Thursday, December 16, 2010

Starring Hurricane Riley

Riley had a busy busy day to day.  The schedule of two preschool classes typically is very smooth, but some times it is a bit much even for Hurricane Riley.  He started off the morning as the Little Drummer Boy in the Nativity themed performance at all Saints.  This afternoon he starred as the mouse in the the story retelling of The Mitten.  He did great in both and overall had a great day.  By the time we left afternoon preschool there were some growls and a less than cooperative photos but overall a huge SUCCESS!! 

A couple notes as you view the photos and video from today.  As the drummer boy he had a perfect escape when he didn't feel like singing.  He had some moments where he needed to rest but came back strong with an animal song.  I'll apologise now for the shaking of the camera and yes that is me giggling.  You can hear that better than the kids but hey they were nervous.  One of my favorite moments was when Riley realized that we were in the crowd and he yells GRRAMMA!  I'm bummed that I wasn't videoing at that moment. In the afternoon he was equally excited to see GramPA and Rex.  Its hard to have an entire fan club show up to preschool and not be a bit distracted. 


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Come on say WOW!

Apparently having a 4 year old in the house brings shoulder shrugging and eye rolling.  Seriously tonight  we would ask him to do something and we get the reaction you'd expect from Rex.  4 might be an adjustment for Riley.  I love to see him exerting his independence and communicating with us all the time but wow cut mom some slack little man!

He has had a great week at school and continues to amaze me.  Today the magic notebook that comes home from afternoon preschool tells us that he worked with the Speech therapist today.  While with her did an exercise where he did a story re-tell by using a felt board and labeling the pictures.  Go on say it  you know you want to...  WOW.  Gramma, the teacher, reminds me what a huge pre-reading skill that is.  Indeed it is!

So as long as I'm bragging about Riley... its therapeutic you know.  So really I have to blog for my own mental health.  Anyway this last week while my family gathered for Thanksgiving my mom had given Riley this great wooden truck to play with.  It had six barrels on the back each in a different color.  Riley sat with my sister in law Libby, Aunt Bibby as Riley calls her, and was showing off how well he knew the colors.  Then Libby would distract him and take a barrel.  Riley would sit and process and go thru the colors and then look at her and demand the missing barrel by color.  He could actually process which barrel was missing and asking for it.   Say it with me now... WOW!

Hello people I'm ready!

Cheesing it up with Gramma aka me mah

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hurricane Riley Turns 4

Dear Riley,

It is hard to believe that you are turning 4 today.  It seems like I've barely had time to blink and these last 4 years have disappeared.  You have certainly taken our family on an amazing ride these last 4 years. 

Last year  I was very nervous about you turning 3 and graduating from the Guild School.  Time and time again you show me there is no need to worry about you.  You will find success every where you go!  This last year in preschool has been amazing.  From the first day you walked into your classroom you have belonged. It is amazing to watch you grow and learn.  Your teachers and therapists push you each day and each day you rise to the challenge.  You still try to smile and operate on "cute" but they know you well and don't let you slide by with your amazing smile.  I love to hear the reports coming home from school about how well you are counting or how many letters you know.  When I listen to you counting your animals or telling them how to spell Riley my heart swells with pride! 

We have celebrated your birthday several times over the last week and each time you are so excited when you realize we are singing just to you.  I love that you smile with your entire body!  Riley you have an amazing smile and laugh, and your dad, brother and I are so blessed that you share it with us each day!  You have an exceptional gift of knowing when others need a good hug or a huge smile.  I am the luckiest person to get one of those amazing hugs each day!

Riley William you are an amazing boy and I am very blessed to your mom.  I am sure this next year will be another amazing one.  I'm looking forward to watching you grow and learn.  Enjoy being 4 buddy you have a lot of playing to do!

Love you always!
Mom


We celebrated Riley's birthday with the family at Thanksgiving



Pumpkin Pie holds up candles just fine!





Hanging out with my cousin Kayla waiting for my pie

Chillin with Pa and Me maw

Riley loved the musical card Great Gramma Elsie sent!



Ooh whats in here?

Ta Da...  sweet new shirts from Gramma Debbie and Grampa Tom


More cupcakes with friends!


Riley has had lots and lots of snow for his birthday week... 




I don't like the snow either buddy but don't worry... its your party and you can cry if you want to!

You didn't think I could leave you with anything less than a good laugh did you??

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A little of this and a little of that...



 Riley's preschool class at All Saints walked across the street to the public library last week.  They had a grand adventure and were able to listen to a story while they were there. 




Riley loves to listen to stories.  I'm always surprised to see him sitting so nicely but its captured on film so I know it really happens.



Riley is making friends at preschool.  This is one of his favorite little friends.  He has always had an eye for the pretty girls!



Riley doesn't always like to sit and listen.  His afternoon teacher coined this his Jack Black look last year.  You know he is getting really comfortable in his surroundings when he pulls this look out for you.  Its better head on but this picture captures it pretty well.



OH Yes children with Down syndrome are always so happy!


Riley is really into his pretend play.  Lately making his Elmo and Grover sleep and covering them up is a favorite.  Today he thought he'd sleep too! 


Snoring is hard to capture in a picture. 

Well that is what Hurricane Riley has been up to lately.  We are starting to gear up for this 4th birthday.  Its hard to believe its coming up so soon.    I've been looking at write and scribble toy from Leap Frog for Riley.    It looks pretty cool and appears to be a nice way to practise tracing letters and numbers.  Let me know if you've used it or if you have other great gift ideas.   Birthday and Christmas have me stumped  for both boys this year. I am in need of inspiration and I'm hoping to find some during my annual day after Thanksgiving shopping adventure with Angie.  Guaranteed hysterical fits of laughter even if not much is purchased. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time to raise the bar again!

This week both Rex and Riley's schools had parent teacher conferences.  Thankfully Riley had class even though the rest of the school had early release.  Rex's school had early release so he was able to hang out with Kristi the babysitter while Riley was at afternoon preschool.  He thought this was a great treat.  Thursday afternoon they had a hot date and after they dropped Riley off at school they headed down town to the Olive Garden to enjoy lunch and wonder around a bit.  Rex had a glorious day! 

Today I attended conferences with both Rex and Riley's teachers at All Saints.  We didn't have a conference at Riley's public school preschool since we just had his IEP meeting.  I started off with Rex's 2nd grade teacher Mrs Speiring.  Rex is doing really well at school.  His teacher was also a shy kiddo and so she really understands how important it is for us to encourage him to be brave and to make sure he continues to gain confidence.  She has spent these first few months of school getting to know the kids and she really pays attention. I love that his teacher understands how to push him so that he gains more and more confidence in himself and his ability to succeed at school.   She is especially impressed with Rex's maturity and patience.  I'm apparently a total sap but she made me all teary eyed as she was talking about his ability to be patient and considerate  all different types of kids.  I'm not exactly sure how Justin and I ended up with a child that is patient but I'll take it. 

Riley also received rave review from both of his preschool teachers.  They had a portfolio of his work to show me what he has been working on this fall.  I'm impressed!  I knew that he was making big progress lately with his numbers and letters but I didn't understand just how much.  They had two separate worksheets to evaluate where he was with number and letter recognition.  The numbers and letters were scattered over their individual  page in no order and Riley was asked to identify each number or letter. He was only able to identify the number 1, but he identified 8 letters plus 3 others that were a close mistake such a Y for V.  Apparently my expectations have been too low!  We talk about the letters in his name a lot but I didn't realize he was picking up so many other letters at school. Time for mom and dad to raise the bar again.  He has a little friend Howwi that he likes to play with and gives hugs to.  The kids love him and keep an eye out for him but don't baby him.  He loves school and guess what.....I love his school too! 

What a great day to get to spend time hearing about how wonderful your children are. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Checkin it off my list and for free too!

I love Christmas letters and I really love Christmas cards with pictures. I'm sure part of why I love receiving Christmas cards is because its the only time of the year I get real mail that isn't a bill or a statement from the insurance company.  Seriously there is something fabulous about getting a real honest to goodness envelope addressed to me with a note or a picture of some of my favorite people.

Now just because I love them doesn't mean I'm always organized enough to get them out but when I saw this promotion from Shutterfly I couldn't pass up an opportunity to earn 50 free cards.  I originally started using Shutterfly because they were the only photo card site that I could find that had a style for multiple pictures on one card.  When I ordered my pictures and my cards they turned out great and I've been hooked ever since.  So now when I'm good and print pictures I typically use Shutterfly. 

One year I knew I wouldn't get Christmas cards out so I opted for a Valentines Day card.  I thought it was a fun idea and loved how the card turned out.  Everyone loved to get pictures of the boys and it was a fun way to make up for not sending holiday cards. 
Be Mine Valentine's Day
Unique party invitations and greeting cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.



You can find lots of options for Valentines Day cards  on Shutterfly's website.  This year I'm hoping to be organized enough to get my holiday cards out but I've been checking out all the different styles and I don't know how I'm going to choose.  So many options and apparently I've lost my ability to make decisions so this is going to take some times.  Do I pick the folded card option or the more typical photo card???  Decisions decisions.


 

Here is one style that I'm considering for this year's card.
Rejoice Lord King Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.


I love the look of the true folded card that still allows for my own family's photos to be added.  I'm even considering paying a little extra and having Shutterfly stamp and mail my cards.  How sweet does that sound to have it all done in a few clicks and not have to spend hours licking stamps and addressing envelopes.  That part is my least favorite part of sending cards. 


I have only ordered 1 photo book but I love it and wish I could afford to do lots more. They are so simple and make such great gifts. I was checking out the site again today and uploaded a ton of pictures. When you are done they give you a quick option of viewing what a photo book with the pictures you just uploaded would look like. What a great option for those of us that are less creative. I will need to move a few pictures around but it will save me tons of time in the long run. I'm hoping to get a few different books made for gifts. Look how many things I'm crossing off my list by using Shutterfly. LOVE IT!!!


You too can join in the fun and earn free cards while experiencing some great customer service.  Seriously I've never promoted a product before and the fact that I can honestly say I've been a customer and love the product is the only way I could post this even for free cards.  So click on over and check out the fun and don't forget to add me to your Christmas card list. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tricker Treat



We had a ton of fun on Halloween.  Rex had a party in the afternoon with on of his buddies from school.  Justin's Raiders beat the Seahawks as well so it was a good day for all.  We headed over to our friends house for tricker treating and the whole family had a fun night.  Rex was able to go out with his buddy Colin and Riley got to play with his new friends Kaitlyn and Eva or Eba as Riley calls her. 

The weather turned out great.  The rain left and the sun came out and turned it into a beautiful evening.  The boys treat bags were way too full and it better take a long time to polish off all of this candy.  I've never seen so many houses give out full candy bars.  Way better than the mall for sure!  I had fun dumping all of Rex's bag out on the table tonight.  Man he had no idea what I was doing but really is there anything better than dumping out all the loot and sorting thru to see who had the best stuff. 



Riley had a great time and his trick er treat was better by the end of night.  He said tank ew at every house!
video

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31 - 31 for 21 Day 31


Sunday October 31st 2010 completes my 3rd 31 for 21 challenge.  I'm enjoying a little quite time as Rex is off to a Halloween party and Riley is napping and I thought I'd get my last post of the month up before the craziness of costumes and tricker treating begins.

In my mind this online journal gives me a chance to share a typical family that has had our minds and hearts opened by a little boy with an extra chromosome. We didn't ask for a child with Down syndrome nor did we choose it we simply asked God for the gift of a child and HE knew best what we needed. Little did we know that we needed Riley to complete our family. 

This has been a good month.  I've tried hard to make my posts meaningful and to document our life in a realistic way. I hope I have succeeded in showing how some days our life has everything to do with Down syndrome, but most days it has nothing to do with our life.  During this month each year I have pondered how simple it is for us to reduce Down syndrome to the confinements of a month.  While I "struggle" to post each night I remember that Riley will have Down syndrome each and every day.  He doesn't get to share it only during a special month or when it works for him.  Each and every day he wears Down syndrome on his face.  I am thankful for each and every person that looks past his almond eyes and sees Riley for the spunky little mischievously wonderful boy that he is.  He is special not because he has Down syndrome but because there is something special that shines when he smiles.  Something in those eyes that screams joy and love all wrapped up in a sly little boy. 

This morning in church Riley was quick and slid under the pew in front of me before I could stop him.  The two older couples were quick to smile at him and welcomed Riley to sit with them.  I'm always a bit taken back when Riley so naturally makes himself part of another family sitting near us that we don't know.  He just smiles at them and somehow draws them in as if it was as natural as can be that he is suddenly part of their family.  I've given up trying to slow him down and really wonder at times if this isn't how we all should be.  Really if we were all as quick as Riley to smile and cuddle up next to the stranger sitting in front of us we wouldn't be strangers for long.  This morning after mass as I was apologizing for Riley crawling under the pew the women stops me and says "oh don't be sorry it was great.  I miss my own granddaughter and I enjoyed him sitting with us".  Once again Riley shared a little love and sunshine. 

I am sure that Justin and I will continue to learn ton as we travel this road with Rex and Riley.  I hope that we are able to impart some wisdom on them with out pushing our own insecurities onto them.  Rex and Riley have amazing gifts to share with the world.  I will continue to do my part to share our family and what we know about Down syndrome in hopes that others will continue to see Riley for who he is and not for who they fear he may be. 





Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sneaky lil pumpkins 31 for 21 Day 30


Better late than never.  We snuck in the pumpkin carving this afternoon and we all had a lot of fun.  Riley likes pumpkin guts.  Rex got the markers so Riley could color on his while Rex drew the face on his.  Riley pumpkin was a bit of an experiment.  I had seen a really cool idea in a magazine where you drilled holes and then Christmas lights in the holes and had a great lit up pumpkin.  Well it turns out the same concept works if you just drill a lot of holes and light a candle too.  I even tried to be all Martha Steward like and roast the pumpkin seeds.  They turned out really good and Riley and I have a lot of seeds to enjoy.  I found a memory card on sale so I out foxed the hider and have pictures to share.  Of course as I type this Rex found the memory card hidden in the chair..  oh well now we can take lots more pictures!

Hard at work

Squishy

Stoppin to sample the seeds

Sloppy kisses


Cheese

Power tools with Dad

Riley's turn


Rex had too much fun with the drill...  pumpkin sprays when you drill holes

Rex and Riley Halloween 2010

Three little pumpkins!


Friday, October 29, 2010

31 for 21 Day 29


I only have two more days of this 31 for 21 challenge and I'm not feeling inspired.  I have lots of random thoughts but no really complete thoughts running through my mind.  Its been a rough week and its finally Friday.  I am ready to take my glass of wine and veg in front of the TV.    I'm hoping a good night's sleep and waking up knowing I get to spend the entire day with the boys will help shake this funk I'm in. 

I was hoping to share a video of Riley but since it seems that he has hidden my photo card there won't be new pictures until I find the magical place he stashed it.  I've checked the usual spots and not had success. I sure hope he out grows this need to hid things soon.  Tonight when I got home from work he decided it would be fun to hide himself in the fireplace.  In the 6 years we have lived here it has never had a fire in it but apparently we don't dust there either...  YUCK

Becca and Amy since I'm pretty sure you are the only people that read daily and leave comments I'll wish you two good night.  Take care of you and thank you for being dear friends.  The rest of you will get a shout out too...  just as soon as you delurk and leave a comment or two.  Love ya all!


PS...    Plain Gramma will be making a guest appearance before the 31 for 21 Challenge is over

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Remembering 31 for 21 Day 28





Halloween 2009 was a success!  I'm looking forward to another great year. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IEP 31 for 21 Day 27


We had Riley's IEP meeting today.  Wow what a difference a year makes.  Last year I was in a panic.  I didn't really know what to expect and I hadn't heard great things about the process.  I felt a bit like I walked in prepared for a fight.  This year was completely different.  I feel really good about our placement.  I love his teachers and I'm confident in his therapists.  I have the extra confidence of having a year of private therapy under our belt as well.    Plus Riley is simply doing amazing. 

When we arrive for the IEP meeting we were told that his teach wouldn't be there as planned. The poor women had been getting sick but had come to school anyway.  She had an afternoon dentist appointment and proceeded to get sick in the dentist's chair.  YUCK!  I think that earns her an excused absence. 

The teacher not being there was really the only bump in the road.  The goals all seemed appropriate and challenging but not crazy.  I think the therapists all are very aware of how capable Riley is and expect high performance from him.  I am one lucky mom to have such a great set up. 

The IEP process is intimidating and I've read so many blogs and talked to moms who have not had a very successful time at having the school meet the needs of their children.  It is really sad to me that schools don't all just do what is best and most appropriate for the child.  I wonder how different things will be when we move from preschool to kindergarten.  For now I'm enjoying my rose colored glasses. 








Don't be scared mom



I can adjust to anything...I like to fly by the seat of my pants

My big brother will always be there to show me the way


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Foot Print 31 for 21 Day 26


I went on search of a great story to share this evening and found this beautiful story.  I'm not sure of its original source and I'm going to believe its true because I needed an warm fuzzy story today.  Today I gathered with my entire family once again to say good bye to a loved one.  We celebrated the life of my Aunt Doris.  It was a beautiful service and we shared good memories.   My heart broke as I watched my Uncle Jim kiss his wife of 60 years goodbye.    With all of the illness and loss in my family the last few months I have thought a lot about the footprint I'm leaving in this world.  I want to live a life where those around me can see my faith in God and not only during the good times, where my love for my family is clearly visible and my friends know how much they bring to my life.  I promise to work on these things each day. 

 Reading the story below is just one more reminder of important things in life. 


A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with the relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and paused. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down  syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for 10 minutes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Smiles 31 for 21 Day 25


Instead of listing out all the icky that has been going on and all the reasons that I'm exhausted and would rather be in bed than trying to write something inspired I'm going to share with you a few videos of Riley that I like to watch when I need a smile.  The pure joy that he shares with us daily is guaranteed to make you smile too.  So when I need a good reminder of why we keep the busy schedule we do or just simply need a good giggle I pull these up and I'm sure to smile.  I hope they make you smile too!








I haven't watched this a while but it certainly made me smile tonight.  Riley's 4th birthday is coming up in a little over a month so I'm going to have to update this.  Enjoy!




Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lessons Learned 31 for 21 Day 24

 I wanted to post something in honor of Down syndrome awareness month that was meaningful. This is my attempt to share my thoughts on what it is to have a child with Down syndrome. Well this list is 21 things that I have learned from having a child with Down syndrome.   I posted this list two years ago during my first 31 for 21 challenge.  I thought I would link to this and created an updated list from 2010.  As I read through this list I really feel like it is as accurate and meaningful as it was 2 years ago. 




1. Find a Dr. you can trust and stick with them. I feel a bit like our pediatricians are a part of the family. I see them on a very regular basis especially now that cold season has started with Asthma boy and his side kick wheezy.

2. Cliches not to use in a time of stress. My friend Amy and I think that we will make millions when we publish the book that started with just a list of things not to say to Mary. (cause wow was I pregnant and moody when I discovered Riley would have Down syndrome) Since Amy and run neck and neck for the coveted Drama Queen title we have a list for most crisis situations.

3. Who my friends are. I have some really amazing friends.

4. How much my mom means to me. Growing up I don't ever remember not liking my parents like most teenagers do but we have certainly grown much closer in the last several years. I don't know how I would have managed to get Riley to therapy twice a week for the last year with out my mom's help.

5. OT, PT, Cognitive therapy - and a zillion other ways to "play" with Riley to help his development. I think we should rename it all and call it Play therapy. Maybe it wouldn't seem so over whelming if I was just headed to play date a couple times a week.

6. How to fight with my insurance company and occasionally win. 

7. Children with Down syndrome tend to have the cutest hands and feet ever. How can you not fall in love with the short chubby little fingers and toes.

8. It isn't a good thing to growl at everyone who tells you that those kids are so loving. This is one of the items that belong on the list that Amy and I have made. This is just one of those statements that drive me insane. I would like to think that my children would and are both loving and happy because they live in a loving home. We might be crazy but we are loving :-)

9. Don't take things for granted.

10. Notice the little accomplishments in life. When Rex was tiny we just took it for granted that we would move from milestone to milestone. I wish I would have paid more attention to the details.

11. Small inside jokes can take on a life of there own. I was so tired of people talking about Riley as "one of those" or "they" that I may have freaked out one evening over dinner when Justin and I had escaped on a date night and were out to dinner with Jeremy and Angie. Well, in a totally off color and yet hysterically funny way Jeremy points out to me that a family we happened passed had a child with Down syndrome, but it went more like "Hey Mary! they got one of them kids too!!!" and with that it started. We often joke with our other friends that have "one of them". I think I have everyone around me paranoid about making generalizations about Riley.

12. The bond between brothers is immediate and very strong. I have been amazed by Rex and the instant total and complete love he has for Riley. I have no doubt that he will always be his protector. I have been worried about how having a brother with Down syndrome will affect Rex... so far I don't think he realizes that all babies aren't just like Riley. If he does he certainly doesn't let on. Rex gets so excited when Riley learns something new, he has a huge sense of pride in teaching Riley. Since I was pregnant with Riley, Rex has had a list of items he will teach Riley. He is currently about to check off "teach Riley to walk" and then I think he is moving on to riding a bike. Both of these activities are entirely more exciting than teach him to sit on the sofa which was his first item on the list after I explained that Riley wouldn't be able to walk and ride his bike for quite a while after he came home from the hospital.

13. I used to think that I was pro choice and proud of it. I have always thought I though I could personally not terminate a pregnancy it was not my place to decide what other women did. Not too terribly long ago I had a couple of encounters with people that were facing a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis and were leaning to termination. I now know that I am not pro choice. How could you possibly terminate Riley. It is personally offensive to think about.

14. I could adopt. One of my worst fears before I had children was that I wouldn't be able to conceive my own child and I would have to decide if I was able to adopt a child. I have two adopted sisters and it has not always been a bed of roses. When I hear the statistic that 90% of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are terminated I am sick. I know that I could take any one of those children and raise them as my own.

15. Sign language- I love the signing times videos and so do both my boys. Rex has picked up a ton of signs very quickly. He is much better at it than I am. I think it is so cool though that my family and friends are trying to learn Riley's signs too.

16. 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under the age of 35. Not only could it happen to me at 30 but it did and I'm by far not the youngest of my friends to have a child with Down syndrome. We have so much education to do still.

17. My house will never be clean. EVER I'm not known for my housekeeping skills but I attempt once in while but seriously they should make a carpet that goldfish crackers and cheerios blend in with better.

18. My fear was a waste of energy. I was so afraid of having a child with Down syndrome. If only I new then what I know now. I wasted a lot of time crying and afraid of what our life would be life and what Riley's life would be. If only I new how wonderfully normal and crazy it would be all at the same time. I wish everyone that knew they were having a child with Down syndrome could meet a child like Riley. Then they would understand.

19. Journaling is a stress reliever for me. While I love Riley to pieces he has also brought some added stress to my life. It is a challenge to keep up with his therapy schedule and Rex's soccer schedule plus any other activities going on and not feel a bit like I'm running in circles. I'm so glad I have found something to help me process it all.

20. I'm a sap. Who knew I could be that excited to see a new born baby latch on to a pacifier. Woo hoo he could suck and that means he'll be able to eat. Or be moved to tears watching a child roll over for the first time. Not only have I been so excited for every new milestone but I see and appreciate them so much more when I see other children do them.

21. I would not trade my crazy life for anything! We have our moments but I wouldn't trade my three boys for anything. I have a wonderful husband that I love dearly, and two hysterically funny boys.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Big Brother Rex 31 for 21 Day 23


 
While this 31 for 21 challenge is in honor of Down syndrome awareness and often this blog focuses on Riley today we are going to change things up a bit.  Today we are going to focus on the Big Brother Rex part of the family.  In honor of Rex being an amazing big brother to a boy with an extra 21st chromosome.  I've never done a list of 21 things that Rex loves before.  Hope you enjoy!

 
  1.   Rex is my first born and made his entrance into the world two weeks early.  I had been having bad back pain all evening and had no clue that I was in labor until I had the big splash as I headed into a store. 
  2. Rex has always been super shy.  I can't even count how many play dates and birthday parties he sat with me and the grown ups because he was too nervous to go play. 
  3. Rex is really getting braver as he grows.  It is fun to watch him gain confidence in everything he does.
  4. Rex has been struggling with his asthma again.  I thought he was on the road to outgrowing it but the last 6 months has show me that it actually becoming more and more of an issue especially during sports. 
  5. Rex has a great sense of humour.  Too often its potty humor but still he is typically good for a laugh.
  6. Rex is loving the second grade and is doing really well.  He is coming into his own with his reading and really loves math.
  7. Rex would rather be kicking, throwing or catching any type of a ball than doing school stuff. 
  8. Rex is super coordinated when it comes to sports and is really fun to watch him put all the pieces of a game together.  He is getting to be a good little soccer play. 
  9. Rex loves to play goalie in soccer and catcher in baseball.  I wonder if he'll like linebacker when he tries football?
  10. Rex is a sensitive little man.  Last year we saw just how sensitive he is when he thought a friend didn't like the birthday gift he picked out for him and we had full blown tears.
  11. Rex is the greatest big brother to Riley.  He is very patient with him and lets Riley join in on most any game or activity. 
  12. Rex loves to ride his bike.  He learned to ride with out training wheels after a lot of hesitation and instantly started trying to pop wheelies.
  13. Our extended family has had a lot of loss in the last few months.  At one point when we were discussing my cousin going to live with Jesus Rex pumped his fist in the air like he had hit a home run and says how lucky Doug is that he gets to go live with Jesus. 
  14.  Rex loves music.  He and Justin play name that tune a lot.  Rex loves to try to play with me because he thinks its hysterical that I never know the name of a song or who sings it. 
  15. Rex thinks its wonderful that he is one of the bigger kids in his group.  He is weighing in just over 80 pounds and is 4'2.
  16. Rex loves to go to the shoe store.  He is loves to see how much his feet have grown.  I wish he wasn't in such a  hurry to be big. 
  17. Rex has always been a story teller.  An all time favorite is one where he told us that there were itty bitty monsters pulling at his hair while he slept. 
  18. Rex loves pizza.  His favorite is peperoni with black olives. 
  19. Rex is a daddy's boy.  He adores Justin and will do almost anything if Justin likes it.
  20. Rex is in his 2nd year of Cub scouts and is in the Wolf den.  He loves the time he gets to spend with Justin working on his scout projects.
  21. Rex is an amazing little man and it is fun to watch him grow.  He amazes me daily with ability to love and accept everyone around him.