Friday, April 29, 2011

Sophia Grace

our growing little flower!

Sophia Update

What can I say, except this little girl is doing AMAZING!  She has rocketed this year alone and I see, and hear, her doing new  things every single day.  Sophia has been a turbo bottom scooter for some time now, but as most of you may know, she is now pulling up and standing on everything!  She is climbing up, down and all around, on anything that will stand sturdy enough for her to hike her little leg up on to pull up.  We have been working on walking, and cruising along furniture, and her baby tredmill routine is paying off.  She will take steps, when it suits her of course, while holding onto my hands or a push toy.  And just this week I saw her cruise around our coffee table, ALL BY HERSELF!  Of course we aren't talking all the way around it, baby steps people, but there were about 3-4 steps that she took to move closer to some prize that awaited just out of her reach.  I've also been hearing lots of babbling and new sounds coming from her little jabber box.  Of course dada has been a regular for a while now, but again, just this week, I heard MAMA come from her mouth, more than once!!!!!  The first time she said it, was during physical therapy, and we all heard her loud and clear.  Then again today I've heard those sweet syllables ring off her tongue like a choir singing in church!  I've also heard dayden (jayden), dog, kitty cat and all done, and all with witnesses around to reassure me that I'm not hearing things.  But nothing is real consistent yet, but still it is an awesome thing to hear her making new sounds and trying to say words!  We've also seen one sign come from her tiny little hands recently, which looks like "daddy", and has been pretty consistent with Randy being around or getting ready to come home.  We've also had some small break throughs in the eating department as well.  Recently, we switched Sophia off her formula, which she has been on since birth, and is ultra sensitive to her very sensitive tummy, and started giving her Pedia Sure.  She took the switch like a champ and is now strickly on Pedia Sure, which is much better tasting, not that she really tastes it, but it's a step in the right direction.  It has also helped her, sorry if this is too much information, stools.  She has always had runny, off colored stools, but recently they have been more formed and that nice brown poop color that I never thought I would love to see!  She is also making small gains in the oral feeding department.  She loves her some mashed potatoes and gravy and uses a spoon to self feed herself pretty well.  She has also successfully chewed and SWALLOWED both popcorn and Cheetos Puffs!  Most foods she simply chews up, mushes around in her mouth and spits back out, but people, WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS!!!!!  This is definitly the longest road we have traveled on this journey so far.  Food has always been a HUGE struggle for Sophia, but I truly believe there is a "finish line" at the end of this obstacle for her.  I know there are still a lot of hurdles that we have to jump over, and a lot of them we are going to fall over and land right on our face, and it hurts every time that happens, BUT, we will continue to pick ourselves up and try, try, again!

Health wise, she has been pretty good, except the occasional cold and ear infection.  Our specialist doctor appointments have been great recently.  We have a routine hearing and vision appointment coming up next Friday and we are also getting her feeding tube replaced, due to a pesky malfunction that keeps occuring with the one she has in right now.  Then in June we have a sleep study, scheduled by our pulmonary specialist to make sure all airways are good, which we haven't had any problems, but this may be an annual routine thing due to possible enlarged tonsils or adnoids which are common in kids with Down syndrome.  We also see our local and developmental pediatrician in June for regular check ups and we'll see Sophia's cardiologist in October for our annual check up appoinment. 

I've said it more than once, but I will continue to say it over and over and over again, Sophia is AWESOME, AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL (both inside and out), SMART, HAPPY, LOVING, CURIOUS and best of all PERFECT!  She is everything I never dreamed of, but always wanted.  I never imagined feeling a love quite like this before, but I am so glad that I have been given this amazing little girl to love forever!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Mule

The family taking a ride in great grandma and grandpa's mule.  The kids LOVED it!

Coloring Eggs

A little late, but last Saturday we colored Easter eggs.  We started out with about 15 eggs and after I had my hands on them, we ended up with about 10.  Of course Jayden had fun coloring the eggs, the whole 10 minutes it took, which makes me wonder every year, what exactly are you supposed to do with the eggs after you color them?  I mean it's fun doing it, I guess, but then what?  We don't hide them and they start to stink after a bit, so what exactly are you supposed to do with these eggs?
Anyway, hope you enjoy the pics!
getting ready to start coloring eggs

blue, daddy's favorite :)

"pretty cool!"

being very careful, unlike her mama :)

"check this one out."

i decided against letting sophia get in on this activity, she would have ended up being the egg and dumping dye all over herself.  not a chance i was willing to take that day.  so she observed :)

that's the best I could get from Sophia at that time

"Where did Sophia go???"

there she is!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Family Addition

We decided to get the girls a fish tank.  So Saturday we went to the pet store and got all the stuff we needed and came home to get everything set up before going back to get our fish.  Easy enough, right?  Well it took Randy about 6 hours to get everything put together and to get the water just right.  Nice way to spend his first day off in two weeks :)  So we thought we had it all ready and Jayden couldn't wait to get her fish, so Randy and Jayden headed back down to the pet store before they closed to pick up a couple fish.  They came back with an orange fish, Nemo Goldie, (Jayden's fish) and a black and white fish, Dora (Sophia's fish.)  It was all pretty cool and we were all excited.  THEN, about 4am when I was up checking on Sophia, I popped my head in on the fish to see how they were doing and wouldn't you know it, not even 12 hours later, Nemo Goldie was at the bottom of the tank, dead :(  We had to break the bad news to Jayden first thing Easter morning, but fortunately she took it pretty well.  We left for the day and Jayden was eager to return home to see how Dora was and Randy and I were just hoping that she was still alive, and unfortunately she had passed away too!  Two fish, dead in a 24 hour period.  This time we had one crushed little 4 year old.  But today, we returmed to the pet store and got us two new fish and here's hoping for the best! 
SpongeBob SquarePants Fish Tank

Another shot at fish ownership.
This is Sophia's fish, named by Jayden.
"Iron Man Tony Stark"

Jayden's fish, that little orange/white thing to the right of Squidwards house
"Spiderman Peter Parker"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Growing Up

Baby Jayden

Jayden 2 yrs
I can still remember the night before Jayden was born, sleeping in our living room in the recliner having super annoying contractions all night long and going to the hospital in the early morning hours the next day.  I can remember waiting in the delivery room for the "show" to start.  Because my epidural had kicked in, I could have chilled out there forever if I needed to.  And then, 8 hours later, my first baby girl was born, making me a mommy......And now, almost 5 years later I am thinking about how those years have just flown by, almost like they never existed.

Jayden 3 yrs

Jayden 4 yrs
Jayden was my first baby, the little girl that I always knew I wanted.  SHE made me a mommy, and gave me my dream that I had dreamt of forever.  She is my mini me.  Beginning with the crazy, wild hair, all the way to the fly off the handle attitude.  We spent the first 3 years of her life as side kicks, partners in crime.  We did everything together, just the two of us.  She truly is my best friend.  I have had an amazing time growing and learning about motherhood with her.  She has always blown me away by how smart and independent she is for such a little girl.  Of course there are days where she thinks she is back to being a baby again, but there are days where I swear she's an adult trapped in an itty bitty body.  I can't believe how in just 1 year I will be sending her off to kindergarten!  All day!  All by herself!  Where someone else will be watching over her for the bigger part of her day!  And then it's all down hill speed  from there!  I love that my baby girl is growing up, I really do, but there is still that part of me that wants to keep her little.  I want to be her everything, forever.

Jayden 4 yrs 8months :)

Baby Sophia
Then there is Sophia.  She is about to turn 2 in a little over one month!  I can't believe it!  I feel like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating her first birthday, and I couldn't even believe one year had passed at that time.  Sophia didn't make me a mommy, but she definitely made me a better mommy.  I can still remember everything about Sophia from the time she was born till now, and it blows my mind away to realize how much she has grown.  She has accomplished so much and has overcome more obstacles then most 2 year old toddlers, to become the strong, growingly independent little person that melts my heart every time I look into those blue eyes.

Sophia 1 yr
There have been moments where I worried about Sophia and the fact that she would most likely meet her developmental milestones later, possibly much later, than Jayden for instance.  I worried about her not doing things on time as her peers, or still lugging her around on my hip at 2 years old, but the truth is, I am LOVING every minute that I still get to hold my little baby girl and love on her and teach her and watch her grow, at a slower pace.  Sophia is definitely growing up and getting bigger and doing LOTS of new things, but it isn't flying by like I felt it did with Jayden.  And who knows, one of these days Sophia may just take off like a rocket and flash right by me, but for the moment I am enjoying every minute that I get to keep her as my "baby."

Sophia 1 yr. 10 months :)
Before I was a mom, I couldn't wait to have babies.  Then I had a baby and I couldn't wait for her to walk and talk and be a toddler.  Then I couldn't wait for her to become even more independent and start doing things more for herself, like using the potty and getting dressed.  Then you think about school and sports and what they'll be like as they get older and how much freedom you'll have again once they fly the nest, but then I catch myself thinking about how nice all of these things will be, especially on stressful days, but the truth is I just want to keep them under my wing forever, because without them I feel lost.  I hope my girls will not necessarily need me forever, but I definitely hope that they will want me forever!
Sophia, Jayden and Mommy (a few weeks after Sophia was born)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Right planet, right child

I was reading this article the other day and it got me thinking about life and people and Sophia.  I see Sophia, just like I see Jayden, as ALMOST perfect.  Of course my girls have flaws, we all do, but they are as close to perfect as you can get, in my opinion, which tends to be a little biased. :)  I look at Sophia and always see Sophia first.  I never look at her and see Down syndrome first.  I sometimes wonder if people can look at her and see her different physcial characteristics yet, because to me that's just how Sophia looks, that's all I've ever known, and I think she is beyond beautiful!

I try not to let myself get caught up on the things that Sophia "should be doing" at 2 years old, and for the most part I don't.  I enjoy and celebrate everything that she accomplishes no matter how small it may seem to the "typical parent."  Sophia is already destined to be great, I truly believe that.  I don't know exactly what her future holds, but I know that she was sent here, to this crazy world, to do something spectacular and I'm just here to enjoy the ride with her.  I know that this world is far from perfect.  And I know that Sophia will be judged and teased and laughed at throughout her life, so was I, and Jayden will be too.  And that breaks my heart that my kids will have to go through parts of their life where they aren't accepted by certain people, or that their feeling will be hurt by ignorance, but MY GOALS for MY KIDS are to teach them to love, respect and accept everyone, no matter what.  I can't change the world or the people in it, but I can influence both my girls to be strong and respectful and live their lives to the fullest, and never let anyone stand in their way!  They both were meant to be here, on this planet, and they both deserve to be here.  I hope that together we can all make a difference in this world, that it's okay to be different, whatever that means, and that is what will make our world perfect!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

T-Ball: First Game of the Season

We signed Jayden up for T-ball a while ago and tonight was her first game.  T-ball consists of 3 and 4 year olds and Jayden's team is IBEW, Randy's local union hall.  They've had practice for the past few weeks and did pretty well for their first game.  Each team gets to bat twice and field twice in a game, letting everyone on the team bat and run the bases.  Jayden really seems to enjoy playing and I'm glad to see her taking an interest in sports.  Whether or not she'll want to play again, just like basketball, it's something she can call her own and keep her moving and burning off ALL THAT ENERGY that she has plenty of! 
Randy, the assistant coach, covering 2nd base

Number 2, Jayden, running to 2nd

Good Job Jayden!

Waiting to run to third


What a cute little t-ball player :)

Keeping a close eye on the game.  (She put her hat on backwards all on her own?)

Getting ready to field

Team IBEW in the field

Coming back in to bat

Getting ready to bat, with a little sun in the eyes.