Our beautiful Ella had her six year birthday party. We are so proud of the girl she is and excited about what God will do through her. Ella is a natural leader and has the charm to go with it. My prayer is that she would use those considerable talents to glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She loves her brothers and is a great friend to our son Seth. We were recently overjoyed to hear that, as a kindergartner, Ella seeks out other children with Down Syndrome and befriends them out on the playground. She knows how special Seth is and how other kids sometimes don’t know how to play with kids with DS because of their communication challenges. What a joy it is to see her already have a sensitivity to this at such an early age. What a great example it will be to her friends. Emily is due to to write up an ode to Ella and Kyle. In the meantime, enjoy the video!
Last year when I tried to get Seth to manage this on his own, he wasn’t quite able. So, we pulled out the hot wheels again recently, and Seth was able to rock it. He can spend a considerable amount of time doing this. Good times at the Fun House.
It’s been over a month since our last post here at the Fun House. It’s time that we shared the video of our Kyle’s birthday. We had family and friends over the weekend before and then celebrated Kyle’s birthday with just Seth, Ella, Mom, and Dad on the actual day. Kyle has been such a blessing to us in the first year. You’ll notice that he’s mastered crawling and is now cruising on the furniture. We know what that means. He’ll be walking any day now. I still remember the day when Seth started cruising. I was pretty excited! I was no less excited by Kyle’s big day.
Now that's a sweet little face
He has been the easiest little one, but now we are starting to see his personality come out. He’s a big fan of anything long and thin like spaghetti, mom’s necklace, and my work badge which is on a lanyard around my neck. Sometimes I’ll be leaving for work and he’ll start getting upset. At first, I thought he was upset that I was leaving, but then we quickly realized he just wanted the lanyard. I mentioned his passion for the lanyard to the security lady at work and she gave me an extra just for Kyle. Another thing that Emily and I laugh about is that Kyle gets frustrated now and has a funny way of showing it. When he gets frustrated, he’ll crawl back a few paces and then put his forehead right on the ground. It’s the equivalent of banging your head against a wall. It’s really funny to watch! I’ll let Emily fill in some of the details about Kyle. She’s due for an update soon. In the meantime, enjoy the video.
Our good friends, Jamey and Gillian, and their children, Violet and Marek, came to visit the Fun House recently. We were their first stop after a long international flight from Singapore. After we let them recover somewhat from jet lag (13 hour time difference), we had loads of fun watching the kids do their thing. Violet and Ella were stuck together the entire visit.
Seth enjoyed the company
Violet and Ella couldn't be separated
The most fun was had when Jamey and I thought up the idea of placing a slip and slide at the bottom of the slide in the backyard. Jamey provided the slip and slide and I provided the great video. Seth only went once at the end. He was a little anxious about the whole thing. Jamey and Gillian left after a few days and headed off to attend a family member’s wedding. The good news is that Jamey and Gillian are very likely going to be moving back to the Houston area after their 5 year odyssey overseas. Enjoy the video!
After Seth’s 3.5 week bout with various types of illness, he was finally able to go to his preschool, albeit a week removed from when the other kids began. Nonetheless, it is a milestone worth celebrating at the Fun House. The video starts with Ella showing off at the pool again. She’s seen daddy do a flip into the water before. With NO HELP OR PRODDING FROM HER DAD, she has started doing this as well. I think it’s pretty cool, while I’m sure the grandmothers are holding their breath.
Seth was ready for preschool
I also have some video of Seth helping water the plants, and finally I show the big day when Seth was able to catch the bus for his first day of school. He knew that bus was coming, and he remembered this was good thing. He started preschool the last few weeks of the previous school year after he turned three. Seth is able to go this preschool program because of some of his developmental delays related to Down syndrome. But, as far as we can tell, Seth thinks it’s a half day party every week day. Enjoy the movie.
Our little girl is growing up. In the midst, of all of Seth’s sickness, we didn’t want Ella’s big week to get lost in the mix. Ella had a great first week at kindergarten while making new friends and staying in the good graces with her teacher. It was funny to hear her report each day she came home from school. She would give an account of all of the other classmates who had to visit the stop bucket, which apparently is the tool the teacher uses to keep order. The kids get a yellow or red card of some sort when they run afoul of the rules. This has Ella’s attention. She wants to be the one going to the “treasure chest” to get a little prize for extra good behavior. Based on some of the stories she tells, I feel sorry for the teacher.
Ella’s favorite activity so far has been art, followed closely by music. Her eyes really do light up when she talks about the art room. She told us, “The art room is magical!” Emily told me they walked by a man in the grocery store who was displaying all of his art, and Ella was completely captivated. So, we will encourage this and see where it goes. You never know what she might do in the arts. We think she gets this from her Mimi (my mom) and Pappy (Emily’s dad). They are the artists.
Sweet Ella and her mom.
We had a first week of school party with the family tonight. Ella desired that we go out to eat to celebrate. So, we went to the local pizza place. Thankfully, Seth was having a good day of health. Today was the first day the whole Fun House had been out of the house together as a family in a month. We appreciate all the prayers for Seth and our family over the last few days. Seth seems to be on the mend, but we’ve thought that before. Hopefully, we can keep him healthy and send him to his half-day school program soon.
In the midst of the sickness, Seth and I found some time to rough house at the Fun House a little bit. Ella and I play a game where I close my eyes and then she tries to run around me without me getting her. Seth likes to change the game up where I close my eyes and then he falls into my arms. He’s not nearly as interested in running away as he is running right into my arms. I quite enjoy the game. He doesn’t think I’m playing the game right if I don’t close my eyes. You’ll see him motion for me to close my eyes in the middle of the movie. Enjoy the movie!
Last week Ella got sick with a stomach bug, then 72 hours later, Kyle and Seth both got sick. In the midst of this, Emily was also sick, but with a milder case, and then I got sick. So, the best we can tell, we all were taken down by some kid that Ella got a little too close to in her class at church. Seth, as usual, gets the worst of it when sickness comes to visit the Fun House. He also got the stomach bug, but apparently at the same time, he was developing another ear infection. So, as soon as he recovered somewhat from the stomach bug, he had to start taking an oral antibiotic along with antibiotic ear drops to knock out the ear infection. Just as the ear infection was being tamed, Seth had contracted another stomach virus. And that is where we stand today. Everyone else is on the mend, but Seth remains a very sick boy. Children with Down syndrome typically have a weakened immune system. This explains Seth’s more frequent bouts with viruses along with his difficulty in fighting off viruses when he contracts them.
Everyone is on the mend, except Seth
We are thankful that Seth’s heart is quite strong and free from any known defect. The incidence of congenital heart disease in children with Down syndrome is up to 50 percent. But, while his heart may be functioning well, his body needs a break from this current sickness. We’d like for him to be well enough to go to his school on Monday. This will be his first full year in the PPCD program. He got to go the last few months of the school year after he turned three, but now he’ll get to experience the half-day program all school year. Pray for Seth to feel better for that day. We’d hate for him to miss going to school on the same day his big sister goes to kindergarten.
Ella just finished her second season of dance at the YMCA here. It ended with a dance recital for the parents to watch. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go because both Seth and Kyle were sick with the stomach bug. So, Emily and Ella pranced off to the event and I rolled up my sleeves to continue the care-taking/janitorial duty that Emily had performed all day. Thankfully, Emily took the camera and got some good video. I was able to enjoy Ella’s show with her on the couch when she got back home. In the video, I love how she’s the only one mouthing the words to the song. She’s really into it!