29 May 2009

Flashback Friday

[I'm totally stealing this idea from Sheree... ]

Sheridan's First Picture at the Hospital

Sheridan's First Week Home

27 May 2009

Visiting Nonna

Sheridan's Nonna (my mom) lives about 2 hours away in the middle of a national forest in the Sierra Nevadas. She comes down to spend at least one day a week with Sheridan, but we rarely get up to see her. Well , we needed to change that... [excessive photo alert!]

This past weekend we went up to spend the night and Sheridan got to enjoy the forest (he LOVES trees!)...

Hang out on Scott's tractor...

And take his first bath in the sink...

It was really nice to get out of the city, relax (sort of... Sheridan is still teething somethin' awful and had a really rough night in an unfamiliar bed), and spend some additional time with Nonna.

Wordless Wednesday

23 May 2009

Remember that one time...?

So, yeah, remember that one time I posted about our sitting & belly skills dilemma? Oh, right, that was only 48 hours ago.

Well, (clear my throat here) our Little Big Guy took it upon himself to make the decision for us.

Take One:

At the park on Friday, Penny suggested I sit Sheridan on the grass so she could take a few shots of him. I kindly reminded her that he doesn't really sit on his own. That he might be upright for a minute, maybe two if we were lucky, and that he bobs and weaves the whole time (he works SO hard to stay upright!). So, take the shot - which might be an action shot - quickly.

The boy sat up. On his own. For almost 10 minutes.

My mom was there to see the whole thing, too. I was nearly in tears.

I told Gary about the new excitement when he got home from work Friday evening... and we played with him all evening on his belly. Yup, we decided to compromise. When we want to do something or play with him in a sitting position, we'll try it (which, quite honestly, we haven't done with him since the park).

Take Two

Gary and I decided last minute to do a date night tonight. When we got home, the babysitter proudly proclaimed, "Sheridan sat up all by himself for a while. All by himself, right there on the floor!" She pointed to his play area in the living room... Gary and I smiled and were so excited for Sheridan. Babysitter than quickly whipped out our digital camera and said, "I took pictures because I wasn't sure you would believe me!" And here is the evidence:

It's so wonderful to know that everyone in Sheridan's life celebrates his triumphs. Every single one. Big or small. I love how much that boy is loved!

The moral of the story? Sheridan takes good care of us. He always has a way of reminding us that we need not worry. And that we should make sure we continue to focus on his belly skills, but feel free to play with him while sitting, too. What a good boy.

21 May 2009

The First of Many Dilemmas

Sheridan has been working SO hard on many of his "belly skills" - he LOVES to spend time playing on his stomach. In fact, he will play literally all day on his tummy if you let him (which we often do!). He's rolling, working on the skills to crawl, etc. and he is making so much progress...

So what's the dilemma?

Sheridan's physical therapist (remember, we're calling her PT) mentioned a while back that we would be focusing much more on belly skills than on sitting skills. She explained that his sitting skills would develop naturally (and indeed they have). More importantly, once kiddos learn to sit independently, it often leads to them not wanting to spend as much time on their little tummies anymore. Makes sense... once they can sit and play and do everything else in a sitting position, they don't want to spend as much time on their tummies. Of course, that can pose a problem because it becomes harder to work on their belly skills needed for crawling, learning to transition between laying down and sitting, etc.

So, we have been working on Sheridan's belly skills diligently and doing only the few things PT showed us to help Sheridan's sitting. Well, PT was right, his sitting has progressed really well. He's SO close to sitting independently... I figure he's no more than 2 months away.

So, again, what's the dilemma?

Every week PT checks to see how Sheridan is doing with his sitting. This week, she told me that if we actually worked on his sitting, he would be sitting independently in 1-2 weeks. WEEKS!

Huh?! I had no idea he was that close! I thought she was about to finish her sentence with "1-2 months."

Did I ever mention that sometimes I can be a bit of a dense mommy?

So, our dilemma: Do we work on his sitting so he can sit independently even though there is a risk that it might delay his crawling?

PT said that some kiddos do just fine working on belly skills after they can sit. Others really struggle - it's just simply difficult to make the progress necessary and crawling and creeping are delayed. You just never know which way it's gonna go.

PT did acknowledge that she has NEVER had another child like Sheridan who preferred so strongly to be on his tummy. So, will that translate to a decreased risk for crawling delays?

Gary and I have been chatting about it. We really want Sheridan to become mobile, and we know that he will crawl, he will creep, he will sit... it's just a matter of when (and a big thank you to Monica for reminding me of that).

It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but parents with a child with special needs are often faced with decisions like this. Is there a wrong answer? No, but that does not make it any easier to make a decision. As I write this, I actually feel a little silly - like I'm making a bigger deal about this than I should. The boy will sit! And, the boy will crawl! But I guess I always feel like Gary and I have to make the "best" decision for Sheridan.

So, do we help Sheridan sit independently or do we accept a longer delay in favor of not risking his crawling? Decisions, decisions. I think I need to just stop being a perfectionist... both answers are right!

18 May 2009

Feeding Baby

Yesterday, Jennifer and I decided to get together to make food for our boys. Ever since Sheridan was born, I have made everything he eats "from scratch." Yes, including his formula. Once he started eating solids I continued that tradition. Everything he eats is organic and made from scratch in our very own kitchen. So, his apples? Nothin' but apples. Peas? Just peas - and a bit of olive oil added for some healthy fats. You get the picture...

So, Jen and I decided to get together and make big batches of a bunch of stuff - much more fun to do it together and we could tackle a lot in a small amount of time.


Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Cauliflower (both white and orange!)
Black Beans
Sauteed onions and garlic (for the beans and broccoli)
Carrots and Parsnips

Pretty ambitious for 3 1/2 hours, huh? You betcha! And, alas, we didn't get through everything... we still had to do the peas, broccoli, and carrots/parsnips on our own. But it's pretty amazing that we did get everything else done. Now if I could just buy more freezing trays so I can actually freeze everything we made! :)

I don't have any pictures of us actually making the food - we (and Jen's kitchen!) were a mess, so probably better not to see the "action" shots. But we had a lot of fun, and our little taste tester, Joaquin, loved the couple of items he tried for lunch!

Here's a few of the things we made...

I put everything in ziploc bags until I could get home and start freezing it.
Here's some papaya (on the left) and roasted butternut squash - Sheridan LOVED the butternut squash roasted!

Here's just a few trays: peaches, mango, strawberries, apples

Although I think we might have worn out Jen's VitaMix (I hope it's working again today!), I truly believe this is the best way to feed our babies (and ourselves, but Sheridan definitely eats better than me and Gary - something we need to fix!). And babies love it! Here's a few of Sheridan's favorites:

Top Row, from Left: Peas, Pumpkin, Strawberries, Mango
Bottom Row, from Left: Sweet Potato, Banana, Apples, Broccoli, Peaches

Blackberries (L) and Blueberries

Who wouldn't LOVE to eat this way?!

17 May 2009

Sheridan's First Party

Sheridan was invited to his first birthday party... Little Miss Gabby turned one year old and invited Sheridan to help her celebrate the big day! Even better, all of his other friends were there, too...

Gabby was beautiful (as usual!) on her big day... just look at this pose she strikes as she tries to keep her wind-swept hair out of her eyes! And Sheridan loved her mailbox toy... thanks for sharing, Gabby! It was a big hit with all your friends!

And John Michael and his family were there to help celebrate, as well. Look at John Michael cruising along... and he loved playing with Gabby's boa and mailbox, too! He even showed Sheridan how to put mail IN the mailbox (and Gary watched the boys have fun!).

Joaquin's family also came to celebrate! Like Sheridan, he was a bit tired when he got there, but then quickly joined in the fun. He, too, loved the boa (I think the boys liked playing with it even more than Gabby!)... and gave me lots of beautiful smiles.

Unfortunately, we had to leave early - Sheridan didn't take his regular afternoon nap and was having a really tough teething day to boot. We're sad we didn't get to see Gabby open her very own T21 Afghan! But we can tell from the pictures that it is just perfect for her!

All in all, we had a great time... and I think we might have to get Sheridan one of those mailboxes... or perhaps a boa?

10 May 2009

My Very First Mother's Day

I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful husband, and to be the mother to an amazing little boy. I often don't know what I'm doing, but I'm always doing it with love!

My first Mother's Day was mellow - Gary and Sheridan even let me take a morning nap! The thing I loved most about my day? The hugs and kisses. I can never get enough of those baby kisses!

Best wishes to all you moms out there...

02 May 2009

New Strides

I've learned a lot about child development, especially gross-motor and fine-motor development, from Sheridan's physical therapist (let's call her PT - not imaginitive, I know, but I haven't asked yet if I can use PT's first name in my blog). Babies develop everything (e.g., gross-motor skills, fine-motor skills, cognition) in a very precise, specific sequence. You know that little head lift your baby does, looking up while on his/her tummy? Or when your baby rolls from tummy to back? Each of those takes many skills that develop in a particular, precise order so that these larger milestones are possible...

One of the greatest joys of having a baby with DS is that we cherish and celebrate every little new development with Sheridan. Like rolling over, which Sheridan has been doing for some time now (you would be amazed if you knew all the developmental and gross motor skills required for a baby to do a simple roll from back to tummy)... It's funny that Sheridan worked SO hard to gain the 20 pre-requisite skills to accomplish a roll from back to stomach, and then one day it just happens. Something clicks. And then you can't stop the boy from rolling.

Just recently we had a number of new developments. It seems like they are coming in fast and furious lately! In the matter of just a few weeks Sheridan is propping himself up on his hands regularly...

He's propping to sit all by himself (it only lasts 2-3 minutes, but before we know it he'll be sitting straight up all by himself - which he can do currently with minimal assistance!).

Also, he's always loved to stand, but now he's beginning to stand for brief periods while holding on to something (like the sofa) all by himself.

And another new first... his first time in a swing by himself! I had to stuff that swing full of everything in his diaper bag (the changing pad, sweatshirt, burp rag, etc.) to help give him the support he needed to sit upright. I guess I never realized the pure bliss that can come from something as simple as a little push in a swing and your mom saying, "Weeeeeeeee!"

Although not a traditional developmental milestone, I think the swing experience is my favorite development so far!