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Today Show Follow Up Interview – Jackson’s Live TV Birth

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Well, just when we thought the fun was over, we were asked for a live follow up interview on the Today Show to discuss Emily’s live TV birth of Jackson on Monday as part of the Today Show’s #BornTODAY focus. Here’s the relevant footage of our family during this morning’s program.

This morning was about the most challenging it gets from a parenting perspective. Seth woke up cranky and Kyle, who is entering his most challenging toddler age, was flexing his independence muscles with force. All the new people and the change in routine wasn’t ideal for happy, compliant children. Thus, sitting on a couch for “look-ins” every seven minutes and then doing the actual interview required plenty of cajoling and other forms of “encouragement” to get Seth and Kyle to cooperate. The camera, production guys, and producer NBC used were all great along with the representative from Woman’s Hospital of Texas who provided extra hands to go along with Emily’s parents. Emily was happy to see that Dr. Cone got some more face time on the footage of the birth that hadn’t been shown on Monday. He deserves the recognition for his excellent work in delivering all four of our children and his special care for Emily over the years. Needless to say, we won’t be forgetting this week, and not primarily because of the media exposure. The TV folks go away, but we get to enjoy the precious gift of Jackson for a long time. We praise God for him and pray that he magnifies the name of Jesus with his life.

Setup NBC interview

They moved some furniture to get the shot

This NBC team made us look good

This NBC team made us look good

 

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Baby Jackson is born on NBC’s Today Show

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The whole process started with Emily’s doctor asking her if she would be interested in participating in NBC’s Today Show’s attempt to get as many live births on TV during their program on September 23rd. Emily was due on September 28th but she had delivered two weeks ahead of schedule for each of the births of Ella, Seth, and Kyle. After talking it over, she decided she was game. All of this was contingent on Emily not starting labor before that day on her own. Well, the night before the big day Emily’s water broke at home and she began labor on her own. I got the opportunity to run around the house like a mad man, pack the car, and drive faster than usual from our home to the hospital about 27 miles away. Needless to say, we made pretty good time getting there. However, once we got to the hospital, Emily’s contractions were regular but weren’t getting closer together. She ended up laboring all night on her own, which put her into the group with a high probability of giving birth on the Today Show.

Woman's Hospital of Texas had a professional photographer take this pic.

The Hospital had a professional photographer take this pic. Also seen at Woman’s Hosptial Facebook page.

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The summer of 2013

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We are back with an update of our 2013 summer. The five of us had so much fun going to the hill country to start the summer.

Good family time in the hill country

Good family time in the hill country

Then, Emily and I were able to get away by ourselves to San Diego for a long weekend.

Amazing view at La Jolla

Amazing view at La Jolla

Nana and Pappy did an amazing job taking care of them while we were gone. And finally, we spent a great time in Galveston with my brother Jamy and his family along with my mom and dad.

Thankful that our extended family are some of our favorite people.

Thankful that our extended family are some of our favorite people.

I put together a short video to capture the memories. We hope you enjoy! Feel free to sing along.

Now we are waiting for baby Jackson to come anytime between now and the end of September. We are so excited to meet him, but Emily said she would be more than happy to wait until Seth starts kindergarten and Ella begins second grade in just one week. My how time flies! Until next time…

 

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Video: The Kids Find Out About Baby #4

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Watch this video of the kids finding out about baby #4 (who we now know is Jackson) for the first time on Valentine’s Day. It was back in February, but it’s an unforgettable moment that we wanted to share. Ella was blown away. Seth and Kyle took it in stride.

This news drew happy tears from Ella.

This news drew happy tears from Ella.

We can’t wait for September to welcome another little one to the Fun House.

 

 

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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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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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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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The third child

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Sweet, sweet Kyle.  I’m so sorry, sweet baby, that Mommy didn’t write you a letter about how much I adore you on your first birthday.  It’s not that I don’t think you are amazing or that you’re not as cute as the other two, it’s just that you’re the third child!  I don’t even have a baby book for you.  I can’t remember when you got your first tooth, sat up, crawled or what your first solid food reaction was.  But I do remember that it all happened and YOU, my littlest one, have stolen my heart!

Sweet baby Kyle

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Typical Threes….

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Ahhhh, the joys of children.  Much particular “joy” with three-year-olds it seems.  Whoever coined the phrase “terrible twos” must not have endured the crafty and mischievious mind of a three-year-old.  And why should a child with Down Syndrome be any different?  I’ll be the first to say that Seth’s latest stunts as a blossoming 38-month-old are nothing more than typically developing….So I give you a few of his best moves, from Seth’s perspective:

I've got some really good tricks up my sleeve

The Grab and Go

I have a growing vocabulary (both words and signs) and some of the ones that my mom started to teach me long before I started talking were “share,” “your turn,” “my turn,” “please,” and “thank you.”  But with a slick move like The Grab and Go, words or signs will only slow you down.  Here’s how it works:  Simply sneak up behind your victim, whether its a self-defending sister or an innocent little brother, and take whatever it is that seems to be captivating their attention.  Then, just go, go, go!  Get the heck out of dodge with your new, fast feet!  Run to another part of the house as fast as possible, play with the object for about 30 seconds, then casually discard the item unless you see the self-defending sister chasing and shrieking behind you!  If that’s the case, start shouting “no” and prepare to hit her with the object until the Fun House referee comes in to break up the “misunderstanding” (right?).  At that point, fall to the ground in a heap of tears, as though you have been wronged by the other party.  Tip:  Good luck convincing the Fun House referee you are innocent.  Just try to shed as many tears as possible.  It helps if you stick out your bottom lip, point harshly at the other party and say, “Mama, Mama!” over and over again. Continue Reading…

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