Friday, November 27, 2015

Summer in a Nutshell - Yes, in November.

I just feel this need to post these pictures that I've had from the summer that I never shared. Being on maternity leave for the whole summer was perfect. And with Kendall being such an easy baby, we were able to stay very active and social.

My parents recently put their beach house on the market this summer so we tried to spend as much time down there as we could. We have loved that place. It has been a peaceful retreat for years and years and a quiet, private place that we have enjoyed often. We were sad to see it go but the constant storm damage was just becoming too much for my parents to handle. I am glad that I was able to take Kendall down there a few times before it was sold.
The bond that these 2 have already is amazing. It's what I had hoped it would be. And I hope it remains that way. There are going to be many times when Kendall will need Deuce. And I hope that we are laying the groundwork for that relationship and those needs down the road.
I am proud of Deuce and his curiosity about our new Down Syndrome world. His teachers have told us that he has something special. That he gravitates towards the kids with special needs and developmental disabilities. That he's friends with everyone. He sounds a lot like my husband to me. And that a trait that I'm thankful he got from Ed.
We spent a lot of time over the summer with friends. Introducing Kendall to his new environment. We are so thankful for friends and family and the tremendous amount of support we have received.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Summer of Sports - H & Deuce

Parenting is hard.
Little boys are hard.
Teenage boys are hard.
I'm sure there's something to be said for little girls but I have no clue.
Never will, lol.
Unless my sister has all girls.
Which will probably happen.
But even then she'll have to deal with all the drama and periods.
She'll get to buy all of the cute dresses and shoes,
While I'm over here washing all the stinky socks and sports gear.
But these two boys....
There is something special about their friendship.
And I think it comes from our friendship as parents and how closely aligned our philosophies are.
So here is to our summer of sports and all of the seasons that will follow with these 2 as teammates.
Can't leave out little bro. He might be the biggest of them all.
The boys participated in a Triathlon this summer.
Swim, Bike, Run
I had no idea how it would go.
Deuce took swim lessons at summer camp at the Y.
But I was still nervous for him to swim without a floatie for the race.
I was afraid he would get too nervous with everyone screaming and cheering for him.
Afterall, he did cry on his first 2 birthdays with everyone staring at him singing "Happy Birthday."
I know how he is and although I offered his float to him before he started, he looked at me like "Really, mom?" I still brought it.
He took off and I couldn't believe the determination he had.
And how fast he swam.
And how he swam the first half free style and then finished off with lord knows what kind of variation of the breast stroke. Where did this kid come from?
He decided 2 weeks before the race that it was time for 2 wheels on a bike only. And he is so stubborn - not sure where he got that from ;) - that he didn't really want much help. If he fell or lost his balance it was somehow my fault. I was in the way. Fine boy. Go ahead and figure it out on your own. That seems to be my motto a lot these days with him. It's raining you need a jacket. Don't run on wet concrete. You're going to miss the bus if you don't get your tail in gear. Okay, you'll figure it out the hard way. You know...

 So I kept telling him to practice every day so he would be confident. I was still afraid he would fall off during the race. Especially in crocs and a wet bathing suit. The kid totally hates being wet and hates not wearing socks (unless he's swimming) so I was waiting for the meltdown between swimming and biking about how he couldn't change clothes. But to my surprise he didn't say a word.
He only had to run one lap around the open field and I've obviously seen him do that plenty of times because he likes to is always.running. 
The finish line.
Heart swell.
He placed very high in his age. But I didn't tell him. And he never asked. He just wanted to play on the playground with Harrison. He had fun. He knew we were proud of him. And that was all that mattered to me.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Friendship Blessings

One of the things I had heard about having a kid with Down syndrome was how you may lose some friends over time. I'm not really sure what the reasoning is behind that but I couldn't imagine how that could happen. Seriously, someone would stop being my friend because my kid was a little different? Maybe that's not what was meant. Maybe they meant people won't understand us anymore. I don't know. It doesn't seem plausible but I suppose it could happen. We had only told a few people about Kendall before he was born. Several of my best friends had no clue.
Why didn't we tell anyone about Kendall? A totally valid question. I think first I had to figure it out on my own. My feelings, that is. I had to grieve what was no longer my perfect pregnancy. Then I had to get to the point where I could talk about it without crying. That was the hardest part. I didn't want to seem sad or feel ashamed of my baby so I didn't want to talk about it because I knew it would lead to me crying and that would give the absolute wrong impression of what I wanted. I also didn't want people to feel sorry for me. I haven't been fearful of losing my friends but I don't want the pity looks either. I didn't (and still don't) want people's response to me to be "I'm so sorry" when I tell someone he has Down syndrome. Dude, why are you sorry - that's what I want to say. He is amazingly adorable. There is nothing to be sorry about. But I have prepared myself for this so it hasn't stung too bad -yet. I just try to put myself back to a year ago when I had no clue about this world and what I would say if someone told me their kid had DS. I totally might have said, "Aww I'm sorry." I get it. You don't know what you don't know.
And good God yes, please keep praying for us. I will take every single prayer that anybody will throw at me. But do me a favor and pray for my sanity due to the fact that I have a house full of rowdy boys, not simply because God blessed me with this baby. One of my co-workers, who is also a DS mom of an 18 year old, told me recently, "You may not feel it now but on some days you will feel like you got the golden ticket with Kendall." She went on to say, "I feel like that almost every day." This really resonated with me. I am the lucky one who gets to experience something that most never will. Maybe I should feel sorry for everyone else? Because I can tell you, this whole new world of people I've been exposed to over the last 3 months is AH-MAZING! It's like I'm part of the DS Illuminati or something. Maybe I will have Ed write a rap song about it.
Over the years we have been blessed with a lot of friends. And I mean that as in the 'we are so fortunate to have so many friends' kind of way. Our town is small. And both of our families are from this same small town. Ed's family goes back several generations in Chapel Hill and mine since my Uncle Wally came to UNC back in the sixties, which is how my mom ended up here in a round-about way. There are a lot of pluses to the fact that Ed and I went to high school together, like how we have had a lot of the same friends since we were kids. And we have been really fortunate to meet a lot of new friends along the way. Our work friends, people that have moved to the area, and some of our dearest friends from our time in Greensboro. There is something to be said about friends who are there for you every second that you need them. And you all have shown up in droves. My kids are so lucky to have you all in their lives.
On Sunday, October 11th, we will be participating in our first Buddy Walk with the Triangle Down Syndrome Network. I signed us up for the walk and registered us as a team, "Kendall's Kruisers." Part of this process allows you to create a fundraising page to raise monies for the TDSN to support programs in the Triangle for people with DS. You can visit our page HERE. I decided this would be how we would announce to our friends via Facebook that Kendall has DS. The support we have received, whether it be words of encouragement, cards, or money donated to our team, has been beyond overwhelming. Friends that we haven't seen or actually spoken to in years have donated. Friends of friends have donated. We have been blown away with how many people are supporting us on our journey to be the best parents we can for Kendall. Comments to my blog have left me crying happy tears that I have so many friends who care about me and my family. This experience has been amazing. And it has only been 3 months. So thank you. All of you. Every single person who has thought of us, called us, donated to us. You are encouraging us and you are pushing us to be the best parents we can be. You are appreciated and we love you.

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