Monday, June 30, 2008


Sometimes my prayer is that the Lord give me the grace to make it through nap time. A couple weeks ago I wrote about what a sweet reprieve nap time can be for a mommy. But what about those nap times when all I seem to do is run from one crib to the next re-settling a cranky baby or toddler? What happens when both kids get tired and just lose-it at the same time. Something has got to give... Ah well, I do my best to get them settled in, never knowing if I am going about it the 'right' way. Both Charlie and Calvin are sleeping now, and I am catching up on paying some bills and finishing some laundry. It's good to sneak in a little blog time too. God give me grace...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Sometimes different people will ask if they can hold Charlie, and I get excited. Passing Charlie into the arms of another is to give them a wonderful gift. Charlie gives tender, cuddly hugs. Part of it is his low muscle tone. He has a way of completely relaxing every muscle in his body, draping himself over you like a warm blanket. Part of it is he feels a little shy in the arms of other folks, but instead of pushing away, he settles in and huddles ever so closely. And part of it is his Down Syndrome. It is something that makes him unique, mysterious, attractive. It unnerves people. Here is this precious boy who is a little bit different, and he exudes such tenderness. Every child has a special gift to offer. I really believe that, and can see it in the captivating eyes of my younger "typical" son. For Charlie, it is his hugs. It is therapy of the most gentle and loving sort. A gift.

Case in point. Charlie, 8 months old.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Me Time

Nap time is not only important for babies and toddlers. Nap time is important for mommies!

It seems like our feet hit the ground running at 7am when we finally get out of bed in the morning (though we've all more than likely been up for 1 or 2 hours already). First it's diapers and nursing for both boys, then clothes. Next we distract Calvin with some toys while quickly shoveling oatmeal into Charlie's hungry tummy. Thank goodness Sesame Street comes on in the morning just after Charlie finishes breakfast. We quickly get ourselves ready while Charlie is occupied with his 'friends' Elmo, and Big Bird, and Cookie Monster, and Ernie. Finally Ray is out the door by 8:30 or 9, and I am stuffing as many random items as I can into the diaper bag for the day. By 9 Charlie, Calvin and I are out the door on our way to any number of our weekly events.

This mothering job is physical! Combined, Charlie and Calvin weigh 44 pounds and counting, and I often end up carrying them both at once. At any one time I have two or three different baby back-packs or slings in the car and at least one of our three strollers. With our huge diaper bag, and baby's in both arms we pop into appointments, hang out at play dates, nurse on the fly, and race around the market. If I'm lucky, I get a peaceful (hah!) walk in sometime during the morning. Lunch is between 11:30 and 12, and by 1 o'clock in the afternoon I lug all of us back into the house for nap time. Whew!

So here I sit. Both boys are actually sleeping at the same time. I haven't heard a peep from either of them in over an hour. The five loads of laundry I need to fold sit jumbled up in the living room waiting. The clean dishes rest right where I left them... in the dishwasher. And as for dinner, well the stove is broken anyway, so I'm not thinking about that! I am resting! I need this me time. It's nice. I don't feel guilty. I do feel greatfull.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day, Daddy!!!!

Dear Raymond,

You are a wonderful Father.

As I type this you are walking Calvin to sleep. You are dedicated.

Charlie looks forward to you coming home from work every day. Calvin settles into your arms with so much comfort. You are adored.

You've changed just as many poopy diapers as I have (and lately, maybe more!). You are involved.

Your love for Jesus is the golden thread that makes up the fabric of our precious family. You are a godly man.

Thank you for being an amazing daddy! Happy Fathers Day!

With all my love,


Saturday, June 14, 2008

3 Months Old!

Calvin turned 3 months old yesterday on Friday the 13th! What a lucky day for us! Calvin is such a wonderful, extraordinary little baby. Really!

Calvin is engaging. He catches your gaze, and you don't want to look away. He smiles at you, looks intently, raising each eyebrow individually. He talks to you with seriousness and coos with glee. We call it "the Calvin experience" and it has captivated our family and friends.

Calvin is holding toys and batting at things. He loves to explore his hands and kick his legs. He knows his mommy and daddy, and gets upset when other people try to hold him. His favorite place to sleep is in mommy or daddy's arms. He is really big (and I mean really, really big--17 pounds!). He is strong, able to withstand all the 'abuse' shoveled out by his 2 year old brother (thank goodness!). Calvin is a joy!

Happy 3 month birthday sweety boy!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

An interesting circumstance

We live in a town where "pot houses" or "grow houses" are a really big problem. Take a look at this listing for an apartment in our town:

Looking for that perfect live / work space? One bedroom upstairs living area (600 sq ft.) overlooks bird sanctuary and includes wood flooring, skylights .... No smoking, pets or marijuana cultivation.
Must see to appreciate. $1000/ mo.

One of the problems that occurs when a house or apartment was used for growing marijuana is the residual crime that occurs after the tenants are evicted (or jailed). Even though the growers are gone, the house is still prone to break-ins because other "would-be-pot-thiefs" don't know there is no longer marijuana being grown there. Also, marijuana is not regulated, and thus people growing it may use any array of chemicals they want to make it grow faster, bigger, etc. It's not organic! The residue of pesticides and other chemicals and of the pot itself (yes, it has a residue, and of course, a strong scent) may be painted over, but can never really be eliminated. Property management places are not required to disclose whether perspective apartments or houses were used for marijuana cultivation, so renters may be at risk. It is important to inspect a potential living space for signs of cultivation (vents, outlets added in closets, other funky wiring, important to check the attic, scent) before signing any lease. So far in our neighborhood this year there have been 3 busts of houses that were being used for the sole purpose of marijuana cultivation and sale. And we live in a quiet, safe, and small neighborhood! I don't want to be too winey. I really love living on the North Coast. It is beautiful and has so much to offer. I just hope somehow this issue of pot houses will be addressed. There is already a shortage of housing in our town, and it really, um, chaps-my-hide that folks are buying or renting spaces and ruining them by growing pot.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Charlie's Wonderful Ears

I realized today we passed up a very important anniversary for Charlie. We passed up the anniversary of Charlie officially having full hearing!

Before we ever knew Charlie had DS we learned that Charlie had a moderate sensorineural bi-lateral hearing loss. Fancy way of saying he was hard of hearing in both ears. When Charlie was 5 months old he got hearing aids which he wore full time until he was 15 months old. I had suspected he was hearing better around Christmas of 2006 (before C's first b-day). I should have pushed the Audiologist to order a sedated ABR test, but instead went along with her suggestion that his crying at loud noises was simply "a kid thing." At a routine hearing test when he was 15 months, Charlie began to respond to sounds in the normal hearing range! Weird! After that appointment I put the hearing aids in the drawer, and never took them out again. A month later in May of 2007, we had another hearing test at a different Audiologist who has more experience working with children who have developmental delays. Charlie passed again! At that point Charlie officially had "normal hearing." Cool!

It is extremely unusual for people with sensorineural hearing loss to experience improvement. In Charlie's case one of three things happened:
1) He was misdiagnosed by the first Audiologist (who is a wonderful person, but did not have as much experience testing children who have cognitive delays, and whose equipment was often "temperamental").
2) Charlie's brain needed more experience with sound to have his hearing fully "kick-in."
3) He was hearing impaired, and as the result of many, many prayers from many people, he was healed.

Of course we will never know for sure just why Charlie was hearing impaired for the months that he was, or why he has full hearing now. What ever it is, it is an amazing GIFT from GOD. We are so thankful for Charlie that he does not have to deal with a hearing loss on top of the other things that can cause language delay in people with Down Syndrome. And you know what? Some good came of his hearing loss diagnosis. As a result of his diagnosis, we learned many, many tricks to help him learn to listen well, and learn to talk and communicate effectively. And Charlie is doing great in all these areas!

It think we're the highest

Anyone paying more than $4.69 a gallon for regular unleaded gas? That's what I paid yesterday at the discount gas place in my town. It cost me $70 bucks to fill my tank!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Also Known As...

Charlie can say the names of many of his family members. Here's his version:

Ray (daddy) - "Way" (Usually just calls him "Dada.")
Kim (mommy) - "Mim" (I am usually called "Mama.")
Calvin - "Baby"
Uncle Russ - "Wuss"
Aunie Renee - "Nay"
Uncle Ryan - "Wyn"
Grandma - "Mamama"
Grandpa - "Papa"
Nana - "Nana" (as in ba-nana, but Nana says she doesn't care if Charlie calls her banana!)
Papa - "Papa" (duh!)
Auntie Kelly - Well, last time I asked him to say Kelly he put his hand on his head and said "moo." Guess we'll have to work on that one!LOL
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