Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Riley William

My Dear little Riley, 
In the crazy that took over our day I almost forgot to write your birthday blog.  3 years ago and about an hour (7:07 pm)  you arrived into our family and took over our hearts.  It amazes me daily how much you have changed not only our family but everyone we know and meet.  You have such an beautiful soul that shines when you smile.  I love that you smile with your whole body.  There is no guessing what you are feeling. 

You have changed and grown so much this last year.  On your 2nd birthday you were barely walking and now you run.  You have no fear when it comes to keeping up with your big brother.  You are so lucky to have such a wonderful big brother.  You and Rex are such good friends.  I love to watch you play and see how much fun you have together.  The bond you boys share is amazing and strong and has been since the moment you arrived in this world.   Rex insisted we have a cake to celebrate the day you arrived home from the hospital and again today even though we've already had your party he insisted we celebrate you again with cake and singing.  You LOVE it when we sing Happy Birthday to you.  I wish everyone enjoyed their birthday as much as you do. 

You started big boy preschool today at Sheridan Elementary.  While I was overwhelmed by the new and busy room when we arrived you took in all in stride. You were so excited to meet new friends and play and I was busy trying not to cry.  Yet again you are trying to teach me to relax and enjoy the moment.  I'm trying baby I promise.  Mommy is trying to learn the lessons you teach! 

When I sit back and really think about that evening 3 years ago when you arrived I am overwhelmed with joy and sadness.  I am so completely in love with you it makes me sad that I ever doubted you, that I ever worried about how you would arrive.  If you would be healthy or not or if that would even matter.  If only I knew then what I know and understand now.  I certainly wouldn't have wasted a second worring about you.  It doesn't matter if you have a single crease on your hand or almond shaped eyes.  In the beginning they wanted to tell your dad and I about all the things that would be wrong or different.  They pointed out all the things most children with Down syndrome have or how you might look.  I think I shoved the polaroid picture the nurse gave me in every single person's face that first day.  Even the cleaning lady at the hosptial knew how beautiful my baby boy was.    Those first few weeks in the hospital you turned me into a germophobe and a bit nerotic.  Well, the truth be told I've always been a bit of a nut case.  Every day you work to teach us patience.  Maybe someday we will really learn the lesson. 

As we celebrate your third birthday  I am excited to see what the future will bring for you.  How you will grow and change this next year.  I love you my little Riley Roo.

Since today is actually Ri's birthday we had cupcakes at Rex's request.  Not sure why so many shirtless pics as of late but tonights excuse is that we had spaghetti for dinner. 

Its a big bus!

So anyone that knows me understands that having Riley ride the school bus to preschool was a HUGE deal.  I've not been the most comfortable with the stigma of the short bus.  I'll admit I've made some innappropriate comments about the short bus over the years and have to giggle every time some one asks me about the bus that will be taking Ri to school. 

This morning Riley was all set for school.  He took his back pack to the baby sitter's, was all spiffed up with big boy shirt and jeans, and new shoes.  I was having some big anxiety about him riding the bus so I took off from work to meet the bus at the sitters house and follow him to school on his first day.  Well we waited and waited and the bus never came.  After calling we discovered that they mixed up the pick up and drop off addresses since he gets dropped at home after preschool and the bus was at our house while we waited at the sitter's.  So I drove him to preschool and arrived about 20 mins late.  Not a huge deal, but as I'm sure you can picture a preschool room with 12 kids and 5 adults is a pretty busy place to walk into.  Riley had no problems at all.  He ditched me at the door and was off to take his coat off and go play.  I on the other hand was a bit panic striken.  There were so many kids and they were so HUGE.  I'm pretty sure those kids looked as big as Rex. 

 I raced home to meet the bus and get some first day getting off the bus pictures since we didn't get any on the way to school this morning.  I have to admit I was surprised to see a big bus pull up in front of the house.   Riley made it home with no mix up's and immediatley asked to go nigh nigh. He had such a action packed day that he was ready for a nap. Apparently only a cat nap though since he's currently up playing with Rex.

All in all a pretty OK day.  I'm relieved to have him home and have the first day under our belt.  Certainly not what I pictured 3 years ago when I first had Riley.  Back then I couldn't even consider what the future would bring.  What an adventure these last few years have been. 

Riley's first day of preschool

Sayin cheese with Rex

Waiting for the bus

Still where the bus?

The big bus in front of the house

Riley in a rush to get off the big bus...  he was excited to see mom!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close

As this Thanksgiving weekend winds down I feel my anxiety for tomorrow winding up.  Riley has officially graduated from his birth to three program and will be starting big boy preschool at Sheridan Elementary school.  For those of you not familiar with how all of this works once a child turns three the public school system takes over the preschool and therapies for developmentally delayed children like Riley.  I think the preschool part of all of this is great.  We have met his teacher and I like her.  At least I got good vibes from her and she was open and willing to talk through any of our questions so I take that as a good sign.  I worry a bit about the therapy part.  He doesn't get much through the school system so we will be supplementing with private therapy.  I worry about getting the right combination and not going over board but still making sure we give Ri the best start.  We are taking December off since he just graduated and our we are out of visits that our insurance will cover until January.  Hopefully we'll come up with a good plan so we can start the new year off with a good routine. 

Riley's last day at the Guild School was last Wednesday.  Riley has been going there at least once a week since he was 10 weeks old and it was VERY hard to say good bye.  Riley had fun delivering gifts to his teachers and therapists but wasn't so sure why they were keeping them.   He has the gift unwrapping figured out from his birthday but he wants to be the one getting the gifts and doesn't have giving them figured out quite yet.  His little friend Cole gave him a card and they shared big hugs.  It was super cute until Riley's hug got a little big and he pushed Cole to the ground. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Graduation/ Birthday Celebration!!!!!!!

We have had a lot to celebrate around here.  Riley is turning 3 on the 30th and that means he is graduating from the Guild School and transitioning to the public school preschool.  We had his IEP meeting last week and it went pretty well.  I like his teacher and that I think will make all the difference in the world.  I was a bit dissapointented in the amount of  services he will recieved but overall it will be a great experience.  We will be supplementing with private therapy.  Orginally I didn't think we were going to do private PT right away.  I was planning on his school PT along with something like soccer tots being enough for the next few months.  Well, we discovered that he would be recieved 15 mins of individual PT a week and 15 of group PT.   Obviously that won't cover it, so we'll be looking for a PT after the first of the year.  We'll also be adding something with other kids like soccer tots or Gymboree.  Has anyone found some fun ideas to get toddlers up and moving and around other kids with out it being in a formal PT situation?  School should be an adventure.  We decided to let Riley ride the bus to school.  He will be picked up at the sitter's and head to afternoon preschool Monday through Thursday.  They encouraged to do afternoon preschool because of the group of kiddos he will be joining.  The afternoon group  will be all  4 yr olds prepping to go to kindergarten next fall and are more advanced than the morning crowd.

Riley had his big graduation/ birthday party this weekend. All of our friends came to help us celebrate.  My mom and dad bought Riley a table top piano.  It is adorable and a huge hit. Riley was a little overwhelmed when everyone started arriving but he eventually caught on to the idea of gifts in those pretty bags.  He was totally excited to rip in to the wrapping paper. 

My new trucks!!

OOOH Gramma what did you get me?

Gramma I love the piano.  Good think Ella, Elizabeth and I can all play it at the same time.  Oh the sounds of music in the air. 
WOW Everyone is singing to me!
And we are done.........such a fun party.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Need your vote!

Remember back a few weeks ago I told you all that I entered Riley in a photo contest on another blog.  Well, one of the photo's I submitted is in the top 5 and now I need your help with the voting.  It will be tough choice because all the photo's are amazingly cute but come on we all know that Hurricane Riley and His Big Brother Rex are the CUTEST!!!  Don't get side tracked by the gnome. 

So hop on over to Parenting BY dummies and vote please!  I'm falling behind and its only the first day so I need some moral support.  And just in case you need some motivation here are the beautiful boys you'll be voting for.