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Video: Seth Turns Five Years Old!

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Happy birthday to our Seth!!  Time does indeed fly by, as we can hardly believe that we just celebrated his fifth birthday. What a journey these years with him have been.  I say it each time- we wouldn’t trade what we’ve learned these last five years for all the world.

Seth is a treasure I wish the whole world could know.

It’s funny how Seth can be both our easiest and our most difficult child all at once.  Let’s start with easy:  he is the most content child I’ve ever known.  His favorites are easy:  Jesse and Woody (Toy Story) dolls, monkeys, bubbles, outside, Sports Illustrated football, basketball and baseball encyclopedias, Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins (mainly for Burt), watching replays of A&M football games, playing tackle, dancing, macaroni and cheese, pancakes, chocolate and DADDY.  Everything else I think he could give or take, but those are clearly his favorites and truly a win-win every time.  What makes him the most difficult?  Seth is by far the most stubborn of all our kids.  He will refuse to do even the simplest or most necessary of tasks (for example, go to the bathroom and wash your hands) just because he’s made up his mind that he doesn’t want to.  Forget bribery, forget pulling out the list of favorites.  If he’s decided no, we figured out finally that we’d better decide to put on our patient hats.  Seems we don’t have enough of those around here some days.  ;)

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Celebrating Ella’s 7th birthday

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Ella was born on November 28, 2005. She is currently the only girl out of eight nieces and nephews, all of who are shown in this video. November is a big month for her as we usually celebrate her birthday three different times. In this video, you’ll see that we celebrated her birthday with her friends, one time with Joel’s family,  and once with just the Fun House. Ella is getting taller every day as you can see by those long legs in the video.

She's really growing up

She’s really growing up

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Merry Christmas 2012

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We’ve been in a long battle of sickness off and on here at the fun house. We can’t seem to shake whatever is going around at school. As I write, Seth and Emily are both recovering from the flu while Ella, Kyle and I are hoping our number isn’t next. We are determined, however, to celebrate Christmas with a bang tomorrow morning. Here at the fun house, we will be celebrating Jesus and His arrival on earth as the God-man who would be the Savior.

We are so grateful for another Christmas season.

Jesus lived the perfect life that was required of us in order to satisfy an infinitely holy God. He died the death that we deserved because of our deliberate sin and rebellion. And, He clothes those who would believe with His perfect righteousness so that when God looks at us, He doesn’t see a rebel who deserves punishment but rather His son Jesus who has become our perfect sacrifice.

We love the festivities of this season, but we celebrate Jesus with great zeal and hope, because without Him our “holiday” would be pretty hollow. Our hope is certain, first of all, because we believe God’s promises are true in scripture, but also because He has proven Himself faithful in miraculous ways in our family.

We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas!

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Video: Seth playing with the trains

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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?

Nothing like two boys playing with trains

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Celebrating Kyle’s Second Birthday

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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.

Kyle is truly a joy!

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!?!

Kyle loves his Pappy

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Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

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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.

I never thought Seth would climb this thing! I was so wrong.

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:

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Haircuts!!!!

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Ooooooooooh Haircuts!

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!

Good job Seth! We did it!

 

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Video: Emily Reads for Seth

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Seth has really been making progress with his speech. He’s been going to speech therapy once a week since March and is now back in his half day pre-school program since school started back up.

The kids are loving school and so is Mom

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.

 

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Video: Ella does a nice cartwheel and then we have a laugh

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Ella goes to gymnastics once a week now and is making good progress. Watch this nice cartwheel and round off. Then laugh as she has a bit of a mishap. We all laughed too!

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We don’t call it the FunHouse for nothing!

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Potty Training Success!

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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.

History

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…

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