! After plugging in the clippers, I let Seth touch them while they are turned off, then I turn them on and he goes into a tailspin. I’m hoping with repetition, this will become less traumatic! After we talk and talk and talk and talk about what mommy is going to do, and he continues to scream and peel away from me, I sit him on the floor, wrap an arm around him, lean back and get to clipping! Mind you, we are on the living room floor, watching Imagination Movers, and I’m crossing my toes that it turns out even (enough)! Then, I move to a bigger guard to blend toward the top and after that’s done, we CHEER because mom has finished with the clippers. Seth likes to say, “Bye bye clippers!” I try my best a scissor cutting the top (a small trim) while he is dodging, dipping and diving from my hands and the scissors. I would imagine a trained professional could cut a cooperative little guy’s hair in 5 minutes or less, but Seth and I take our time and I’d say we’re done in about 20 minutes. Let’s just say his hair looks better wet than dry! But all in all, we still think he’s one good lookin’ dude!
We are working really hard on shapes, colors, and ABCs. Regular readers remember my feeble attempt to make a video for Seth singing the ABCs. Emily stepped up the game big time this week by making a longer, more comprehensive, video where she reads several books. We figured someone else might benefit from this other than Seth so we are posting the video Emily made for Seth. We try to keep learning fun here at the FunHouse.
I also created a video in the past for Ella where I read “Where the Wild Things Are” for her viewing pleasure.
After unsuccessfully cajoling Emily to write about Seth’s potty training success here at the Fun House, I decided to give my shorter, less compelling recount of that experience.
Many of you may remember a post back in July of last year discussing our potty training attempt with Seth. Seth wasn’t ready then and he made that quite evident through his vehement opposition to even the thought of sitting on a potty upon request. (This stubborn defiance, we believe, is about 50% a uniquely Down syndrome characteristic and about 50% Seth just reflecting the personality of his wonderful parents!) Additionally, we weren’t sure he was putting together the bodily output and the feeling that came right before it. Finally, our frustration and expectation levels were way out of sync with where they should have been. But, this is not unusual with Emily and me both being “bottom line” achiever personalities. We aren’t the type of people who typically just “enjoy the process” or “ease our way into things”. We like formulaic (A + B = C) answers and will carefully follow the process to ensure we get to the result on time and under budget, so to speak. I confess that I naturally fall into that camp even more than Emily. Continue Reading…
The Fun House went south for the last part of June and enjoyed the sandy beach and unusually blue waters of Galveston. The water turned amazingly blue starting the second day we were there. The locals say it was a change in the currents. So, God blessed us with a more aesthetically pleasing beach for most of our stay.
We kept the itinerary pretty simple as on previous beach vacations. This time, we were able to get both sets of grandparents to come enjoy the beach with us. Most days, Mimi and Poppa and Nana and Pappy would join the kids in the swimming pool to start the morning. This ended up being the favorite time for the grandparents, as the heat wasn’t as oppressive and the kids were fresh and in good spirits. Continue Reading…
Here at the fun house we make a lot videos that make you laugh and smile. This one may or may not do that, but it is particularly effective in getting my son to learn his ABCs and make the right shapes with his mouth. Children with Down syndrome often have speech delays and require different types of therapy to meet milestones that typically developing children do with ease.
Seth really enjoys watching videos of daddy, so my wife told me that I should make a video that would have some therapy value. So, here it is. The key was for him to see my mouth making the letters and the words. We’ve found that he’ll string three and sometimes four words together singing, and he rarely does this any other time. Maybe it will of help to someone else. Our beautiful Ella was gracious to help with the recording of this one, and she is prominently featured.
Today, Seth, Kyle and I were hanging out at the house while Emily was watching Ella at a swim meet. Ella’s starting to swim fast. Her backstroke is almost as fast as her freestyle. The breathing part slows her down a little on the freestyle.
While we were at the house, the boys and I took some photos. Here’s a good one.
While we were home, we also did a little dancing. One of Seth’s favorite movies to watch is Mary Poppins, but it’s not because of Mary Poppins. The primary draw for him is Mr. Banks and, of course, Burt. He calls them Burt and Banks. His absolute favorite part of the movie is the nine minute long “Step in Time” portion of the movie where Burt and all the chimney sweeps dance. He typically gets up and holds the iPad and dances along. Needless to say, we’ve heard that song plenty. Today, I decided to purchase that song, and now when Seth hears it, he just dances along. We are keeping it fun at the fun house. Enjoy the video:
By the way, say a prayer for Seth when you think about it. We are back to potty training. It didn’t go splendidly the first time. We are dedicated this summer.