Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

State of Our Union, February 2016.

It’s time for a good, old-fashioned State of Our Union update.

My lack of writing hasn’t been for lack of topic, or even lack of energy.  Quite frankly, I have lots of ideas rolling around in my head, ready to shake out on the computer page.  What I haven’t found is an environment in which I can feel settled in and focused on the words.  This is just my general state right now – a lot of things in a lot of places (including my own brain) and a routine that is somehow not routine at all.

It’s weird.

We sold our town home in December and are looking forward to purchasing a new home in the Spring, when it is a little greener and a lot warmer.  Still in the midst of Crabuary, John and I are both busy with the odd, mid-year craziness.  For me, I’m in the phase of my year that is still this year, but kind of next year all at the same time.  We talk a lot about events in the here and now, like parent conferences and grades and institute days, but also about next year.  Next year’s schedule, next year’s group of students, next year’s curriculum.

See?  No settled, no focus.  I’m like one of those frustrating novels that keeps flipping back and forth between time frames.

Those make me nuts.

Ellie’s big “news” is that she is officially a reader.  This is something that she is super excited about.  She loves books, always has, and so now that she can start to go through them on her own, she’s thrilled.  Last night, I came home with some kind of cold virus.  She plopped me on the couch, covered me with a blanket, and sat down with Are You My Mother? .  She read me the whole thing, cover to cover.  It took her an exceptionally long time, but she stuck to it.  So cool!!

We’re getting ready to enroll her in Kindergarten next year.  Like most parents, I’m not sure how we got to this point already.  The district that we are in right now offers a Dual Language Spanish program at one of the schools and we are fairly certain that this is the program that we will send Ellie to.  She would start with 80% of her day in Spanish, gradually moving toward a 50/50 English/Spanish split.  We toured the school recently and I feel pretty confident that it is the right fit for her.  We were also very pleasantly surprised that the principal made a point to tell us that they are “fully inclusive,” so sending Tessa in a few years is not off the table.

Please let that sink in for a few moments.  Tessa.  Learning SPANISH.

There is no “no.”  There is only “how can we make this work?”

Speaking of Little Miss… we have an annual review coming up on Monday.  She is on a roll these days!  No, no walking yet.  No, I’m still not stressed about it.  When she gets too heavy to carry, we’ll have another conversation.  Right now, her words and her play skills are totally blossoming.  We are still using sign quite a bit, but she is picking up on words and phrases left and right.  The very latest is that she says “Cheese!” when you hold the iPhone camera up to her face.  It kills me.  SO cute.

Her interactive play has also grown extensively.  Simple tasks like rolling a ball back and forth or playing peek-a-boo took a little extra time, but we are SO there.  She’s gotten quite good at distraction.  When I come home from work, my mom always has a good story about how Tessa has used her charm to get out of therapy or even worse, to get out of trouble!  In public places, she is a total ham with other adults.  This is something she has done for a little while now, but boy, oh boy does she love to wave and blow kisses at all the passersby.

Suffice to say, we’re rolling along now.  Good things are on the horizon, but good things are happening now, too.  It may feel unsettled, yes, but good.

I haven’t had the opportunity to sync my latest pictures recently.  We’re over on Instagram now, participating in the #365ofDisability.  If you want to join us, we are @yosoylalay .  Lots of cuteness going on over there.  🙂

Happy almost-Valentine’s Day!

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The State of Our Union, 1st Quarter 2014

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is (almost) a quarter of the way finished. Spring is taking its sweet time arriving in our area. It’s been a rough winter!

And so an update on the family:

John and I

No one really wants to know about the adults… but it’s 7 AM on a Saturday morning and we are both showered, dressed, and ready to start the day… and yet, our small bosses children are sleeping the morning away.  John is clicking away at his laptop, working on yet another grad school project and I’m sitting here with my ear pressed up to the baby monitor, desperately hoping to catch the moment when Ellie wakes up and realizes that Tessa spent the night in their room with her for the first time.  Tessa has finally graduated from her pack n’ play-in-the-closet set up to her crib… but I digress.  I’m talking about the adults, right?  John’s at the point in his grad school that I was exactly one year ago.  He’s tired (I’M tired) and feels like there is no end in sight.  He’ll be finished in December and perhaps then we’ll have just a tiny bit of an ease in the chaos of life.  Of course then I’ll probably get the itch to go back to school or I’ll take on some project that I really don’t have time for and we’ll be back to crazy.  I think we kind of like it that way anyway.  So John is grad-schooling and coaching and teaching…. and me?  I’m kind of jealous.  I just really need to go back to work.

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Ellie

Our crazy (CRAZY) child has had another explosion of language growth.  She’s already very verbal for her age, but now she’s connecting ideas and feelings, asking questions that are complex and interesting, and singing songs that are incredibly inappropriate for a two-and-a-half year old (totally my fault…….).  She’s still a total klutz.  My mom tries to tell me that she’s just too busy to really be careful where she is walking, but I’m fairly certain that she’s just the kind of athlete that I was…. not an athlete at all.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses.  She and I went out for a Mommy/Ellie date this week at Red Robin like we used to do before Tessa was born.  We even got dessert.  🙂

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Tessa

And then there is the peanut.  She’s just about THREE months now.  Suddenly, she’s very smiley and engaging.  She’s making some other noises than crying.  Her first noise was an “are you kidding me??” yelp.  Now there are happy coos as well.  Her physical progress is… progressing.  In PT, we’re using some kinesio tape on her belly to help her build up strength in her core.  She’s not able to lift her head up as well when she has it on, but I’ve been assured that she’s not regressing, she just has to re-learn to lift it using the correct muscles and posture.  She also gets to start wearing “hip hugger” pants to keep her frog legs from turning into a long-term problem.  We’ll see the developmental therapist next week, but I’m sure she will be happy to know that Tessa is smiling much more, maintaining eye contact (mostly with me), and when I move out of her vision, she looks for me.  Small victories.  And then there is speech.  No progress to report here with Tessa.  She’s still feeding in the side-lying position and doing well with that.  I’m also more comfortable with it – and getting more comfortable letting other people feed her in that position.  We were working on a transition to more upright, but she has had a cold for a few days and it’s hard enough to get the food in with a stuffy nose that we’re waiting until that clears up to experiment.  For now, the focus is on holding her differently so that she gets used to being in a more upright position.  We’re still doing some mouth-stimulating and working on the pacifier (though she has found her thumb and really likes it.  

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I made the mistake the other day of pulling out Ellie’s baby book and looking at what she was doing at 2-3 months.  Well,  I don’t know if it was a mistake, but it certainly hit me like a ton of bricks that Tessa is just going to take longer to do what her sister could.  I’m wondering what this little girl is going to be like when she’s bigger!!  Who will she be?  What will she sound like?  What will she do?  Don’t we ask those questions about all of our children??  I’ve been forcing my way through the book Eat, Pray, Love for months (I have no idea why it’s taking me so long) and she wrote about these phrases that you chant through meditation to center yourself.  I don’t meditate (do people really have time to do that??), but I do have my own phrase running through my head when I get frustrated: she will do it, in her own time.  Sometimes I need to say it a lot, other times not at all.  But it’s a reminder to me that we’ll get there.  In her time.

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