Sunday, March 30, 2014

Button Coat

Last Friday, I was getting the kids ready to drop Charlotte off at school. Charlotte followed me to the mudroom as I gathered shoes and coats for everyone.

 I held up two coats and asked Charlotte, "Purple or brown?" (giving her a choice at which one she would like to wear that morning)

She replied, "Button coat."

Me: "Button coat?"

C: "Button coat." (pointing at the coat rack behind me)

I realized she was pointing to her denim coat; one she has only worn a couple of times this spring, as here in the midwest, we are still experiencing frigid temperatures requiring winter coats.

Me: "It is cold outside today, and if you go outside at school you need to have a heavier coat. Which one, purple or brown?"

C: "Button Coat" (stomping her foot)

I explained again why she needed to wear a heavier coat.


Me: See above explanation...I repeated this to her about four different ways, knowing she knew exactly what I was telling her, but it didn't seem to matter

C: "I MAD! I WEAR BUTTON COAT! I MAD!" (running away and stomping her feet all the way down the hall, through the kitchen and into the living room)

I stood there for a second, giggling to myself. Charlotte's stubbornness and need for independence reminds me so much of Katherine's at times. A lot of parents may have been upset at this point, but I have got to tell you, I was feeling pretty proud. Charlotte had just thrown her first "big kid" temper tantrum. She didn't throw herself on the ground, and she didn't cry. She communicated with me what she wanted, and told me exactly how she felt when she didn't get her way. However, I couldn't let her see that I was proud of a tempter tantrum, nor could I give in to her demands.

I walked into the living room and laid both the purple coat and the brown coat on the floor. I told her I was going to put Jack in the van, and she needed to get her coat on because we were going to be late for school.

I fully expected to have to go and force a coat on her and carry her to the car kicking and screaming. Much to my surprise, as I was buckling Jack in the car, I looked up and saw Charlotte standing in the doorway. Her brown coat on, asking me to "helper me zip."

She never ceases to amaze me.

Oh, and the good news? The temperatures this weekend actually hit 50 degrees, meaning the button coat could be worn. We had one happy girl.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Checkin' in.

I was doing so well with blogging on a regular basis...and then life got in the way. Charlotte had a case of strep, and the rest of us ended up with a icky stomach bug (which stretched out over a week, with all of us taking turns getting it...nothing like dragging things out to make it really fun). I realized I completely missed World Down syndrome day, as that was the day Katherine & I were confined to the couch recovering from illness.

We are better now. I could catch up on the happenings around here, but all four kids are actually in bed and sleeping, and Mike just rented a movie for us to watch. I promise to be back soon, but until then, here are some pics from the last few weeks to help fill the void.

World Down syndrome Day "Sick day selfie" 

Happy weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Learn to speak Charlotte-eze.

About a year ago, Charlotte's spoken language started to develop by leaps and bounds. I remember the exact time frame because it was a couple months after her Celiac disease diagnosis when she started to blow us away by incredible speech and language growth. Slowly over the last year her spoken language increased and her signing decreased. She now no longer uses any signs (with the exception of helping us teach Jack "more" and "all done"), as spoken language has completely taken the place of those signs.

Her speech and language skills are still delayed, and in no way at the same level of her typically developing peers. However, these days, she has no problems expressing her wants and needs with us. At times she is hard to understand, as her articulation needs work, but phrases and sentences are becoming more and more common and it is exciting for us to see her now be able to be understood by individuals outside of our family and friends who are around her on a daily basis. 

She has come up with a few words/phrases of her own though, that only those of us closest to her know the meaning of. They make me smile when she uses them, and I wanted to blog about them in order to document it for us to look back at someday. 

In order to hang with Charlotte, here are a few words/phrases that may need translation:

- "climber" : She wants to sit on your lap. I believe this comes from us telling her to "climb up" when she would bring us a book to read. Note: if she asks you to climber, she must really like you as not everyone receives this privilege. 

-"meal-mellow" : Marshmallows. Our current treats for success on the potty. Remember to give them to her in pairs though, as Charlotte always will ask for "two meal-mellows please." 

- "o-zen" : Frozen. She wants to watch or listen to the "Frozen" soundtrack. Unfortunately "frozen" and "lotion" sound very similar and for awhile she was getting frustrated when I was offering her moisturizer and she wanted to hear "Let it go." 

-"Gotch you": She wants you to pick her up and carry her. She usually asks me to "gotch you" when she gets up from her nap, as she wants me to carry her downstairs because she is still tired. This one I also think comes from me saying "I got you" when I would pick her up. She also says "gotch you" when she wants to hold Jack. 

-"Helper me?": This question usually comes when I am in the kitchen, and she wants to help me. We are working on pronouns, and I always repeat back the correct way it should be said, but I can't help but smile when she asks to "helper me." Her current favorite job is setting the table. 

-"Boo-boo": Her nickname for Jack. Though she also calls him Jack, Jackie, Baby, and Goober; Boo-boo is probably the one we hear most often. 

-"Bab-baid" : Bandaid. A few months back, Jack scratched her and Charlotte received her first bandaid. Now whenever she is hurt (whether it be physically or her feelings hurt), she asks for a bab-baid. Apparently it fixes everything. 

I am sure there are more, but these are some of the ones we hear the most. I tried to get a video to demonstrate some of her language skills, however, as you can see in what I did end up capturing, she is quite the stubborn little 3 year-old. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The fun one.

Growing up, my oldest brother was the responsible one. He was the one when left to babysit for me and my other two brothers, would have us pick a room out of a bowl and that was the room we would be responsible for cleaning that day. Then, he would sit back and supervise (*tell us what to do*) while we worked. To this day, he is still the supervisor type.

As Andrew, the oldest, entered high school and then college, he was busier with part-time jobs and school, so my second oldest brother took over the babysitting duties at home.

He was the fun one. No more cleaning on Saturday mornings. Instead, it was kind of a free for all. Often, he would be busy with his friends and my little brother and I were left to our own devices. As kids, we thought this was great. I am sure my parents were less than pleased...especially when a fun game of wrestling ended with a broken leg for my little brother. Whoops.

Already at their young ages, I see a similar pattern forming with my own children. Katherine, the oldest, is the responsible one, the one who likes to be in charge. I am pretty sure if she needed to, she could run our household. Will, most definitely, is the fun one. I love watching him with the younger two because unlike his older sister who tries to tell them what to do, Will gets down on the floor, makes goofy sounds with Jack to make him laugh, and "wrestles" with Charlotte. I snapped this picture the other day, and every time I look at it, I smile. It so captures Will's role in our family.

*Charlotte is still sporting her "Cat in the hat" face paint from school ;)

Hopefully no broken bones will result in Will's quest to have fun with his siblings.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Stop it.

One of Charlotte's new favorite phrases is "Stop it!" We are in the process of teaching her when it is appropriate to use this phrase, as right now she likes to use it every chance she gets in order to get a reaction.

However, I am here to share an appropriate use for this phrase. Today is "spread the word to end the word day." What word? The "r-word." A word that makes me cringe, and a word that needs to be erased from everyone's vocabulary.

I have blogged about this topic in the past, and if you are interested in more of my thoughts about the issue check out this entry from 2011, or this one from 2012, or this one from 2013.

Today, I am going to keep it simple.

If you use the r-word, stop it.

If you know people who use the r-word, tell them to stop it.

And, before you sign off for the day, please be sure to read this blog entry written by an incredibly talented mom of four (two of who have Ds). She says it best.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Jack is 10 months old today. Three days ago, he learned how to 4-point crawl (hands & knees crawl....before this he would scoot like an inch worm, but he didn't move very fast). Yesterday, he decided pulling up on furniture and things was fun. And this morning, he was working on the stairs.

With all these developments, came a crazy change in Jack's personality. I hate to jinx it by blogging about it, but lets just say he is happier, sleeping better, and all around much more fun.

Crazy coincidence? I hope not. It only took 10 months for me to be able to put him down and fold a load of laundry without him screaming. Yes!