February 2010 Update

For a while I wondered if Iwas done with this blog altogether, but since it’s something I enjoy doing (and it helps keep my family in Trinidad up to date with what the kids are up to) I decided to start blogging again.  It has been so long since I last posted that I decided that I’d do another update.

Isaac is 9 and in 3rd grade.  He does GREAT academically, but if you ask him, he always says he hates school.  He loves video games, reading (especially manga and other graphic novels a.k.a. comic books), and playing the piano.  He doesn’t always enjoy the songs his piano teacher assigns, but often plays songs from the Legend of Zelda video game series just for fun.  Since I don’t play any instruments, I’m always impressed to hear him play the piano.  Isaac also plays soccer in the spring and fall because we make him.  He is a wonderful big brother to Ben and Nate (but just manages to fight and disagree with Jonathan on a daily basis!)

Jonathan is 6 and in the first grade.  He does fairly well in school, but is one of those kids who has trouble sitting quietly at a desk all day.  He does well with his schoolwork, however, and is an excellent reader.  He is an active kid who enjoys running around the house, playing video games, helping me cook desserts, and building with Legos and K’nex.  He is definitely a snuggler, and even now loves to sit on laps for hugs and kisses.  He talks non-stop at home (just like at school), and says such funny things sometimes.  I took the photo below after he asked me to give him a faux-hawk just like Ben’s.

Nate is 19 months old.  Wow.  I’d forgotten what it was like to have a “typical” toddler in the house.  Nate started walking at around 14 months, and since then we haven’t had a spare moment to ourselves it seems!   He is very sweet but manages to get into all sorts of mischief.  His favorite pastime lately is scattering things everywhere.

He enjoys emptying the contents of the dishwasher onto the floor.  He puts silverware into the trash.  He puts chalk into the bathtub.  He hurls toy cars and hard wooden blocks at our heads.  He sets the oven to self-clean.  He loves playing with DVD and video game cases, so we decided to get a cabinet that mounts on the wall.  Did that help?  Nope.

Thank goodness he has stopped splashing in the toilet for fun!

Nate says quite a few words as well, but still resorts to screaming when he’s frustrated or bored or tired or hungry.

Benji will be 4 at the end of April.  How time flies!  He still has a sweet, quiet, easygoing disposition and is such a joy to have around.  He loves playing with toys that spin, or anything long and skinny that he can hold in his “big” hand.  He weighs around 28 lbs and is in 2T clothing.  He has gained nicely in the last 6 months and is starting to look rather chubby!

Ben gets around by rolling or “army crawling”.  He can get from a lying to a sitting position by jamming his little feet under a heavy piece of furniture and sitting straight up with his strong abdominal muscles.   He can stand and use his arms for support on furniture, but he will throw himself backwards without warning, so he can’t be left in that position by himself yet.  He has been doing much better in his gait trainer, and finally seems to get the idea that he’s supposed to propel himself forward.  Nate also loves the gait trainer.

Ben still wears hearing aids and glasses, but is getting more opinionated about whether he wants to wear these or not.  I suspect that his glasses are a little uncomfortable these days because he’s grown so much in the past year and also because a certain little brother chewed the pieces that fit behind his ears.  In any case I think he’s due for a new pair even though his prescription hasn’t changed.

Ben is still g-tube fed, and is still very resistant to oral feeds.  Every so often, he changes his mind and willingly eats and tastes food that I’m feeding Nate, but that only happens once in blue moon.  We keep working with him, but it’s discouraging at times.

The biggest change that has happened with Ben over the past few months is that he has been attending preschool 3 afternoons a week!  We were so anxious about him going to school, but it has turned out to be wonderful for him.  He attends a local preschool for children with special needs.  The class is very small, and he has lots of one-on-one attention.  He loves going, and is full of giggles when Mark takes him in.  He has PT, OT, and ST at school, and they also work with oral feeds.  He also has circle time and playtime just as “typical” kids would in preschool.  He’s one of the smallest kids at school (if not the smallest), and everyone loves him!  I think I’ll have to do a post just about Ben’s preschool.

Ben continues to be wonderfully healthy, and we’re thankful for that.

Mark and I are doing very well, but we are tired all the time it seems.  I still work full time and Mark is home with the boys full time.  We still enjoy cooking together, and trying out new recipes.  “Santa” brought us a new TV and a PS3 this Christmas, and we’ve both been enjoying playing “Dragon Age Origins” after the kids go to bed.  We’d like to go to the CdLS conference in Dallas this year and are still working out the logistics of that.  We’re also planning a trip to Trinidad this summer…if we can get everyone’s passports organized!  We already struck out once; we got caught in a traffic jam on Friday afternoon and ended up not being able to get the boys’ done.  Maybe this week.

Hopefully I can keep this blog updated on a semi-regular basis.  We’ll see.

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8 Responses to “February 2010 Update”

  1. Staci Says:

    Wow Karen your boys have grown a ton! I can’t believe our boys are similar in age (mine are 8, 5 almost 6, 3 almost 4, and Vinny who is 19 months)! Hopefully you will be able to make it to the conference! Would love to meet Ben and your family! Good to see you posting again!

  2. Leah Says:

    Oh, I have MISSED your blogs! (and Mark’s too! What’s happening with dinner?) I hope you’ll stick around blog land for awhile.

    The boys all look and sound like they’re doing amazing. I can’t believe how fast they grow. (I started reading your blog before you knew you were expecting Nate.)

    I hope you’re able to get to the Dallas conference. Whenever I get to go to the Down syndrome conferences I feel so rejuvenated.

  3. Heidi @ ggip Says:

    Thanks so much for the update. I have missed reading about your family! No wonder you are tired with four boys! If I ever complain, remind me that you have four boys!

    Your kids really seem to be growing up. It sounds like they are doing pretty well too.

    I would be interested in a post all about Ben’s preschool. We are one year away from preschool and I am not looking forward to it. LBB is just so small and I just don’t see how he will be ready for it. But I am so glad to hear how well Ben is doing.

    We have pretty much decided that we just aren’t able to get to the conference this year with a busy summer ahead and the conference being so far away. Maybe we’ll meet you all another time.

  4. lisa leonard Says:

    please don’t stop blogging. even if you only blog 1x a month-i love it. sending hugs to you and all your sweet boys!!

  5. suna Says:

    glad to have you back.

  6. Deb Says:

    Thanks Karen! I love your blogs. I started on because of you and Mark, but I have only done three entries. I don’t know how you do it. It took me forever to do the blog with pictures, but it is such a great tool and I too wish I could keep it up. Hopefully you have inspired me to get an update entry in. I don’t know how you do it. Thanks for sharing and I hope your trip works out.

  7. gunvor regine lunde Says:

    Hello Karen !
    So nice to see your family again ! I missed your up-dates !
    Now I want to wish you all a very Happy Easter !

    Best wishes from Gunvor Regine

  8. karen Says:

    hi
    came across your blog and wanted to say what gorgeous boys you have.
    I have a blog as well and sometimes leave weeks between posts everyone needs a break – helps keep us fresh. You write really well , very natural, I think I sometimes sound like a newsreader lol.
    best wishes karen


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