Friday, April 27, 2012

16 months old!

Madison is 16 months old tomorrow!!!

I thought I would share some of the things she is doing and the numerous things we are working on these days!

I was a little late getting into the pediatricians office for her 15 month check up....but, as of 10 days ago, she weighed 21 lb. 1 oz.  and was 29 1/2 in. tall.  She is basically in the 90% on the Down syndrome charts for both.  She is getting to be SO BIG!  Now that she is so active, her rolls of fat on her arms and legs are getting smaller and she is starting to slim down and look more like a toddler, instead of a baby.

She is a cruising machine!!!  She cruises up and down both directions, around corners and is starting to step over objects to get to something she wants.

Check out my shirt!!!!!

A few weeks ago, she started signing her first few words.  She signs eat, more, milk, all done, cat, baby and "somewhat" mama.  Mama and Daddy tend to be the same, but at least she gets the concept of doing it.  For speech therapy, we are trying to focus on a couple of words each week to add to her signing vocabulary.

Nothing is really new on the actual speech category.  She babbles the sounds: da, ba, ga, ra.  But, that is about it.  I desperately want her to make the "ma" sound.  Of course it is because I want her to call me "mama".  But, I just want her to make a different sound then the same sounds.  I get kind of scared that she is never going to speak.  I know that I am being silly and that she will learn to speak.....but, I just want to see some sort of glimpse that we are headed in the right direction.

She is doing fabulous at imitating how to play with a toy!  You can show her a new toy, demonstrate it once, and she will repeat it!  This cognitive concept has just kind of taken off the last couple of weeks!

I love my babies!


She is FINALLY drinking from a straw cup!  We have been working on this concept since she was 10 months old.  She started sucking from it when she was 11 months old but it has taken another 4-5 months to figure out what to do with the liquid once it is in her mouth.  About a week ago, she actually drank 6 oz. of milk from the straw during one sitting!  Maybe this means we can slowly faze out the bottles?!?!

Madi LOVES to eat!  She is not a fan of fruit.....I think it's a texture thing because she will eat it in a pureed form.  She is basically a carb and protein kind of gal.  She loves toast with peanut or almond butter on it!  She would eat it every single meal if I let her.  Vegetables are tolerated......but, I have gotten her to eat asparagus twice now!

Madi and her sister adore each other!!!  Now that Madi is mobile, the two of them like to "chase" each other and play hide n seek around the kitchen island.  I can only imagine the craziness that our house will be once Madi starts walking!  Speaking of walking......she will take about 3 steps behind a walker toy pushing it and then she plops down to her behind.  I think she gets so excited that she is doing it and then she realizes, "Holy cow, I am walking!  I better sit down!!!"

Now that Madi is on the thickened liquids, her health seems to be a little bit better!!  I think that her body was constantly compromised because of the aspiration and now her immune system is a little bit stronger and can handle the germs she is exposed to.  Unfortunately, she has terrible allergies right now so she is back to having a runny nose and difficulty breathing.  Hopefully, that will end soon.

And because it is also "Flashback Friday", here is a picture of Madi on this day one year ago!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Old Friends and New Friends

I am a little late with this post.....but two weekends ago, we had a fabulous weekend hanging out with some old friends and meeting new ones.

Friends of ours that moved away two years ago are back.......well, not really, but they are back very frequently right now, as they are having another baby!  They want to have their 2nd child in the comfort of their old hospital and OB/GYN, so we get to see them on a fairly frequent basis for doctor's visits!

It was soooo great to see Amanda and Grace!!  Grace is 4 months older than Taylor and the two girls were like "two peas in a pod" when they lived here.

When they saw each other, it was like no time had passed!  The two of them were quickly running around, having the time of their life!!!


The next day, we met some new friends from the blogging world!

Laura and Ben, from Ben's Blessings: Our Journey with Down syndrome and ACC were in town.  Ben is 15 months, just 2 weeks shy of Madi.  

It is so much fun to meet another family that has a child with Down syndrome that is the same age as Madi!!  We look forward to meeting the whole family when they come back this summer!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Loss of Loved Ones

You're probably thinking that this post is about the loss of a family member......that is a person.  It IS about the loss of a family member......but that family member is two of our cats.

Yes, I am a cat person.

I know some of you reading this probably don't care for cats.....but I ADORE them!!!  

To give you a little history of my cats.....

We have always been the crazy Cat Hair House!  (Hence, my email address....cathairhouse@)  For the last 7 years or so, we have had 3 cats.  Two of them I had before Mark even entered the picture.  Charlie found me when I was living in Phoenix, shortly after graduating college.  Someone had abandoned him and the animal lover that I am.....I took him right in.  Being the broke flight instructor that I was, I could barely afford gas in my car but I took Charlie Bear in and gave him all the love a cat could ever want.

Mr. Charlie Bear

When I got hired at my first airline job, I felt so bad that Charlie was by himself for several along came Kosmo.  He's our fluff ball Main Coone cat.

Kosmo, otherwise known as Fluff Ball

And then there is Celeste.....Mark and I went to buy some cat food at a pet store when we were living in Minnesota, and Mark, the sucker other animal lover that he is, could NOT leave without bringing her home with us.

Pretty Girl Celeste

So, now that you have the history of how we got them, here comes the beginning of the sad news.

Charlie was very old.  I had him for 16 years but he was 3-4 years old when I got him.  He has been the cat of 1000 lives!!!  The week that Mark and I got married, he had to have major surgery (changed his plumbing to be a girl's plumbing.....I know, I know).  There have been several times over the last few years that we thought it was going to be his time to go.  But, he always seemed to bounce back.  Over the last year, though, his weight got lower and lower.  We knew it was just a mater of time.

Out of the blue about two months ago, Celeste started looking thinner.  She has always been this short, very, very fat cat.  So, when I say thinner, she was actually looking healthy for the first time since we got her.  Even though she looked healthy, we knew something was probably wrong.  Took her in, her blood work indicated cancer.  We then had an abdominal ultrasound done on March 21st, it showed a very large tumor on her right kidney.  We decided we couldn't afford to do chemo for her so we just tried to make her comfortable.  7 days later, on March 28th, she began foaming at the mouth and just laid in her own pool of diarrhea.  I took her in and basically, the cancer had taken over her body.  I made the decision to not let her suffer and we euthanized her.

Since her passing, we have missed her presence tremendously.  She was not a cat that demanded your attention, but when she gave you her love, it was so sweet.

So, here we have been trying to move on with 2 cats now.

For the last 10 days or so, Charlie seemed to be getting thinner and thinner.  He basically was just a skeleton with skin and cat hair on it.  He had a few days of hiding and sleeping but then he "bounced" back and was actually pretty frisky!  This last Monday, he barely could walk.  When he did walk, he stumbled and his back legs couldn't seem to keep up with his front legs.  I spent the entire morning with him....cuddling him, kissing him and trying to decide if this was "the" time.

I took him to the vet and she said his body was starting to shut down.  His heart had developed a murmur, his liver was very large and she thought his heart was starting to fail.  She has always been a vet that would offer me "something else" to help keep him going.  But, this time, she said that it was "time".

Mr. Charlie Bear passed away in my arms and since then, my heart has been broken in two.

I know that some people won't understand this......"he was just an animal" right?  But, he wasn't.  He was my baby.  My first baby.  He was my "rock" through many tough times in my life.  He was the stability that I always had.  He loved me no matter what was going on through my life.

So, now we have this very, very quiet house....with the exception of the howling and crying that our other cat, Kosmo, does.  Kosmo and Charlie were together for 15 years.  He is mourning the loss of his companion just as much as I am.  He has been very needy and upset since Celeste passed away but now it is at a whole new level.

These last 3 pictures were taken during our cuddling time on Monday.  He was such a good looking cat!!!  His markings were gorgeous!

I miss my Charlie Bear sooo much!!!!

I know that it will get better.......but, right now, it hurts to be at home and to listen to the silence.

I love you Charlie!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pancakes & Pajamas Easter Party!

The weekend before Easter I threw the girls a Pancakes and Pajamas Easter Party!  We invited a couple of their girl friend's over for pajamas, pancakes, crafts and dying eggs!

It was kind of a spur of the moment decision to do it.  My mom suggested it about 10 days prior and quickly the wheels were in motion!  I am so glad that I did it.......I am all about creating wonderful memories for the girls!  I hope that we can keep this tradition and it will be something that they cherish as they grow older!

Taylor was so excited for the party!!!  For several days prior, she would wake up asking, "Is today my Easter party?!?!"  So, when the day finally arrived, this is how she was................

.........not so patiently waiting for her guests to arrive!

The girls had a lot of fun!!!

Pancakes and chocolate milk were a must......

Followed by making Easter bonnets!  I have to admit, I got this idea from Kelle Hampton.  She had a tea party for Nella and they made very similar type of hats.

Beaded necklaces are a must for a girl with a bonnet!!!

Trying to gather 8 little girls for a picture with their hats on......well, I think it might be easier to herd up a round of cats!  Half of them didn't want to wear the hat, Madi just broke hers, Taylor was making faces.  Yes, I think it is easier to herd cats!!!!

But, an Easter party is not complete without dying some eggs!!

I think the girls had a great time!!!

Taylor showing Kosmo-cat!