Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 31 31 for 21 2013

Reading homework must be done before the Halloween festivities begin. Good thing Rex was willing to relax and read with his little brother because the short guy was refusing to read to me. 

Happy Halloween!  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 30 31 for 21 2013

Bip bop aka hip hop class has been way over thought in my brain. Riley loves music, loves to dance and know most of the lyrics to the really great songs like Thirft shop so I thought it would be a perfect combination to let him take dance class.

He had fun at times. Other times not so much. Class is roughly 40 minutes and I think the videos below sum up my thoughts.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 29 31 for 21 2013

Riley had Hip Hop after school today. I'll share that tomorrow.  After dance we ran to pick up Rex for wrestling practice. Riley super excited because he was able to go to practice too. He was totally engaged for the entire first hour.  Which is way more than he lasted in dance class. 

Wrestling is an opportunity through school that is sponsored by Gonzaga prep. Coach is an awesome dad who has wrestled forever. He has been great with Rex the last few years and encouraging him to really come out of his shell.  I've never been a wrestling fan. Something about the uniforms and sweaty boys squirming around on a mat yuck. I am learning to appreciate the lessons. It is so totally different from the team sports We have been involved in. It has really pushed Rex to grow and be brave. It's hard to get out there all by yourself. 

 Coach made a point of inviting Riley to practice and making us know Riley was welcome.  Wrestling is the only school sport that the kids can participate in before third grade.  Excitement us an understatement. We had talked about it before we got to the gym but he didn't really understand I guess.  He was ready to go play with the little sisters when we got there but when  I stopped him and told him he could go out on the mats with brother it was complete joy!  He lasted way longer than I ever imagined. His buddy Ella was a great partner in crime for him to practice his moves on.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 28 31 for 21 2013

Riley had a pretty good day at school. Rex didn't have practice so the boys had some time on the trampoline before hitting the books. Those are Riley's best days when he gets his brother time. It makes the entire evening smoother.  Homework went fast tonight so there was time for an extra long bath with all his toys. Those tired eyes told me it was early to bed for the Ri man. Sound asleep by 7:15 is a perfect way to end the day and hopefully a good start to tomorrow. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 27 31 for 21 2013

Riley has been on a roll this weekend with his one liners.  He was all ready for church to be over this morning so he could get to the donuts and as not impressed when Father started in on a final prayer.  Riley gives this huge sigh and says GEEZ AGAIN!   

Sundays this fall have been consumed with Rex's football. This Sunday the kids played the Championship game against their biggest rivals, Cataldo. 

Riley was pretty sure it was time he join the team. 

The boys played a hard game but it didn't go the way they wanted.  2nd place is nothing to complain about but it's always hard to lose.  

The boys had a great season and learned tons. They have a great group of dads that volunteer to coach. They have taught the boys the fundamentals of football, how to play safely and most importantly they are great role models of sportsmanship.

No time to be bummed that football season is over since wrestling starts Tuesday. 

The pediatrician recommended that Riley not wrestle so even though the little guys can he wont be.  Coach invited him to come work out though so we will see how excited he is Tuesday when he gets to do warm ups with Rex.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 26 31 for 21 2013

Riley provides us lots of laughs.  Today we had a quiet day at home so I didn't think much of him being in the other room playing. He came running into the living room calling for me. I discover had stripped down to his underwear and some how found my pink sports bra. He had managed to pull it on in a side ways kinda way that made it very similar to Rex's wrestling singlet minus the shorts. He was so proud of himself and then immediately concerned because I was laughing so hard. 

Sadly no pictures were taken before he removed it. Oh that was a much needed laugh. Too bad you all weren't here to enjoy it but I'm sure you can paint a lovely picture. Oh I forgot one little detail the undies are inside out -  that makes it even better doesn't it. 

He then followed that escapade with the magicians cape over the inside out undies complete with hat and wand. 

Oh how I love days we get to stay home and relax. 

I don't have a picture of today but these escapades are pretty common in our world so here's a picture  from October 2011. He was testing out his Woody costume for Halloween. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 25 31 for 21 2013

Riley had a much improved day.  He had a good report from school and worked hard at speech.  I'm running out of words as we move into the last week of the challenge. So tonight we go back to sweet Riley... He couldn't walk or talk yet in any of these photos. Justin and I joke that we have spent a lot if time, effort and money on this boy to give him the tools to be a very sassy boy. We should have skipped all that therapy and gone some where tropical to sip drinks on the beach. Instead we are growing our very own Hurricane Riley!!!

Fresh from the NICU 2 weeks old

1st Birthday

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 24 31 for 21 2013

Riley had a rough day at school today. Well actually it was his friends and teachers that had a bad day since they took the brunt of it. I will never understand why he picks the nicest little girl in class to hit. She is so good with him, patient and understanding of his quirks and he says thank you by smacking her. He's always sorry afterwards....  Having your friends sobbing always makes an impression. I just wish it would stick with him and he'd stop doing it.  Consistency would be helpful too. It's hard to correct a behavior that is random and with out an apparent cause.  His morning aide got a workout as well. Apparently coming in from recess was not on his to do list this morning. 

I was able to have a good conversation with his teacher. She's so calm it's amazing. She deals with each incident as it happens and it doesn't have to add up to a monumental list. I'm kinda out of ideas of what to do to with him behavior wise at school so feel free to share your suggestions.  

After school we headed down to get new inserts for his shoes. Currently his orthotics look something like this only blue.  

Riley has been pronating more lately so it was recommended that we go back to a bit more support. So his new pair will look like this but have a sweet rocket ship pattern on them.  

When he was little little he wore Suresteps that looked like these.

Let's just say they make shoe shopping a nightmare. I'm thankful we aren't all the way back there. We also were I formed he needed a sturdier shoe. So by by sweet Pumas you are getting upgraded to a more solid wide shoe. 

Riley had fun playing with the demo orthotic that Jim brought us so we could see what they'd be like. 

Riley was so intrigued with the entire process of the molds being taken of his feet. He barely moved the entire time. 

Why couldn't he be this still during school?

In 2-3 weeks we'll have our new supports and be off to shoe shop. That is not as much fun as shoe shopping should be. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 23 31 for 21 2013

Great day to play outside after school even without Rex. Football practice gets in the way of Riley's play schedule with big brother. Oh well having his bear and wolf made a pretty good substitution. 

The conversations these toys have are hysterical!  Riley has a running dialogue at all times for any stuffed animals he is playing with. This morning's was little twisted. 

One bears says to the other "my father died" 
Other bear "Oh he died?"
"Yeah he's gone"  

It's all matter of fact and Riley is happy and continues on playing. Usually you can pick out parts if his day based on the conversations the animals are having. A lot of "shh listen" and "ok sweetheart" can be heard. Listening from the other room is rather entertaining. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22 31 For 21 2013

For tonight's viewing pleasure Riley is reading Sun Sets. Each night his resource teacher sends home a new book for Riley to read. He loves when I video because he can watch himself over and over.  He's possibly a little vain but I feel pretty justified exploiting that to make homework time more fun.

So tonight I'm sharing the full squirmy process of reading home work. Don't worry I didn't video the full melt down he had when I told him it was time to do math.

Tonight we chose to focus on his excellent reading progress and gloss over his potty mouth.  I think missing PE was punishment enough for the crime. Overall a successful day topped off by a fun bip bop class. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 21 - 31 for 21 2013

Each year during the 31 for 21 Challenge I have put together a list of 21 Fun Facts about Riley. See the theme -  21 things to go with the 21st chromosome on the 21 day of the challenge.  I'm clever like that.

You can read the previous years here.

So here goes for 2013. 

1. Riley can read! He is getting more confident by the day. 

2. When he finishes something he is proud of he yells " I made it". 

3. Rex is his favorite person in the entire world. 

4. Riley loves a good birthday party. He doesn't even really need a birthday for an excuse to sing he just loves to sing happy birthday! 

 5. He thrives with routine. We talk through the schedule of the day over and over and over.  

 6. He finally grew enough that he can use a booster seat in the car. I wasn't sure he'd ever reach 40 pounds. 

 7. OK Honey! I’m currently Riley’s honey. He loves a good joke and messing with my name is a pretty good laugh. It's better than using my name as swear word like he did all summer.  

 8. Riley loves to dance. He is currently taking bib bob aka Hip Hop class. It has been fun but I’m not sure if he will continue much longer. He may be more of a free style living room dance party kind of guy.  

9. Taking Riley to church is entertaining. When he was really little it was more of an aerobic activity and not it’s more of an exercise in not laughing. Thankfully he has stopped crawling under the pew to join the family in front of us and saves the really good antics for school mass. 

 10. Riley has an incredible gift for names. He wants to know everyone’s name. He might ask you to repeat it 50 times but it will stick and then he’s got you forever. 

 11. Once he knows your name he isn’t afraid to use it. When we go to Rex’s football games he knows most of the parents and he thinks they are all his playmates. He often yells at them to sit with us and play. Surprisingly most of them do. You'd never believe how many people stop and play bad guys with him. 

 12. Riley still calls all meat chicken.

 13. Riley loves to take cottage cheese in his lunch box.  He eats it every day for snack. It completely grosses the rest of the family out. 

 14. Riley loves stuffed annimals and could play for hours making them act out things. He refuses to have them any where near his bed when he sleeps. 

 15. Our current bedtime routine includes kisses and dad tucking him in. He then requests me to come check on him. He pretends to be asleep until you wisper I love you then he can't hide his sweet smile. 

16. Riley loves to go visit Gramma and Grampa on the farm. My dad has to hide the keys to the 4 wheeler, lawn mower and tractor because Riley knows exactly how to start them all. 

17. Riley can't tell you his phone number but he can tell you the 4 digit passcode to my iPhone. 

18. We visited Yellowstone Park 3 summers ago. Riley will still tell you about the buffalo and elk like it was yesterday 

 19. Riley loves chocolate. You can bribe him to do lots of things for a piece of chocolate. The tub of chocolate covered raisens from Costco would go a long way to getting homework done if the rest of the family would leave them alone. 

 20. Riley's laugh is contagioius. He smiles with his entire body. 

 21. Riley is an amazing little man that will continue to teach everyone around him. He offers lessons daily on patience. Thankfully also shares a lot of laughter!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 20 - 31 for 21 2013

Riley's class has been learning about baptism. He was so excited to share pictures from his own. Here he is telling me about it. 

Here is the picture he shared. Makes me miss my Uncle Roy. He was a Deacon at our church and baptized Riley. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 19 31 for 21 2013

This video does a great job explaining Down syndrome. It makes me cry every time I watch it. Yes I'm aware I'm a sap. 

So take a few minutes and enjoy!

Enjoy this step back in time.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18 21 for 31 - 2013

Fridays are exciting days in Riley's world. Not only does he get to see Eminee at school but it's library day. Books are a very big deal and library books might be the best kind of books there are. Riley came home from school a couple weeks ago very excited about the library book he picked out and was able to bring home. That copy of Prince Caspian has made the rounds and Riley checks it out again each week. It travels back and forth to school via the backpack and makes a daily trip to the resource room where it has a special place to sit while Riley reads the books the teacher has for him. After school Riley was proudly displaying his library book when he emerged from the classroom. 


His teacher is also trying  a new reward system to help motivate him to get more work done for his aides. His reward after finishing 4 pieces of work is to have free time where he can choose to read his book in his special house, aka under the teachers desk, or to play blocks. Not sure if he made it to his special house today but if he did I'm guessing Prince Caspian came along. 

Riley also gets to visit one of his favorite people in the world after school on Fridays. Marie has been Riley's speech therapist since he left the Guild school at 3 years old. 

Marie is a very patient person and Riley tests that patience on a regular basis. Riley loves to borrow a toy from Marie's office.  He has to take special care of it and then return the following Friday. This week he came out with a monkey and he was super excited. It hasn't left his grip since we left her office!

Riley wasn't about to share his milk but he thought the monkey needed some coffee. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17 31 for 21 2013

A beautiful autumn day combined with big brother having very little homework makes for a fun afternoon. Thursdays are currently my favorite days. No sports or other activities after school is beautiful rare thing in our world. Sunshine was icing on the cake!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16 31 for 21 2013

I knew it wouldn't last forever but I was hoping Riley's good streak at school might last a bit longer. After todays report the honeymoon is over.

 I had a few moms tell me about his behavior at church. There were seats being changed,  pews being almost climbed on/over and apparently he actually just left or at least tried to. Church is first thing after school starts so you know its going to be a long day when he kicks it off like that. 

 He has progressively been getting more and more demanding with his aides and simply refusing to work. He told one that he didn't have to do his work. When she asked why he simply replied "cause my family said".

 His teacher is possibly the calmest person I've ever met. She has high expectations of him and knows what he is capable of. He doesn't have much luck getting away with things but he is really outdoing himself trying to get out of work. He must have really pushed her today because not only did he have a frowny face on his chart he had to miss music class to stay back and do work.  He loves music so that is a big deal in his world. 

Homework time wasn't much better. When I asked him to get his back pack he disolved into sobbing tears on the kitchen floor. He pulled it together but yikes so sad to watch. 

That full moon can go away anytime!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15 31 for 21 2013

Every year during during the 31 for 21 Challenge I like to check in with Rex. His thoughts on Down syndrome are interesting and its always fun to see how his mind works. Rex isn't always the chattiest of boys so its a good excuse to ask a lot of questions. 

What is Down syndrome? I would say its something that makes a person not learn or understand things as fast as other people. 

What do you think about having a brother with Down syndrome? I think its fun. I like being able to wrestle with him to get him stronger. Plus he's pretty funny. 

What is the best thing about having Riley for a brother? He's funny cause he can slap his cheeks with his feet. He almost never gets hurt and he's fun to play with because he has a big imagination. 

What is the worst thing about having Riley for a brother? He doesn't listen too well.

What would you do if someone made fun of Riley for having Down syndrom? If someone was picking on him because he looked different or didn't learn something as fast I would tell them Don't pick on him because he may not look the same but he is still one of God's creations. 

Have you ever heard someone pick on Riley? No most of the time people say how cute or funny he is. 

If someone did pick on Riley how would that make you feel? I would feel angry, sad and confused about why they would pick on a little kid like Riley. 

Do you get tired of hearing how cute Riley is? Yes, I hear it all the time. Sometimes cause its the only thing they talk about and I have to live with Riley and I already know that he is funny. 

What would you tell a friend that was worried about having a brother with Down syndrome? I would tell them not to worry because just because they will have a disability it only means they won't learn quite as fast as other people but they will have a big imagination.

What do you thing about having having friends like Hunter that have a sibiling with Down syndrome? Hmm.. yes. Because its nice to know someone else that has a sister with Down syndrome because he can relate. But mom you shouldn't be friends with someone just cause their sibling has a disability. You should just be nice to everyone. 

Any final thoguths? Nope thats all I have to say about Down syndrome.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 14 31 for 21 2013

Riley has never had his very own play date. It's always been playing with Rex's friends little sisters, my friends kids or family dinner type arrangements.  While he loves all of these opportunities to see his friends he was SUPER excited to have his very own play date with Ella. 

Ella's parents dropped her off and took her big brother to his soccer game. Justin and Rex went to the game too so they didn't have any big kids bossing them either. They were two very very excited kiddos. 

The conversations were hysterical. 

There was a big debate over the slide.  Riley was not about to go down it. Ella loved going down even with the puddle at the bottom. Riley decided it would be a much better plan to go back down the ladder. 

Riley Gibby I'm not very happy with you right now!!!

Our neighbor has chickens so we went for a walk. 

Chickens chickens come here!

The tried to feed the chickens pine needles through the fence. 

With nobody else home we had room to roll up the carpet and paint. 

The concentration was intense!

Theses two had so much fun. I had a ton of listening to them. Funny funny kids!

I wish I could bottle these two up and share them when ever people say "oh kids with Down syndrome are always so sweet". They are sweet but they are also feisty, funny,happy sad,angry and loving. They experience the full range of emotions just like we do. I love that Riley and Ella have a friendship where they are able to experience/share all those emotions and still love each other.