Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog. If you feel inclined to comment on a post, just click on the "comment" link at the bottom of the post. I would love to hear from you! If you are new to my blog, check out the archived blog posts listed in the left column.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Books and Toys!

Are you in need of any DS related books?

Woodbine House is a publisher specializing in books about children with special needs. My Hawaii friend Debbie of, reminded me that in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Woodbine House is taking 20% off the Down syndrome titles during the month of October. Here is the link to their website: . I am really excited about the "Kids Like Me..Learn ABCs" board book...hmmm perhaps Sylas will be getting some books for Christmas!

Speaking of gift giving, Toys R Us just released it's annual Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids. The guide matches specific skill sets with a wide range of everyday toys. The toys are divided up into different sections for example: Fine motor, gross motor, tactile, social skills, language, etc. You may want to check it out:

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Adrienne at created this button that you can click on and it will direct you to the National Down Syndrome Society website:


This month, many communities are having "Buddy Walks" that involve building a team for your child, finding sponsors, and then walking on the day of the event. The Buddy Walk was created in 1995 to promote acceptance and inclusion of those with D.S. It not only raises awareness and financial support for DS programs, but it also is a day that brings together many old and new friends. Unfortunately, there are not any Buddy Walks scheduled for Hawaii. Sylas is my inspiration to be involved with planning a Buddy Walk here for next year....I will keep you posted!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Bday Daddy!

Brett had a birthday last weekend and the kids joined forces to make a cake. They had their share of licking the batter spatula/bowl and thank goodness did not get sick (raw eggs, I always cross my fingers). Here is the bday picture.
We also went to the county fair with the kids. It was dusty and dirty and a whole lot of fun! In the midwest, I always have a big greasy corndog at the fair. Although the fair here does have corndogs, I instead went with Kalua shredded pork, cabbage, and rice. Salty good!
In honor of Brett's bday, he and I went ziplining. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it is basically when one is suspended by a harness that is attached to a pulley hung on a steel cable. After being strapped in, you pray that you survive, jump (or get pushed) off a platform, and zip high above the treetops through the mountains. For myself, who is deathly afraid of heights, it was good to face my fears, and yes, it was fun. I am so glad that I did glad that I will never do it again!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Babies Driving Robots!

My dear friend Linda recently sent me a link to an article about "babies driving robots" of all things! Linda and I used to work together treating lymphedema patients and she recently took a position as a teacher assistant in the U of MN Physical Therapy Program. Currently she is teaching the Human Growth and Development class, and I have made her promise to forward her notes to me. Included in her first batch of notes was this article about researchers at the University of Delaware who have "outfitted kid-sized robots to provide mobility to children who are unable to fully explore the world on their own."

I was a bit skeptical when I first read the heading, but found it to be a fascinating concept after I read the article. As we all know, providing a stimulating environment for babies promotes brain development. When a child is limited to explore their surroundings due to mobility issues, they potentially miss exploration opportunities that "typical" children enjoy. This would include not only missed independent learning experiences, but also social interaction with peers.

“Infants with limited mobility play in one location while their peers or siblings go off on distant adventures all over the room or playground,” Galloway said. “With the robot, they become the center of attention because their classmates want to try it. We predict that this increased social interaction alone will provide an important boost in their cognitive development.”

Here is the link to the article:

*The little boy in the article is adorable!

Quick Update

Man, how do all the blogging moms out there do it? Everyday I think of something that I just MUST blog about, but it never reaches my blog! I have started a notebook where I jot down quotes, web addresses, articles, and ideas that I want to someday blog about....someday.

Quick update on Sylas: Had a speech eval last week. His therapist is passionate/informative/bright and I think she will be a great fit for Sylas (and me :)). She will be working on Sylas with feeding issues as well as early speech development. I asked about ideas to decrease the amount of cereal Sylas pushes out of his mouth during feeding. She suggested using the spoon to push down gently on his tongue, and then tip the spoon to the side and let the cereal fall off into the side of his mouth. This does seem to be working better, however, yesterday he started "sucking" on the cereal once it was in his mouth. It was like he was nursing but without the breast! I am guessing that this probably is not an effective way to eat cereal, so I am ready with yet another question for the therapist.

Cardiologist: We trekked over to the other side of the island for a visit with the cardiologist who comes to our island only once every 4 months. I was lucky enough to secure a spot for Sylas, and I guess I was expecting Sylas would have an echocardiogram or something time consuming. The doctor came in and asked how Sylas was doing, then proceeded to listen to his heart and lungs, said that everything sounded good, and that was that in less than 10 minutes! We need to follow up in 6 months.