The Boys

The Boys

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I Wouldn't Change a Thing

If there was a magic wand that could take away Ben's Down syndrome, (which there isn't) I don't think I would use it.  Would I like to make life easier for Ben?  You bet.  Would I like to take away all the people who will hurt him over his lifetime?  In a second.  But I don't want to take away that special something that makes Ben who he is. He is a silly, active, inquisitive, dancing, giggling, ornery little boy, who has made our family so much better by being exactly who he is.  I love him just the way he is. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dreams really do come true.

Many parents who receive a New diagnosis of down syndrome go through a period of morning. They are mourning the loss of the child they thought they were going to have. We were no different.

Even the doctors tried to paint a bleak picture. A picture of a child who might noy even make it to term, might not speak, might not be able read, and might have severe intellectual disabilities.

After coming to terms with the diagnosis and doing our morning, we started to build new hopes and new dreams for our young son. Those dreams included speaking, reading, walking, running, and playing with his peers, etc.  It didn't take long for Ben to exceed our expectations.

So now the new dreams are remarkably close to the original dreams we gave up on. For the last two years Ben has been playing T-ball with his typical classmates. This year those classmates moved up to coach pitch baseball. We were on the fence trying to decide if we should allow Ben to try to play with his classmates or play another year of t- ball. Looking back I don't know why even trying seemed so scary.  We signed him up for t-ball. 
A few weeks later we got a call from one of the coaches who wanted Ben on his team. He really felt strongly about keeping the 1st grade boys together on one team. 
We are now 4 or 5 practices into the season and the first scrimmage was Saturday. Here's a clip of Ben at bat. 

What do you think? Did we make the right decision? Does it matter that he got out? Or is the most important thing that he really had fun playing baseball?

I admit to feeling pretty bad about not advocating for Ben when I should have. It's took another parent to stand up and tell me yes Ben can do this and we will help him be successful. 

So to all the parents who have little ones or just received a new diagnosis, keep dreaming. You never know how much potential your child has until you let them try. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Santa Won't Be Able to Top This One

Saturday was the seventh grade year end basketball tournament.  Once a year we generally induldge Ben and let him where his referee jersey to a basketball tournament. Every game he pretends to be a referee and runs up and down in the bleachers using signs and "helping" them with calls. He hangs out close to where they generally take balls out on the sideline just hoping one of the reps will talk to him or maybe let him hold the ball. 

On Saturday we arrived a little late to the game, and had missed the first quarter. At halftime, I noticed that Ben had gone down to the referees all by himself to introduce himself and shake their hands. They thought it was so cute that he had on his referee uniform and were talking to him about it.  Soon I  heard one of them say, "hey Pal, you are missing something".  I thought "Dear Lord No!  Don't be reaching in your bag for a whistle"!  Sure enough he pulled out a brand new official referee whistle along with a lanyard and gave it to Ben. He was on cloud nine. You couldn't wipe the smile off his face.

Soon the game was about to restart and I was worried about how we were going to keep Ben from blowing the whistle during the rest of the game, or the other three games after that one.  I thought I would give him a chance and just told him not to blow it, to see what he would do. I was amazed at his impulse control. At first he did not blow it at all. Later, he would wait until the refs blew their whistle for an actual call and then he would very quietly, blow a tiny little whistle.  It was pretty cute. 

Even as cool as that whistle was, it was not as important to Ben as the boys on the team.  When one of the players got hurt, he quickly handed me the whistle and his skittles and rushed down to check on the player.  He sat with his arm around the boy, until he made sure everything was going to be okay.

Soon the game was over and Ben had gave me his whistle again so he should go shake hands with the rest of the players. He followed the team out of the gym and was holding hands with Noah. I told Noah that I needed to go to the restroom and that he needed to keep an eye on Ben. When I came out of the restroom there was a full-scale search going on as Noah did not pay attention to Ben. We finally found him sitting up on the stage of the other gym next to his favorite referee Mrs. Kuhlman.

Since we had time between games, Randy decided he needed to run to the bank, so he took Ben with him while I sat and watched the other Elmwood Murdock team play.  Just after halftime I looked down and noticed Ben was sitting next to the referee who had given him the whistle. I looked around for Randy and couldn't find him anywhere. I sent him a text and said, "Did you lose anyone?"  Sure enough a few minutes later Randy came running in the gym slightly frantic. The one thing we realized from this whole thing, is that if Ben does get lost at a basketball game, he will find the first referee and latch onto them, which is good.

But the excitement was not over for the day. There were so many junior high boys out for basketball this year, they split the b and c  teams into two even teams. Both teams won their brackets and played each other for the final.  The very nice referees realized that we were from the home team and devised a plan to let Ben help with the jump ball, and get to blow his whistle for real at the start of the game. At first Ben was a little confused, because he knows that when games start, he supposed to go sit down.  But the very nice referee held his hand and together they started the game. It was a very fun game and a great way to end the season. After a whole lot of smack talk amongst teammates, Noah's team did come out on top.

I am sure that Ben will be excited by Christmas. However, I don't think it will come anywhere close to the excitement on Saturday, when he got his first real whistle and was able to blow it in a real game.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Signing Time Christmas DVD

Want to get something for your little one that will be fun for them and educational too?  If you have not tried Signing Time yet, now is a great time with the introduction of the new Signing Time Christmas DVD.  I have played it last weekend at a craft fair and it was really drawing in all the little kids.  If you don't know, Signing Time is a sign language program for hearing children.  For Babies, sign language can help them communicate before they are physically ready for speech.  When your child is older and maybe already speaking, signing along with speech helps kids build a larger vocabulary.   For school age children, sign language can help kids learn information faster, retain it better and improve literacy.  With all these bonuses, why wouldn't you want to sign with your kids?

Today and tomorrow you can get the new 2 disc Signing Time Christmas DVD that has both secular and sacred play options, for just $24.99.  On Tuesday, November 18th, the price will go up to $39.99.
So don't delay, order yours today! Click here to start shopping. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Birthday!

It is official!  My hubby is old!  
To help him celebrate, I made a little poster to take to his work.  Randy's parents gave him the balloons and a few other over the hill items to make the display complete.  He is not one to do much to celebrate big days, but he was a good sport about the poster.   Now to keep Noah and Ben out of the candy!
Happy Birthday, Big Fella!

Sorry the poster is so hard to read.  It says.  Turning another year older is nothing to "Sinicker" about, Do you feel like a "Butterfinger"?  Does your mind play "Twix" on you?  Do your bones "Krackel and Crunch".  Don't worry, we still think you are worth "100 Grand".  We love you to the "Milky Way" and Back.  So celebrate "Extra".  Love your "Smarty" pants wife, and little "Air Heads"


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Support Down Syndrome Research and Get Great Educational Products at the Same Time!

October is also Down syndrome awareness month. As a mother of a child with Down syndrome and a Barefoot Books Ambassador and Signing Time Instructor, this topic is near and dear to my heart.  Signing Time and Barefoot Books have played a huge roll in Ben's life.  Signing Time helped teach him to read before he turned three and Barefoot Books help keep him interested in reading.    To help give back, during the entire month of October 2014, I will donated a portion of my online and in person sales from ABC Barefoot Kids  and ABC Signing Kids to the LuMind Foundation for Down Syndrome Cognition Research (formerly DSRTF).

So why Down Syndrome research? In August 2014, our local Down syndrome support group, welcomed a special guest at our parent's night out event.    William C. Mobley is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at UCSD. He also serves as Executive Director of UCSD's Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment. and the Florence Riford Chair of Alzheimer Disease Research.   At this event Dr. Mobley shared with us some news of his fascinating research and let us know just how close we are to having a drug available to help prevent Alzheimer's not only in the Down syndrome population, but in the general population as well.  It helped me to realize just how much research is going on that will benefit our kids, and how much funding is needed to help keep this research on track. 
I chose the Lumind foundation because it supports lots of different research opportunities to benefit the Down syndrome community. 
The LuMind Foundation founders are committed to opening doors for people with Down syndrome. They established the LuMind Foundation in 2004 to identify and fund the most promising lines of cognitive development research.
So if you would like to join me in supporting Down syndrome research and could use some award winning children's books or Sign Language DVD's, Books, or Flashcards  to help fuel you child's passion for reading or to help them communicate before they are ready to speak, please use one of the following links to start shopping now: