Blogging By Candlelight

Hello there!! Remember me? Probably not!! Just taking a peek here and apparently my last post was 6 months ago…. Ummmmm holy hell has it been that long!?

Needless to say our life is crazy. Turtle Nest Co. has become WAY WAY WAY bigger than I had ever thought. It occupies ALL of my spare time. Alex has made some comments here and there, “wow it’s been a long time since you’ve blogged” or “don’t you think you should write a blog post”. This makes me want to backhand her, lol! But she’s right.

So tonight just as I finished tucking Jaxson in, a thunderstorm knocked the power out. So here I sit with candles flickering beside me, my sewing machine doesn’t turn on, and the house is completely silent. It’s time to write a blog post!!!

I honestly have NO clue where to begin. 6 months is a LONG time. You would not even believe the amount of stuff that our family has been through in 6 months.

Let’s start with Jaxson! Let’s see….. well, we celebrated his THIRD birthday! I find it crazy that we have a 3 year old!! Jax recently started pre-school and he is absolutely loving it. We have already seen a huge change in his development since starting and couldn’t be more thrilled. Can I be honest for a second? Dropping him off and coming home to a quiet house is PURE BLISS!! I have so much more time to sew, Alex has time to work on her schoolwork, and we even put those things aside and go for coffee dates once in a while. It is honestly AMAZING.

Jax is doing a lot of walking with his walker lately. He’s becoming more and more confident on his feet. He’s also signing up a storm (as per usual). He has over 100 signs now and is pairing up to 3 signs together to make short sentences. He is also super vocal now. He says ‘mom’ or ‘mama’ on a very regular basis now to get our attention. He is currently obsessed with Maui from the movie Moana and flexes his ‘Maui muscles’ ALL the time. He actually came up with it all on his own from watching the movie which is pretty amazing!!

Next week we are celebrating his third ‘Gotcha Day’. To me this day is even bigger than his birthday.

Now onto our family….

Well we’ve been through the ringer. For those of you who don’t know, we committed to adopting another child back in January. For many many reasons that adoption unfortunately fell through last month. We had to take a stand and put our little family of 3 first. I wish I could talk more openly about it, but out of respect for him, and his birth family I won’t.

Needless to say we have had a lot on our plate. We spent months and months preparing our hearts. And have spent a lot of money getting our house ready for another child (not that the money matters). We are hurt, a tad jaded, and more guarded. But we are firm believers that everything happens for a reason ❤

Alex has been working hard on her schooling and is SO close to completing her degree. Couldn’t be more proud of her! Then it’s on to her masters. She is also training hard as she is competing at the World Police Fire Games in Los Angeles this summer!! We are all very excited for this experience. Grandbaa is also coming down with us, which will be tons of fun.

As for myself. Well I sew….. I sew some more….. and then some more….. It seems like there is never enough time in the day. Always running from one appointment to the next. Jax is busier than ever, and I happily chauffeur him to all of his engagements. I plan to get back into yoga and doing something for myself.

Did I mention that Jaxson mean Sean and Elena from the show Born This Way!! That was a pretty cool experience. We attended our very first Canadian Down Syndrome conference where they were the keynote speakers. The conference was AMAZING and we learned so much!

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Well the power just came back on, time to sew!!

lol. In all honesty I really plan to get back on to regular blog updates. It’s easy for life to get in the way and push it aside. But to have this modern time capsule for our family is priceless. I promise to keep in touch ❤

 

Taking It All In Stride

I love our Down syndrome community so much, but sometimes I really really hate it. Recently our community has lost some perfect little souls. Some were due to crazy freak accidents that could happen to any one of our kiddos, others were taken by cancer, and a few succumbed to cardiac issues post open heart surgery. In such a short period of time our community has been mourning one precious child after another. It’s not fair, it’s heartbreaking, it’s completely and utterly devastating.

My heart is completely shattered for the parents and siblings left behind. It’s unimaginable the pain and sorrow those families are enduring.

It’s the constant loss to our community that makes me want that giant bubble to put Jaxson in. Everything is hitting so close to home and my paranoia goes through the roof! Some things you can control but ultimately it’s not in our hands. Whatever will be will be.

In light of Jaxson’s recent anemia scare we’ve had a couple people tell us that they feel so bad for us. We’ve been through so much already with Jax and it’s just not fair. While I am thankful that his ‘issues’ are being recognized, we feel the complete opposite.

Jaxson is HERE. He wakes up every day with a giant smile on his face despite how crappy he must be feeling. Every morning we get to sit sipping our coffee and watch him flip bowls in his fire truck (don’t ask). About one thousand times a day we are subjected to his super tight hugs around our neck (it’s a tough life!!), and are on the receiving end of his open mouth sloppy kisses. We get to bask in the joy of watching him learn new signs and see the pride that washes over his face when shows us that he knows how to ask for something or that he can make a sentence using multiple signs. We giggle at his toddlerhood every night when he asks for more books, and flips out when we tell him “no more books it’s time for bed”.

We will take and continue to take every single diagnosis that comes his way in stride. Open heart surgery. Waking up with him one bajillion times a night because of severe sleep apnea. CPAP turned BiPAP – still waking up one bajillion times a night…. Therapy after therapy, temper tantrum after temper tantrum from said therapies. Eating issues. Sleeping issues. Did I mention sleeping issues? One more time, sleeping issues. Severe anemia. Reoccurring severe anemia requiring a blood transfusion. And now here we are on the brink of a Celiac’s diagnosis. So a possible lifestyle change, an increase in our grocery bills, and being hyper-vigilant of the foods the 3 of us consume.

All within 2.5 short years. We know there will be more to come, and thats ok. We didn’t sign up for it by adopting a child with Down syndrome. We signed up for it when we decided to become parents. PERIOD.

So like with every past diagnosis we will continue to take each new diagnosis with a positive outlook because JAXSON IS HERE.

Life is too short….. My community has taught me that

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Jaxson Rides A Horse

When Alex started her job at Suffield Fire Dept. one of the guys approached her asking about her son with Down syndrome. He then went on to tell her that a local speech therapy place contracts his stables and horses to do hippotherapy with children. He encouraged her to check out and said that Jax was probably old enough to do it. It was something that we definitely wanted to try with him and we talked about it quite often.

Fast forward a few months to when I saw that this speech therapy place had posted on facebook that they were starting a hippotherapy session this fall. Immediately we got super excited and called to find out more. We had to get the ‘ok’ from Jaxson’s pediatrician, and to have him cleared with his low muscle tone and the potential neck problems kiddos with Ds can have. Once we got the go ahead from his doc, we took him in to Speech Language Works to have him assessed on their end and make sure it was something he would be ready for, something he would physically capable of doing, and something that he could benefit from. We were over the moon excited when he was ‘approved’ to start hippotherapy!

The weeks leading up to his first session were filled with crazy anticipation. We talked about how he would handle it, and how cool it will be to see him on a horse. We were convinced that he was going to love it….. well it didn’t quite go how we thought!

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The first day of hippotherapy was all about familiarization with horses. They started by letting him visit with the little pony first. Then it was time to put his safety belt and helmet on. Well that was the beginning of the end! He lost it when we got the helmet on and was impossible to console. Non the less we took a screaming Jaxson to meet the horse he was going to ride for the duration of the therapy block. Her name is Zoey. Zoey is BIG compared to little Jaxson. They hefted this screaming 2 year old onto he back and took him for the shortest ride in the history of horse rides. Jaxson continued to cry the entire car ride home and finally settled when we got home.

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At this point we were pretty sure we just threw a ton of money straight down the toilet. Definitely not how we planned it happening! We worked hard over the next week on getting him desensitized to his helmet, which definitely helped!

Each time we went back to hippotherapy he would cry less than the time before and was able to ride Zoey for a bit longer. By his 4th day of hippotherapy there were no tears and he rode her the entire time. Each week after that he got more and more excited to see Zoey and be on her. The last couple weeks his favourite thing to sign is ‘please horse’ and he literally is signing ‘horse’ for everything!

Since the hippotherapy he was doing was targeted at speech he had an SLP walking beside him. They would sing songs, sign, work on making verbal sounds, play games, play with little toys and do little activities.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t like horses…. When I was a kid I was bit by one and got my foot stepped on by one. I’ve also been to a surprising amount of tragic fatal accidents as a paramedic involving horses. They are big and they scare me. But seeing Jaxson on Zoey has totally changed how I feel about horses. It was honesty the most amazing thing to witness, and a couple of times I welled up. She was so responsive, gentle, and was very sensitive to his needs. We were told that Zoey is naturally a very fast walker and they have to almost do a light jog to keep up with her. Well when Jaxson was on her they couldn’t get her to pick up the pace! The person leading her would be almost trying to pull her with the lead and she would not walk any faster than what she was doing. She knew Jax was a little guy and could feel he was not super steady on her, so she walked slow. SO AMAZING! By the last couple of sessions Zoey was starting to walk faster as Jaxson had learned how to be more stable on her, but the second Jax would lean back to pet her she would press the brakes and slow right down! Seeing Jaxson ride Zoey was honestly one of the most amazing experiences to be a part of.

I have saved the best part for last….. Let’s talk about the gains and results we have seen from hippotherapy. The HUGE thing is Jaxson is walking while holding our hands!! The improvement in his strength is incredible!! Not only does he want to be on his feet, the second his feet hit the floor he is taking steps. From the kid who literally REFUSED to put any weight on his feet for over a year, this is a miracle. He is still quite unsteady in his hips, but once he figures out balance he will be off and running. We have also noticed a HUGE improvement in his signing and verbal banter. The sounds coming out of his mouth are constantly changing and he is picking up new signs like there’s no tomorrow. Yesterday while we were working on making the ‘mmmm’ sound, he put his hand to his chin, signed ‘momma’ and VERBALLY SAID “mmmmmmom” with ZERO prompting! He did it twice in a row and 3 more times today. MUSIC TO MY EARS!! There is not a doubt in my mind that all of these gains are a direct result from hippotherapy

I can honestly say that hippotherapy has been by far the best form of therapy we have done! We are so very thankful for the opportunity to do this with him and can’t wait for the next round to begin.

 

A Long Time Coming

It’s no secret that we have endured some major sleep issues with Jaxson. He was an amazing sleeper until he got RSV when he was 8 months old and it was all downhill from there.

The single most frustrating part of this journey has been waiting for referrals, appointments, results and proper treatment. It took 16 LONG horrendous months from the time we got referred to the sleep clinic until he was on the proper treatment regime. During those 16 months we were dealing with 10-15 wake up’s every single night. There were many nights where I would just sit there holding him and cry out of frustration, anger and exhaustion.

Needless to say over time we developed bad sleep habits just to survive. We went from having him in his crib in our room to co-sleeping, which allowed us to get a little more sleep. He would always fall asleep in our arms and needed constant cuddles throughout the night.

We got the results from his last sleep study late this summer which showed he was on the appropriate pressures. His BiPAP machine needed a bit of tweaking as they increased the back up rate on the machine, but that was it.

Now that we knew the medical aspect of his sleep apnea was 100% being correctly treated we knew it was time to tackle the dreaded sleep training. We also knew that we were too far gone to tackle it on our own!

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We had ZERO clue what method would work with him being on BiPAP since we can’t let Jax cry for long without him getting super snotty resulting in his mask having to come off and basically start from scratch. So we bit the bullet and hired a sleep consultant.

I will be honest and say I was super apprehensive about this whole thing. I was terrified that the consultant would tell us he has to get rid of his soother (we’ve tried and it was a disaster), or that we had to do the cry it out method, or she would tell us we are screwed and basically never going to sleep again. hahaha! Well I was wrong about everything (as per usual). Our face to face meeting was wonderful and so reassuring. She understood our situation, didn’t tell us we are horrible parents, and she made a total doable sleep plan that catered to Jaxson’s special sleep needs.

First step was to put his crib back into his own room. Which might I add it didn’t HAVE to happen to roll out our sleep plan. But we knew that Jaxson would just do better without having the option of mom’s bed right there. Also it is much easier for ME to cave and bring him to our bed and basically screw up our hard work. Yes, I say ME because I HATE HATE HATE being up in the night (good thing I’ve worked shift work for 10 years) and I will basically do anything to be sleeping. So having Jaxson in his room and hooked up to his BiPAP would ensure that there was no bringing him to our bed.

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The first few nights were LONG but we noticed significant improvement with each night. On night 6 we sat in the living room and watched Jaxson on the baby monitor fall asleep on his own. I literally had tears in my eyes watching it happen. Around the 1 week mark Jax caught on to our tactics and was figuring out how to manipulate us using the first plan. Of course this happened right when Alex was headed back to work for a tour and I was left to deal with 3 very brutal nights on my own. One night I got 2 hours of broken sleep, got up to a broken coffee machine (I literally stood there and cried), and called Alex at work saying I was done with this sleep training crap and he was coming back to our bed.  I must add here that we were warned about sleep regressions during this period, but I didn’t think they would be this bad. Luckily Alex talked me off the ledge and our consultant made us a new plan to follow. The new plan worked wonders and we started again to see significant improvement with the amount of wake ups he was having and his ability to settle himself back to sleep.

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I am VERY VERY VERY happy to say that after 3 weeks of sleep training Jaxson is falling asleep on his own and is able to settle himself back to sleep at night. On average we are still up 2-3 times a night (which is a miracle!!!) and last night I was only up once with him!!! The times we are required to be up are super super quick and easy and he usually just requires us to lay him back down, give him a quick drink of water (his BiPAP dries him out) and untangle him from the air hose and he’s back out for another solid few hours.

Although it was a long few weeks of sleep training it is probably the best thing we have ever stuck out. I know I shouldn’t be, but once again I am amazed at how quick he caught on to sleeping. He learned so many new sleeping skills in such a short period of time. I honestly thought the whole process was going to be so much worse than what it was because we had a couple good years of bad sleeping habits under our belts.

And now that we have so much more time on our hands with a baby that goes to bed earlier and SLEEPS you can expect more blog posts!

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That Tongue

Every single special needs parent is guilty of this. I am 100% sure of this, because I am guilty of the same offence.

We have quite a large following on our instagram account, and I try to post at least one picture a day to appease Jaxson’s followers. Ask Alex how crazy I am when taking a choosing a photo to post….. I literally take 10 photos in the matter of a few seconds, I then scroll through them and choose the best one (Obviously). I’m looking for a nice smile, or clarity of the photo, or for Jax to have a good expression, but I’m also choosing a picture that makes him look ‘good’.

But to be honest Jaxson quite often has his tongue out of his mouth. More so when he’s teething, and he ALWAYS does it when he’s deep in concentration. But it’s out some times and I never post those pictures because I just LOATH the stereotypes of people with Down syndrome.

So here they are. Photos of my perfect son with his cute little tongue making an appearance, because it happens and we shouldn’t be ashamed!

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The Job I Was Never Going Back To

As most of you know I have worked in EMS since I was 18 years old. I spent 4 years working as an EMT and 9 years as a Paramedic. The last 2 years I have been off car and I became a stay at home mom. Needless to say it was a HUGE transition, but so so so necessary. Becoming a mom was my ‘out’ from EMS, or so I thought….

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Everything changes when you become a mom. I know you hear it time and time again, but it is so very true. For me, becoming a mom and distancing from the sick world of EMS totally changed my entire being. I started to develop feelings, I started to actually care about people, and I started to relax. I can honestly say the last 2 years have been stress free even with everything we have been through with Jaxson.

The longer I stayed out of EMS the more I grew terrified of going back. The thought of bringing my job, a bad call, or stress from the general crap we put up with – home to my child at the end of a shift was all it took to convince me I was done with being on car forever. I was comfortable and at peace with my decision.

Mid June I got a phone call from my old company I worked with when we lived up north (High Level), I was offered a couple weeks of work to fill in for vacancies. It took me about 10 seconds to reply with a ‘yes’ and 10.2 second for fear and nervousness to sink in. I almost instantly regretted my decision but decided tough it out because the money was so good.

The weeks of worry and nervousness leading up to going totally melted away the second I opened up my books to study. Being out of a job like EMS for 2 years is pretty much an eternity. I was sure that I would have no idea what I was doing and that thought alone was terrifying. I soon realized that it’s like riding a bike. All the knowledge and skills were just stored away in the back of my brain. As soon as I started reviewing, everything came flooding to the front, and I felt as if I just graduated paramedic school.

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I was so fortunate that Alex and Jaxson were able to come to High Level with me. That alone was a huge relief as I have never even spent a single night away from Jaxson, pretty sure an entire week would have killed me! Alex and Jax spent their days in High Level visiting friends and chilling at base when we weren’t on calls or flights.

The first day I felt like a fish in very shallow water. It was hard because I had forgotten the small logistical things about the company and that was super frustrating for me. Not to mention they switched from paper charting to an ePCR system while I was away, so that in itself felt a little overwhelming to learn. Despite the things I had forgotten I had remembered some of the craziest small things like codes to the safe or station codes for our paperwork, which totally surprised me.

By day 2 it felt like I had never been gone, let alone taken a 2 year break! It helped that I was working with old colleagues that I totally trust and respect. They were all super patient with me when I bothered them about the dumbest thing for the millionth time.

Overall the week was a total success. I can honestly say I loved every second of being back in it, having the uniform on, going on flights and calls, and feeling like I was using my brain again. Would I ever go back into EMS full time? HELL NO! Would I ever go back into EMS on a semi regular basis? HELL NO! The thing that made my week of work so amazing was the fact that it was 1 WEEK OF WORK. There was no going back after. There was no getting involved or dragged into drama. There was no stress about logistical decisions made by others. There was no anger about being run off my feet (which I never was). BECAUSE IT WAS ONE SINGLE WEEK. At the end of the week I was going home to resume my life as a stay at home mom and a small home business owner. I didn’t care about anything other than patient care and it felt amazing! I will definitely be throwing that uniform on again in the future and going back north to work for a week and make some extra money. Maybe in a few months 🙂

Another thing that made the week so awesome was that we were back north, in the small northern town we called home for 3 years. We spent a solid week with our friends, drinking coffee at our old stompin’ grounds, visiting the small gift shops in the town, and eating at all the places we frequented so often when we lived there. Not to mention the weather was absolutely gorgeous, as it always is in summer in the north.

It was a wonderful week but we are happy to be home and settled back into our normal.

Let mom life resume!

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A Surreal Second Gotcha Day

Here we are in the place it all began 2 years ago. So surreal to be back here and celebrating your second ‘gotcha day’ Jaxson! You have no clue what you put your moms through 2 years ago, but we will never forget. 2 years later we are here reminiscing about your crazy adoption. The panic, fear and pretty much sheer terror we felt as we waited for our flight home to meet you. We were so incredibly shocked, and excited. We already loved you so fiercely and had no idea who you were.

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It’s hard to believe that we have been a family for 2 years already. Sometimes it feels like it was only a couple months ago it all happened, but at the same time it feels like you have been our son forever and ever. We were all destined to be together!

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Thank you for 2 years of being the perfect little guy for us. The love, light, joy and happiness you have brought into our lives is indescribable. Every single day with you is a blessing and we will never take a single minute for granted because we know how many stars had to align to bring us together!

Today we celebrate the happiest day of our lives, but we must remember you have another mother who is grieving for you. Never ever forget the selfless gift she gave you and us. While we gained a son 2 years ago today, she lost a little boy. I can’t imagine the pain and grief she felt as she walked away from the hospital after signing those papers. Let’s celebrate today but remember there is also great loss and sadness tied to this important day.

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So here we are where it all began. Love that we can bring you here to celebrate this momentous day. Let’s go for a swim, go see the sharks at the reef, eat dinner out and see some giant fountains that dance to music! Let’s celebrate Vegas style!!

Happy gotcha day

Love you buddy ❤

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He Got The Memo

Some pretty incredible things have happened since Jaxson turned 2. It has honestly been the strangest thing ever. The first thing he did we joked that he knows he’s now a 2 year old and it’s time to do it. Then another thing happened, and another! It’s like this kid got the memo that he’s a little boy.

1: The first thing he did is by far the biggest. I hate that I am going to put this into words, and probably jinx the whole thing but I just can’t keep it in any longer! Jaxson has had some pretty big feeding issues since we started solids. Long story short, he will put EVERYTHING in his mouth, chew it, chew some more, get it to the point of swallowing, then he pushes it all to the front of his mouth and spits it out. Every single meal we put out solids (a whole variety) on his tray for him to ‘eat’. Every single meal he chews and spits his solids. Then when he’s ‘done’ we feed him a puree. You can imagine how frustrating it is to have your child chew and spit everything out EVERY.SINGLE.MEAL! Not to mention having to feed your 2 year old purees is a total pain in the ass. It got to the point where we had to have a feeding assessment done to see if there was a legitimate problem keeping him from swallowing (there’s not). Anyways, I sh!t you not he has CHEWED AND SWALLOWED everything since sunday!!! This is HUGE for him. Every meal we are still in shock of what he is doing. Now I have totally jinxed his eating…. lol

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2: Monday morning he had physical therapy, which he just loves (sense the overwhelming sarcasm!?). Every PT session his therapist tries to get him on one of those blow up bouncy horses. He flat out refuses. He wiggles, turns, and dives to get off of it. He wants non of that horse (we have one at home and he does the same). Again, I sh!t you not, he not only sat on that dang horse, but he BOUNCED on it. Holding the ears, feet flat on the ground, no one holding him to help balance, and jumped up and down!

3: Jaxson learned a new sign about 3 weeks ago ‘please’. When he learns a new sign he stores all of his other signs away and gets stuck on the new one for a couple weeks. Today all of his signs came back (yes, every single one came back today. Funny how that works). Thats not the big news though. Today he strung 2 signs together!! Alex asked him if he wanted water, Jaxson looked at her and signed ‘water please’! All on his own with no prompting to say the 2 words!

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So I guess our 2 year old got the memo that he is a little boy, and we couldn’t be more proud of the coincidental leaps and skills he is learning!

 

 

Happy Second Birthday Big Guy

Jaxson, I can’t believe we are celebrating your second birthday today! I feel like this year went quicker than your first year, I don’t know how thats possible!

We have had an amazing year haven’t we? We celebrated many milestones and firsts.

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This year you learned to crawl. It was amazing to watch you pull yourself across the floor trying to get the nailpolish last summer. We were all freaking out! Out of no where you decided that you wanted something and you were going to get it. Your pull slowly turned into being up on your arms and dragging your legs with your hips splayed behind you, that was funny to watch! Now you are up on all fours, and you’re stealthy and crazy fast! You are getting into everything, and we are encouraging every single moment of your mischievous independence.

This year you made giant leaps in communication (my favourite milestone!!). Just after you turned 1 you learned your first sign (milk). It took a while for more signs to catch, but now you are picking new ones up daily! You have learned that you can communicate using signs and you are super proud of yourself (SO YOU SHOULD BE!). I love when you ask for things, initiate communication and respond to our questions. YOU ARE SO SMART!

This year you picked up many many many funny quirks.

  • Your obsession with your feet, making people smell your feet, smelling your own feet, and having your feet the center of attention.
  • The toilet…. oh lordy keeping you away from that toilet is a full time job!!
  • Throwing your rings around the house, you could do it ALL day long
  • Making people do things like kiss eachother (You physically grab our ears and push me and your momma together) or hold hands. You have taken your love for love to a whole new level and it is AMAZING!
  • Fake crying…. you are a DRAMA QUEEN! You have now mastered your fake cry to make it sound like your hurt cry. We will come running and you turn to us with a giant grin, you little turd!
  • The head toss when you don’t want to do something (again, DRAMA QUEEN)
  • Another body part that you are obsessed with is your glorious belly. You don’t mind hiking up your shirt to show anyone and everyone.
  • You figured out that psyching people out is hilarious. Like going in for a kiss and pulling away last minute. Or handing us something like our phone or lip chap, and at the last minute tossing it in the opposite direction, and giving a little giggle

This year you developed such an amazing personality. You are hilarious, stubborn, sweet and very caring. You are kind and gentle, but you are also a little hulk when you want to be. You have become a real, little person this year and it has been wonderful to watch!

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This year you fought illness like a champ and managed to go a whole year without a hospital stay!! Well minus that reaction to the anesthetic when you got your ear tubes that earned you 1 overnight stay, but I don’t count that. I remember very vividly your pediatrician telling us when we had got to our breaking point with your hospital admissions to just hang tight and get through your first year. That you kiddos always have a rough first year and after that we will be fine. Boy was she right. Thank goodness! Thats not to say that we haven’t had our issues. Your severe sleep apnea diagnosis was a hard pill to swallow, although not a surprise. You crushed BiPAP and we are all starting to have more and more restful nights.

We have had one amazing year together buddy. From snow days to a beach vacation. From your own room, to co-sleeping, to back to your crib. From crushing milestones to stubbornly refusing to do things.

Thank you for another wonderful year of being our son. Every day with you is a perfect one. Come rain or shine, sickness or health, you make every day the best day ever. Keep on being your wonderful, silly, stubborn, strange self because YOU ARE PERFECT!

So today we celebrate your second birthday, we celebrate YOU and all your perfection. Today is YOUR day little man!

Happy second birthday big guy!

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Birthday Party Hesitations

We are 1 week away from celebrating Jaxson’s second birthday. I can’t believe that soon we will have a 2 year old, where has time gone!?

This past weekend we threw Jaxson a birthday party with much hesitation for a couple reasons. With Alex back to work full time, finishing up a few classes, and starting up a business venture on the side, the party was left to me. Let’s not kid ourselves, the party would be on me regardless of the circumstances!! Well I HATE entertaining and planning events. It’s so not my thing, I don’t enjoy it, and it’s just so much work for a couple hours. I will never ever even attempt to keep up with the ‘mom wars’ when it comes to the birthday parties!

I decided to ‘mom-up’ and have a party for this little guy (even if it was half assed!). Our other hesitations about throwing a party was because of Jaxson.

People with Down syndrome process situations and things very differently than you or I would. They process slower and it takes longer for them to take it in and react. Jaxson definitely struggles when it comes to busy environments and situations. A lot of the time if we have him somewhere overwhelming he completely shuts down. It’s almost like he becomes a zombie. Blank stare, mouth open, and no reactions. Usually once he processes everything, he warms up and begins to interact. Depending on the situation that could take over half and hour for him.

The last thing we wanted to do was throw him a party and have him be completely overwhelmed (especially with a lot of the attention being on the birthday boy) and not enjoy himself. He has been getting better over the last 6 months coping with busy environments so we decided to give it a go!

Saturday afternoon Jax woke up from his afternoon nap in a foul mood. He lost it over putting his clothes on, lost it about putting shoes on, lost it about going in his car seat, you get the picture. To top it off he’s been battling a weird sickness over the week and still hasn’t fully recovered. On our way to the venue we both said that the next couple hours was going to be a complete disaster.

Not only was it not a disaster, he completely blew us away with how well he did! For the first half of the party we had the use of a gym with all the balls, mats, hoola hoops, and scooter boards you could ask for. We had about 15 kids come and about 15 adults (this would normally be WAY too much for Jaxson). Well he LOVED every second of it! He was crawling around the gym, doing his own thing, he would stop and throw his hands in the air as if he knew the day was all about him and he was the star of the show. He ate it up!!

A few times we noticed him starting to get overwhelmed with the situation, what he did totally blew us away. Each time it got to be too much for him, he would crawl away and go sit by himself for a few minutes. He would watch, and take it all in. Once he was ready to rejoin the fun, he would crawl over to a group of his choosing and get right back into the action. We watched him do this on several occasions and couldn’t believe it. So proud of the coping skills he has learned over the last few months. Just shows his level of maturity at the age of 2!

After the gym we had snacks and cake. Jaxson also handled this part remarkably well and enjoyed socializing with all the adults. We thought for sure he would melt down when we were singing ‘happy birthday’ (He get’s super embarrassed when ALL the attention is on him and will melt down). He also did VERY well with this part. He smashed his hand into the cake when we were singing, but of coarse didn’t have a single bite of cake after that.

I do need to add that he had a hilarious (yes I’m a bad mom) melt down when we put the party hat on him. Made for awesome pictures! hahaha.

 

All in all we had a great day and went home beaming from ear to ear with pride for our boy. He did amazing and handled himself so well. Couldn’t be more proud of our almost 2 year old!