Seth – 20 months old

I realized that SO much has changed for Seth in the last month, and I haven’t shared on my blog! It is AMAZING the growth I have seen in him!

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1) 4-point crawling is now his default mode of travel! He started his first 4-point crawl at the beginning of September, when he was in the nursery at Awana! I was in there with him, and he got up on his hands and knees, crawled 4 spaces, signed milk, and said, “Please!” It was SO incredible! I was SO excited!!

After that, he would revert back to the belly sliding most of the time and I was getting rather discouraged, but one funny story about that is that I would tell him “get up on your knees” and he would for a pace or two, then drop back down. After about a week of that, I would say, “Get up on your knees, Seth!” and he would laugh and start belly crawling away faster! He is such a little stinker bug!!

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I was getting a little discouraged again, (why do I always do that to myself!?), so I started “making him” crawl on his knees up and down the hallway, like I did when he was first learning how to make forward motion. This time was a little more challenging though, for as soon as I would get in front of him to encourage him forward, he would drop back down onto his belly and scoot. Eventually, after several days of multiple times up and down the hallway, he gave up the belly crawling for the much faster mode of 4-point crawling. He’ll still drop down on his belly at times, especially if it is a nice slick floor (he’s NO dummy!), and “glide” across the floor at top speed!

3) Seth is now pulling up on EVERYTHING, including the coffee table, bar stools, chairs, laundry baskets, toys, beds, mats, etc! He is now cruising along any surface, and passing back and forth between items!

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He has learned the fine art of climbing from place to place, including the stairs. On Sunday, he climbed all the way to the top of the stairs at church to the youth room with no one noticing, and started hollering because it echoes up there! He will climb up onto the floor mats in his sister’s room and then onto the bed by the mat, and two days ago, he climbed A LADDER!! It’s a good thing his brother was around to spot him!!

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He will stand against the wall for a long time, playing ball with me, until he tires and lowers himself down to a sitting position! He will also stand at the coffee table, and barely hold on with one hand while playing with whatever he can get his hands onto.

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2) After he started 4-point crawling, it was like his brain exploded with new energy. He has added A LOT of new signs to his list! He now signs the following words, and will put 2-3 signs together to get what he wants, like “eat more,” “more cracker,” “more milk please,” etc.:

  1. Mama
  2. more
  3. milk
  4. eat
  5. tired
  6. water
  7. all done
  8. baby (it’s SO cute!!)*
  9. thirsty*
  10. dog*
  11. Dada*
  12. please*
  13. thank you*
  14. hat*
  15. ball*
  16. cracker*

(* denotes it is a brand new sign from last week! It seems like I am missing a few, but I can’t think of them right now.) He will try just about any sign I show him, so I’m trying to expand his “vocabulary” while he is still a sponge, yet maintaining the ones he knew before. Naomi and I have started signing the song “Father, I Adore You” to him, and he will roll his hands around trying to copy us! It is SO good to be able to communicate with him more!!

3) His siblings have taught him a new game too. They will ask him, “Where do you want to go?” and he will emphatically point and say, “Dat dey!!” to which they will run with him in their arms, in whatever direction he indicates. ūüėÄ

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4) He can now place the rings onto his stacker, and tonight at dinner, he was stacking the coasters up on top of his cup! He also puts the balls into his ball popper  (it only had a small ball-sized hole) and can almost hit the plunger hard enough to start it.

While eating meals, he has figured out how to hold his cup completely on his own, and then set it down in the designated circle on the high chair tray! He loves to do it because his siblings all clap for him, so he claps too!

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I ordered a new toy for him, and it came in the mail today. I can’t wait to introduce it to him and see how he does! I’ll try to take pictures!

5) He is also “reading”! He has been using Little Reader through Brillkids, and I really didn’t think he was getting much out of it. I have the iAccess with his account, and we use the iPad mostly, so it’s touch screen. He is now tapping the “page” to turn the “page.”

ALSO, at the end of each section is a game time. I usually skip through that pretty quickly, because I assumed he couldn’t do it. Well, one day, I let him try, and he picked the right response! It prompts him to respond such as “Touch the pig.” AND HE DID IT!! I was SO surprised! Joey is using Little Reader too, and Seth will crawl over to him and take the iPad away for himself! It is just amazing how much this kiddo LOVES to learn!!

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Ok, enough bragging for now! I need to get some sleep so I can keep up with him!

May the Lord bless you and your family!

Ds Awareness: Day 7

Meet Sam!! He’s 20 months old.Biggest challenge DS has brought to our lives: The ever-present worry in the back of our minds over medical issues that can come along with DS.

Coolest thing: The way he approaches people with unbridled glee! He acts like any random person is his best friend in the whole world, and he smiles at them with his whole body and flirts shamelessly. His enthusiasm is contagious!

Grace’s note: Seth and & I were blessed to meet Sam’s mom, Cathleen, and Sam! We had an enjoyable visit, and I am looking forward to meeting her again in November! Now that the boys are much more mobile, it should be a blast! I’ll be sure to post pictures in late November, so be on the look out!1381018_10151696259298034_1719068896_n

Perfect Imperfection – A Poem

PERFECT IMPERFECTION

His hands are gentle though he forgets his own strength;
His walk is purposeful just shorter in length;
His smile is infectious but so are his tears;
His view of the world won’t be colored by years;
He’ll become an adult with the heart of a child;
If only the world could live a life so beguiled!

Many will judge him as imperfect but I wonder;
If ‘imperfect’ is an imperfect world’s blunder.
What if he’s perfect but so jaded are we;
That we view perfection so imperfectly?

– Anonymous

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“I Run 4 Michael” Match!

We are SO excited! I heard of a site that matches runners with those who can’t necessarily run for themselves, particulary those with disabilities. When I heard that there was a 4-month waiting list of runners waiting to be matched, I signed Seth up! Our first match never responded so I requested a new one, and this time, we got a gal who lives in Indiana and is striving to lose weight so that she and her husband can have kids of their own! What a perfect match! We are praying for her as she works hard to get healthy, so that God can bless her family with her OWN bundle of joy.

We are rooting for you, Anna!Hooray!

Meet Eli!

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Down syndrome Awareness Day 1:

Meet Eli! He’s 11 months old.

Biggest challenge DS has brought to his family’s life: The numerous health challenges and hospital stays he has faced in his short life.

Coolest thing about Eli: He smiles through any adversity. And his smile is contagious.

This is Seth’s little warrior friend Eli! Our family got to meet him when we were on vacation this summer. He is SUCH a delight and holds a bit of my heart.

Please pray for him this week as he undergoes surgery on Friday.

Puggles, Cubbies, Sparkies…Oh my!

My Awana kids!

Timmy is a Sparky, Micah and Naomi are in T&T, and Joey is my adorable little Cubbie! Seth (not pictured) is a Puggle! They are very proud of their new books they earned by memorizing Scripture!

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I had only brought my iPhone to take pictures, and “The Flash” didn’t slow down enough for me to get a decent picture, but at least I got one with him! Not so lucky with the other three!

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The kids had a blast learning new games too, although sometimes it’s a little disappointing when they stop playing the game right before it’s your turn to play. :) But hey, they moved on to Dodgeball!

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By the time I made it down to Timmy’s class, he had already been presented with his book for memorizing John 3:16. He’s very excited to learn more in his book so he can earn his vest!

Seth is 19 months old now!

Mommy brag time! Seth is standing right up and then sitting down, onto a stool, at the coffee table on his own! Still a little wobbly, but he’s actually moving his feet when he’s standing there now too! He even kicked the block that fell on the floor at his feet! I really feel like he is SO close to cruising!

Oh, and he CAN crawl on all fours if he feels my hand is under his chest, even ever so slightly, but his preferred mode is definitely to pull himself. He’s been doing it so long, I’m really at a loss as to how to change that!

 Cowboy Seth

He also loves to put things onto his head, socks, blocks, clothes, etc. and giggles like crazy when they fall off. It’s SO cute!

He’s doing things on command, like “Sit down,” “Give me a kiss!,” etc. His signing is exploding too! He signs more, all done, water, tired, mama, eat, and milk, and says “please” at the same time that he signs. Tonight, I asked him, “Are you tired?” and he signed it twice! I guess he was really tired!¬†

My little man is growing up….

The lesson, the mess, and the disposed of

After our vacation, I felt overwhelmed coming home. So¬†much stuff!! So much mess! Even when the place is cleaned up, it still feels messy cluttered because we have accumulated to many things. Not bad things in and of themselves, but 6 weeks on the road with minimal clothes, toys, and accessories, made me realize how much I didn’t need.

Baskets of laundry

It was so much easier to keep the laundry clean when each child only had 6 changes of clothes. There was no “Mom, I don’t have any underwear/socks/pants/etc.” ad nauseum each morning when told to get dressed. All of the clothes went into one tote in the hotel room closet, and every 2-3 days I did two loads of laundry, darks and lights. I promptly folded them and put them in their one¬†drawer they were each assigned per hotel room. Granted, they were mostly summer clothes and didn’t take up a lot of room, but surely one dresser should suffice!

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They had one church outfit that they also wore to the wedding in which we were involved. Granted, we went to a different church service each week, so it was easy to get away with only one set, but do we really need 20 different dress shirts? So many of them have been handed down from their older brothers or given to us, but are we really managing our space resources when we are housing SO many? And that’s just dress clothes!

Plenty of dress shirts

The kids’ dressers are overflowing when all of their laundry is clean, which is getting to be more consistent, given that keeping the laundry room clean makes my mornings brighter since it is also my pantry. (NOT something I recommend, btw, but at the time we built our home, we didn’t really have a choice.) Oh, and having this room this clean?! Totally new! ūüėÄ Even the washer and dryer are cleared off! Hooray!

Pantry/Laundry room

And here’s my new plan for keeping single socks at bay. We’ll see how well this goes…

I WILL CONQUER THE “MISSING SOCK” MONSTER!!

Mismatched socks plan

The floors of their rooms became littered with dirty and clean clothes mixed together because I don’t always supervise the putting away and the picking up. When they DO clean their rooms, which is also becoming more frequent, I find clean and folded laundry in the hamper. Why? Because they have too many items!!

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And this includes me.¬†I have too many clothes too. Granted, I have maternity clothes, postpartum clothes, nursing clothes, and several sizes until I get down to my “normal” size, but really, enough is enough!

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So…my reaction? PURGE!¬†And so I have been. As I’m folding laundry, clothes that are stained, stretched out, too small, faded, worn out, outdated or even “I don’t like this shirt”,¬†are getting thrown out! It is hard for me. I think I like the security of stuff. “I can¬†always¬†use more,” right? Ugh….

Purging feels good.

 

Our journey with constipation

It all started when Seth was 4 months old. I got the flu and my best friend offered to take Seth for the day. I had some frozen milk, so I reluctantly took her up on it and sent him on his way. At the time, he was having 3-4 baby bowel movements a day (yellow mustard kind). The next day, he had nothing, and it would continue that way for days at a time. He wouldn’t have a poopy diaper for 8-10 days, and when he did, it was like little rabbit pellets.

I tried everything natural that I could come up with: Epsom salt baths, prunes, prune juice, apple juice, LB extract (from the herbal store), Baby move, essential oils (two different companies), calcium/magnesium, leg exercises,¬†etc. I would try each one for a week hoping for some change, but nothing seemed to help. I even did several together AND take things for me, so he would get it through the milk! I got super regular, but it didn’t seem to help him.

I mentioned it to two different doctors (same practice, different appointments/months), and they both¬†said it was normal for some kids and I shouldn’t worry about it because he was exclusively breastfed. I didn’t believe them.¬†¬†After 5 months, I finally resorted to using about 1/2 of a Pedia-Lax glycerin suppository every couple of days, just to give him some relief. They were supposed to take 15 minutes to work, but he would have a messy diaper within 5 minutes. I researched Hashimotos, obstructive bowel, etc. so¬†I¬†finally asked the doctor to give me a referral to a GI doctor. It took 6 MORE weeks.

Meanwhile, over¬†the next month, on¬†one Friday night, he couldn’t sleep. ALL NIGHT! He kept waking up, straining, and crying. SOMETHING wasn’t right. The next day, Saturday, I spent the whole day researching on the internet and in my books, crying out to God for an answer. Finally, I found something else to try.

According to the University of Michigan Health System, constipation is a symptom  of iodine deficiency. Once an iodine deficiency is definitively diagnosed, it is  often suggested that an individual incorporate more iodine-rich foods into the  diet or add iodized salt to meals, says the American Thyroid Association.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/493441-iodine-constipation/#ixzz2VSj0JMgg

Huh, I thought. I know that kiddos with Ds can have thyroid problems, so maybe he’s deficient in iodine!

I had some bottles of Nascent Iodine (after the Japanese Nuclear fallout threat, and Alaska being possibly in danger due to the wind currents), so I thought, what can it hurt. I’ll try an iodine skin test to see how he does. So, I put¬†two drops of nascent¬†iodine on the back of his wrist.¬†I also put some of it on me. I could practically watch his absorb. Mine stayed for hours. The next day, HE HAD A MESSY DIAPER!! (Here’s an article on the effectiveness of nascent¬†iodine. And btw, I got the nascent iodine on sale, but I can’t remember exactly where I ordered it, but the amazon link is the exact type I have and use.)

I thought to myself that maybe it was just because it had been a few days. Maybe the suppositories are helping his colon remember what it is supposed to do, so I waited again for a few days. I put it on again on Wednesday night. Thursday, he had THREE messy diapers! After that, I put a drop on the back of his wrist daily, and every day, he would have a poopy diaper!! I was SO excited that I had solved it!! (My husband was SO proud of me!! :D)

Finally, the appointment with the GI came. I took the iodine with me and told the gal that I had figured out what the problem was. She completely dismissed it and said it was just a fluke that his body had just figured out how to have a bowel movement again. (Honestly, that’s exactly what she told me!)¬†WHAT?!?!! I did SIX MONTHS of different things to try to help his bowels “wake up” to no avail. I even used the scientific method to test my theory, stopping treatment – NO bowel movement. Start treatment – BOWEL MOVEMENT! HELLO!!! She also told me that I was wasting my money giving him ANY vitamins, because they weren’t doing any good. “People never used to take vitamins, and were fine.” she said. WHAT?!?! SERIOUSLY?!? People also used to work in the soil IN THE SUNSHINE, eat fresh-cut organic food, fresh grass-fed meat, AND work their tails off too!! It isn’t like it WAS all those years ago, AND people STILL died of all kinds of diseases! YOU, my supremely “educated” doctor, are an IDIOT!

Oh, well, bringing my blood pressure back down now….

She did check his little bottom and said everything looked fine physically (which is what I really wanted to know anyway) and sent us on our way. Oh yeah, btw, when we got the bill, it was for $786!!! For 10 minutes of being berated by this gal!! Yeah, I’m still not over it…. She wasn’t even the GI I was supposed to see! Gaaa….

Anyway, my naturopath was impressed with my sleuthing. I have since taken him off of the iodine after he started taking his multivitamin, zinc, and selenium. I slowly quit applying it, and he hasn’t had a problem since. Usually he goes 2-3x a day, but he definitely goes at least once a day. And HE is a happy little boy!

 

And that, my friends, is my story. I SURELY hope it helps your child with Down syndrome. PLEASE let me know if it does!

Supplements we use for Down syndrome

I get this question more and more, so I figured it was time to write a blog post about it. I am a firm believer in building up your body with the use of supplements that we don’t necessarily get through our food and environment as well as we were created to do. But I also believe in living life, and not getting bogged down with focusing on it as well. In other words, our diet shouldn’t rule our lives.

Sethy and his hat outside

With that said, here is what I¬†give Seth on a pretty regular basis (life gets in the way sometimes!), as well as what *I* take FOR him,¬†since he is still nursing. This is a good list for me to make as well, so I’m not just trying to remember it¬†in my head. :)

Klaire Labs VitaSpectrum 5.8 oz Powder Berry-Pomegranate Flavor –¬†(He will be starting this next week. We are finishing up his bottle of Nutrivene-D that I bought last year) This is the multi-vitamin that his naturopath recommended because many of the vitamins included in this special formula are bio-available, meaning the body more readily absorbs them.

Probiotics¬†–

Nutrivene Digestive Enzyme¬†–¬†The Nutrivene-D Daily Enzyme contains digestive enzymes including Amylase (breaks down carbohydrates), Cellulase (breaks down fibers found in fruits and vegetables), Lactase (breaks down milk sugar), and Lipase (aids in fat digestion).

B12 in the form of either methylcobalamin or hydroxycobalamin (I also take 1/day of the sublingual methylcobalamin tablet)

Vitamin D (I also take D, but not the liquid)

Phosphatidyl Choline in the form of Sunflower Lecithin (as opposed to Soy Lecithin) (I also take 3/day)

DHA

Zinc

Selenium

L-carnitine

Seth sees a Naturopath Physician, Erica Peirson, who orders and reads his blood tests, and helps me adjust his dosage. We will be adding a few new supplements over the next few weeks, including l-methionine. I will also be updating this post with more information on what we expect these supplements are doing to help him. I am also interested in the following supplements: Longvida Curcumin and Piracetam.