Saturday, September 20, 2008

She got what she wanted

So yeah, we still have to rock Payton to sleep at night, or at least stay in her room until she is pretty much asleep. That is pretty much getting old ... fast. Tonight I laid her in her crib and tried to leave the room after a few minutes. She cried. And cried and cried. So I went in to tell her to calm down and she had pooped from crying. It breaks my heart but seriously ... the child needs to learn how to go to sleep on her own. I got her a clean diaper and the entire time I can tell she was disgusted with me because the lower lip stayed out. She can pout with the best of them. So feeling guilty {and creating even more sleep issues}, I brought her into my room and laid her in my bed. She immediately flashed me a huge grin and rolled over to go to sleep. Like, "Ha ... I got what I wanted!" She is so dang cute, but such a little stinker!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Homework Assignment #1: Check!

Payton's first homework assignment at her preschool for special needs kids was learning how to twist or turn things ... twist the top off a jar, turn a door knob, etc. All I have to say is she is so dang smart and she catches on so easily! She pretty much mastered twisting the top off the jar right away.

That is one thing that is so interesting to me as the parent of a child with special needs. You learn to break down the learning process in ways that you never do with a typical child, ways that you would never think to do. So ... that is my thought for the day! LOL

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My baby will soon be even more famous!

Remember that Public Service Announcement that I posted about a few weeks ago that had Payton's picture in it ... the one where her picture was the first picture shown? The PSA that was created in response to the movie Tropic Thunder to promote awareness for individuals with Down syndrome. Well, I found out a couple days ago that Paramount has licensed the PSA and it will soon be in in the following places:

The PSA will be on all of the Tropic Thunder DVDs.

The PSA will be shown in Walmart stores nationwide during the month of October, to help promote Down syndrome awareness month.

The PSA will be shown on the jumbotron during football games at a big name college.

The PSA is being shown at disability workshops.

The PSA is being shown in schools.

The PSA is being shown at lots of other events around the United States.

Isn't that awesome?! That means my baby's face is going to be seen by millions of people, and the words that appear on the video when they see her face ... "When you call me beautiful" ... I love it!

Here is the PSA again, in case you missed it the first time ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mason's First Baseball Game

Today was Mason's first t-ball game and it was very entertaining, to say the least. He looked so cute out there in his little uniform, acting like a major league star.
There is one thing we need to work on though, and that is positional territory. Mason seems to think the whole field is his territory. While playing short stop, he saw an opportunity in right field, so he took off running ...
... and he ran ...
"Here I come guys!"
"I'm almost there!"
"I'm here! Was there a ball over here?"

The aforementioned territorial issue was hysterical ... I think he did that from every position he played, about three times. Stop laughing, it was his first game after all.

Moving on to hitting ...
... and base running ...

After the game, the team gathered at the snack bar so the kids could get their free hot dogs. At that point, Mason's coach said ...

At the end of each game we are going to give the game ball to the player with the most hustle for that game. The game ball for this game goes to ...


Monday, September 15, 2008

Color Crazy

Last night the kids went crazy with coloring. I think between the two of them they went through about 30 pieces of paper. Thank goodness for washable markers, because at times I think they thought my kitchen table was a piece of paper. Here are a few of their final projects ...

One of Ms. Payton's originals ...
And a few from Mr. Mason himself ...

Mason is growing up so fast! I was so impressed by this last picture he drew ... since when does he know how to draw like that? It seems like just yesterday that he was scribbling just like Payton. Sigh. My boy is getting so big!

We are going to Russia!

I know many of you have been following our adoption blog, but if not I thought I'd let you know we will be on a plane to Russia in exactly one week from today to meet our new daughter. Exciting {and nerve wracking} times!

Edited to add: Some people might not be aware, but we have to go to Russia twice before we can bring our daughter home. We will just meet her on the first trip and then we have to return to Russia for court several weeks later. After court, we can bring her home!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

School Update

Well the kids have been in school for a few days now. Things are going great! Mason loves it and loves being able to spend time with his buddy, Alex. His school has a kiss-n-ride drop off and pick up, so our babysitter has been utilizing that and Mason has done great with it. I will get to do it for the first time tomorrow, so I'm excited for that. It is hard to be a working parent when you have two kids in preschool. Here is Mason and Alex on their second day of school ...

Payton has done okay, but it has taken a little longer for her to feel totally comfortable and go without tears. Two days a week, she is in the mom's morning out program with all typical kids. Her first day was this past Friday and her babysitter dropped her off. She said she didn't cry, so that is good news. Another two days a week, Payton is attending the special needs preschool program. She is doing very well at the school, although she isn't necessarily happy to learn that we are leaving her there. She also sticks that little lip out when we pick her up ... I guess that means she is happy to see us?

In addition to her four days of school, Payton's preschool teacher {from the special needs school}, Ms. Becky, comes to our house one hour a week. That is our time to talk about how things are going and for us to get our homework {i.e. what to work on next} ... really sort of an all around therapy session. Ms. Becky is awesome ... she has tons of experience and I'm so happy Payton has her as a teacher.

Dress Up {with brother's clothes}

I love this picture

I was just looking through pictures since I'm so behind on blogging and I came across this one ... I don't even remember it, but I thought Payton looked so beautiful {and happy} with her long eyelashes ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I think she was talking to me ...

And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love. To the families of special needs children all across this country, I have a message for you. For years you have sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters and I pledge to you that if we’re elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.

~Sarah Palin, Vice-Presidential Candidate, 2008

Spreading Awareness {Down syndrome style}

Watch CBS Videos Online

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oh my gosh ...

We're not quite sure how to express our gratitude quite yet, but the girls over at The Mom Crowd launched an incredible fundraiser for us today. For every $5 raffle ticket that is purchased, your name will be entered into a drawing for a ton of awesome prizes {see the slideshow below}. The prizes that have donated are valued at over $1,500 ... whoa! Click here to check it out!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Preschool Orientation

Today we had orientation for Mason's preschool and Payton's mom's morning out program. Mason is attending three days a week and Payton two days a week, which is in addition to her other two days at her other school.

This morning the kids had a trial run in their classes, while I hung out in the hallways. They both did great ... no tears, no nothing. This evening Kyle and I went back for parent orientation ... getting used to their schedules will take some adjusting, since it seems like everyone has to be in five different places at once!

Payton playing in her classroom ...
Mason in his classroom ...
Mason and his buddy, Alex, hard at work ...

Check out my girl!

Parenting magazine is honoring children with Down syndrome since October is Down syndrome awareness month. They are also putting together photo galleries and releasing them one at a time. My little princess made the front page {so to speak} of photo gallery #3 ... click here to check it out!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Conversation with Mason

{Preamble: Mason and I are laying in my bed while I am on my laptop and he is supposed to be going to sleep. He hands me the remote and wants me to turn the TV on for a few minutes. I tell him no and he starts acting up by thrashing around the bed like a wild monkey ...}

Me: If you are going to throw a fit, then you are going to your room.
Mason: {Stops thrashing around, looks at me and innocently says ...} What is throwing a fit?

Apparently we have never used that term, because he had no clue what I was talking about. I explained it to him in terms he definitely knows {i.e. whining, being naughty, etc}. He cracks me up!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I got chills {and a tear fell down my cheek} ...

"And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love. To the families of special needs children all across this country, I have a message for you. For years you have sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters and I pledge to you that if we're elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House." ~ Gov. Sarah Palin

I almost forgot ...

... the tube in Payton's right ear also has come out. It was lodged in her ear canal, so the ENT pulled it out under the microscope. That didn't make Payton too happy and having to pin her down messed up her hair for the first day of school! The left tube is still in place, but one tube for two ears won't get us far. I just hope that having had her adenoids taken out will provide her some snot relief this winter. I don't want her to have to deal with snotty nose all winter, which inevitably will turn into an ear infection. Sigh.

We saw the ENT today

Today before school, I took Payton to see the ENT as a follow up to her sleep study results that we got last week. Speaking from a surgery standpoint, her ENT is very pleased with the results, despite the fact that she still has mild sleep apnea. The number of apneas per hour decreased significantly, so that is good. The flip side is that she still has apnea episodes and there is nothing the ENT can do about it. We were told that we can see a pulmonologist and an allergist to see if they have any recommendations ... if not, we just live with it.

Onto the Periodic Limb Movement Disorder ... we will be getting bloodwork done to see if any of her levels are off. Apparently that is something that can cause this disorder to be worse, although it often times goes hand in hand with sleep apnea.

Payton's 1st Day of School

Today was Payton's first day of school. I had the day off, so Mason and I were able to drop her off and pick her up. Most other days she will be transported by her babysitter, who is a family friend. She did great when we got there ... pulled her little backpack into the school and put her stuff in her cubby, but when she realized Mason and I were leaving, she wasn't too happy. We worked through it though and we have been through these motions before when she attended a daycare facility. Thankfully that made it easy on me too. When we picked her up, she started crying as soon as she saw me. Despite that, they told me she had a great day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Meme

Just for fun, I copied Renee and pulled this meme from Rocks in my Dryer. In honor of Labor Day, it's about...well, labor. And not the kind you get a day off for, either.

How long were your labors?
Mason - my water broke around 3pm, I started pushing just before midnight and had him around 3am ... so that would be 12 hours. To the best of my recollection.

Payton - was sick and having sporadic contractions starting maybe around 9am. Went to the hospital around 3pm and she was born around 10pm after three pushes. I think.

How did you know you were in labor?
Mason - my water broke all over my couch. I stood with my legs crossed yelling for someone to get me a towel. I think that was a sign that labor was imminent.

Payton - I had been sick all day, got really dehydrated {or so they told me ... blood that has the consistency of molasses is not a good thing} and started having contractions. Went to the hospital where they hydrated me and tried to send me home. I said, "Oh nooo ... call my OB now and I want my water broke!" I was like 6cm dilated at that point and they were gonna send me home! Crazy nurses.

Where did you deliver?
Both of my kids were delivered at a birthing center at our local hospital. Best place ever.

Uh ... yeah. I was asking for an epidural when I walked through the door. Didn't feel a thing either time!

Yes, with Mason. After pushing for two hours, I couldn't get him out. He was sunny side up and they even tried to pull him out with a vacuum ... no go. So off to the OR I went ... after all of that. He owes me.

Payton - VBAC all the way, baby. If I never have another c-section, life will be good.

Who delivered?
Mason - Dr. Grover delivered him ... she is awesome!

Payton - Dr. Kang delivered her ... just as awesome!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sleep Study: The Results

I got the results of Payton's second sleep study the other day ... sigh.


1) Mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, with sleep fragmentation, but without significant hypoxemia or carbon dioxide retention. Blah blah blah. Vigorous medical therapy for upper airway obstruction is recommended.

2) Increased leg movements are present during sleep consistent with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), and associated with sleep fragmentation. Further evaluation of PLMD is suggested.

After her first sleep study, she had moderate obstructive sleep apnea, so I guess that means taking her tonsils and adenoids out helped bring it down to mild? But now we are throwing in this PLMD, which I probably could have diagnosed myself. Both of my kids are very restless leg sleepers. Sigh again. The treatment for PLMD includes a CBC and iron studies, including serum ferritin, with treatment with iron for 3 months if ferritin level is <50 mg/dl.

I wonder if her iron level is low? Good thing we have a script for bloodwork and I will be making sure that the script includes this iron testing. She had low iron when she was an infant, but the kicker is that kids with Down syndrome tend to have higher iron levels, so how she got a low iron level is beyond me. We will be following up with her ENT this Thursday to see what is next.

*Ahem* Ms. Payton

Who knew one child could do so much damage in less than a minute?!
Remember that cheeky smile I was telling you about?
The final product {minus all the crayon on the table} ...