Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dancing Ladybugs

A really cool thing happened yesterday and I just have to share.

I was going through our digital camera and came across a cute video of Joaquin playing with his new Dancing Ladybug music box and I was watching and listening to it on the camera with Diego and Mateo on our couch. Joaquin was at my feet and seemed to be listening too. Then, he went crawling off with a purpose and crawled half way across the living room floor and around to the fireplace where we keep a lot of his toys. The Dancing Ladybug music box is one of many toys stored there and Joaquin went directly to it and started to play with it. It was AWESOME! He completely understood what he was listening to on the camera and decided that he wanted to play with it after hearing it.

Isn't that cool?

Here is the video we were watching...

There is a very sweet story about the Dancing Ladybug music box. A few weeks ago we were visiting with our dear friends Natasha and Stephan in San Francisco and they have a beautiful daughter named Avila. We had the pleasure of hanging out and playing with the kids and Joaquin discovered Avila's music box. Natasha wound it up for him and set it down and it was so precious. Joaquin watched and listened with such focus. Then he did his little head tilt and started doing his little wiggle dance to the music. It was a sweet moment and I had thought to myself that I would have to find something like that for Joaquin. We left San Francisco and our friends and it wasn't until the following day that I needed to get something out of my purse. Lo and behold, in my purse was the Dancing Ladybug music box. Natasha and Stephan had somehow snuck it in my purse so that Joaquin could have it. Thank you again for such a lovely surprise. Joaquin LOVES his music box from Avila.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Signing Times

Joaquin is communicating via sign language and it's so darn cute.

His favorite is "more" and "all done" always followed by his clapping applause and huge grin. He has other ways of communicating that he wants "milk" and it's more of a head tilt towards mama's chest rather than the actual hand sign for milk. He is also verbalizing more with purposeful sounds. He will also dance on command. His favorite is when he has had enough of his brother Mateo and he pushes him away with a big grunt sound that I'm sure will become "NO!"

It's wonderful to see his communication skills blossom and I'm hopeful that he will be able to make his needs known by signing before he can talk. We are also supposed to be using a communication board with the words "yes", "no", "maybe" and "I don't know" on them but we haven't gotten in the habit of using this yet. It's not as easy to incorporate this into our daily routine. Signing is just so easy and natural for me but I can see where having the ability to use the communication board would also be very helpful as he gets older.

Here are some photos of Joaquin playing and cheering, one his favorite things to do these days!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby Food, Inc.

On Sunday, I spent the day with Lisa and made baby food for our little boys. It was so much fun. I don't know why I never did this with my other two guys! It was much easier than I had imagined. Here is Lisa's post with pictures.

Could be an exciting business adventure?!?

Thank you again Lisa for showing me the ropes and how fun and rewarding it can be to make homemade babyfood. Now I just wish I had a bigger freezer!

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Human beings are not better off without Down syndrome."

"I live in a nice house in the country, I keep five horses and as a family we are comfortably off. For all these things people envy me. But I have a child with Down’s syndrome and for that, people pity me. And I am here to say: wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I am not to be pitied but to be envied."

These are some quotes from an article published in the UK Times by sportswriter Simon Barnes back in November of 2006. It's titled I'm not a saint, just a parent.

It's written with that great British humor and wit. If you get a chance, please read it. I love it. Thank you Sharon and Laurie for sharing it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Three's a Charm and Four is...


No way!

We have a new baby in the house!!! Well, at least for 4 days out of the week.

I am currently babysitting a 12 week old baby boy named Joey and he is the cutest, sweetest thing! He is so tiny next to Joaquin. All of a sudden my baby boy looks HUGE! Joey also happens to be blessed with a little something extra so it's my privilege and pleasure to help raise him while his mom and dad are working. I hope this is the beginning of a life long friendship for Joaquin and for our families.

It has been a really smooth transition so far and the boys love little "Joe-Joe." When Diego wakes up in the morning, he searches the house to see if the baby is here yet. Mateo said he loved him today. Joaquin is mesmerized by him. I will say the biggest challenge is loading and unloading the car, thank goodness I have a minivan!

We look forward to watching baby Joey grow and develop and thrive. He's ADORABLE. Check out his huge eyes! He's so inquisitive and alert. He's even rolled from his belly to back for me on his first day here and it looks like he is ready to roll from his back to his belly next. Go Joey!!!!!

I was secretly hoping that by taking care of Joey that my urge for more babies would be cured. I'm afraid not! Going from 3 to 4 boys is not so bad! Bring it on!.....No worries Hector....I'm all talk!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our Own T21 Afghan

It came in the mail yesterday.

Our very own T21 Afghan made just for Joaquin.

He loves it and so do I. The colors are gorgeous, they compliment his nursery bedding (and his eyes!). Thank you so much Chandos for sharing your talent with us. We love it and look forward to staying cozy and cuddling in it for years to come.

We can't wait to get the "official" afghan sometime this summer.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

It was a perfect Mother's Day. Joaquin took his very first bike ride today in the chariot next to Mateo and pulled by his Papa. Mama got the afternoon off to ride with her girlfriends and view the David Lubin Garden Tour in East Sacramento. Later on, after dinner with Nana, Grandpa and Aunt Sarah, we went bowling. Another first for Joaquin. He loved the music, the sounds, the bowling ball, the pins, everything. Joaquin stayed up way past his bed time, red eyes and all, so as not to miss a thing! It was a really full and beautiful day. Thank you God for blessing me with my family. Being a mother has always been a dream of mine, something I knew I always wanted to be since I was a very little girl. Today is a great reminder that I am living the life I dreamed of...I'm a MOM!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

I just got finished feeding Joaquin his breakfast and I thought I would share what he had today.

He nursed around 7 am right when he woke up and then spent the morning playing with his brothers. Yes! He actually plays with Diego and Mateo! In fact, this morning Mateo played "catch" with him by rolling a ball back and forth on the floor for about 30 minutes while I helped Diego with his homework. At 8:30 am, I fed Joaquin his breakfast. I mixed a jar of warm organic applesauce with a couple tablespoons of brown rice cereal, a teaspoon of flaxseed meal, a teaspoon of coconut oil, a few pinches of cinnamon and his morning supplements (Kyo-Dophilus, Folacal, and B12) ground up and mixed so he doesn't notice them. He gobbled it up and finished it off with some water from an open cup and now he is back to playing on the floor with his brothers.

A breakfast of champions! Now...if only his mom would eat as healthy in the morning!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

1st Anniversary

One year ago today, we got the call from our pediatrician telling us that our three month old son tested positive for Trisomy 21. It's a day I will never forget and a day that will always hold a special place in my heart. It's the day my life changed forever. What a difference a year makes. One year has passed and the fear of the unknown is gone. The misconceptions have been replaced with stories of hope. The beauty of imperfection has been embraced. We truly feel blessed with the gift of our son.

Today, Joaquin also woke up with his two front teeth. They have broken the surface. It's been at least 9 months since he got his first two teeth on the bottom, now these two will join the others to make a total of 4 teeth! Thank goodness they have broken the surface. He has had some sleepless nights due to the pain. For weeks his top gum was swollen and red. Soon his smile will change. That infectious, joyful smile will be filled with his pearly whites. Stay tuned for pictures!

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

Happy May Day! Spring has sprung. I have a feeling this season will be full of new beginnings.

Here is our gang on Easter at my brother Zach's apartment. Diego (6), Mateo (4) and Joaquin (1) love to hang out and play with their cousins Jolie (1) and Jillian (2 1/2).