Monday, November 19, 2012

Bryce at 16 Weeks

Boy, is time flying by! Somehow, our sweet baby is coming up on four months already. In some ways, it feels like he was born yesterday, in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago.

At sixteen weeks, Bryce is, in many ways, coming out of that newborn stage. He is much more responsive, which is so fun! He finally started smiling at us a few weeks ago, and although they're coming a little bit easier for him, he still makes us work for it. He has begun reaching for toys a little more purposefully and is very content to lay on the floor watching Connor or his toys. He is verbalizing so much. I love hearing those little baby sounds! Sometimes when he smiles he even does a little chuckle-type sound which makes me hope he'll start laughing pretty soon. He has found his hands, and often holds them together over his chest. He also likes to suck on his hands. He is still very active and can spin himself around 180 degrees when laying on his back.

One of the downfalls of coming out of the newborn stage is the fact that he can't/won't sleep through everything like he used to. He wakes up easily--especially when he hears Connor's voice, and for some reason has decided that he doesn't like to nap in his crib. He much prefers being held. Not always possible. Sorry, buddy. I realize that he doesn't need 20 hours of sleep a day anymore, but a couple hour long naps in the crib isn't too much to ask, is it? Needless to say, napping has become a source of frustration for Mommy and Daddy the past few weeks. He does fairly well at night...still gets up once or twice to eat, but generally sleeps (in his bed) well.

The early interventionists from the school district have completed their evaluations and will begin their weekly visits after Thanksgiving. His case manager/teacher will come out every week and the OT/PT will come as needed...probably about once a month. They will monitor his progress and give us things to work on that will fit into our daily routines. I really like all three of the women assigned to him, and will enjoy having them visit. His neck is getting a little stronger, and he can now hold it up for a few seconds, but there is still room for improvement. It is the one thing, physically, I still worry about, because I know it will set him back in other ways if he can't hold it up soon. (Still working on squelching my desire to compare him to other, "typical" babies.)

Bryce has already changed our outlook on many things. I find that I am much less judgmental of people who are different. I don't think I was really prejudiced before, but I didn't really think about people with disabilities much. It may sound horrible, but I guess I saw them as a little less human than the rest of us. I know now that I was so wrong. Now when I see people with disabilities, I force myself to say hello--to think of them as someone's child/brother/sister/friend--because I know that they are those things. If Mike and I want nothing else from Bryce's life, it is to raise awareness of Down syndrome. We already know that he is just as worthy of love as anyone else. He already has feelings and a personality like anyone else.

Recently, there have been many articles/stories in the news about people with Down syndrome. Many of these articles I have come across on Facebook. I like to think that maybe, just maybe Bryce has something to do with that. I know that as a country, people are becoming more aware and accepting (have you seen those adorable ads featuring babies with Downs??), but I also like to think that when friends and family come across those articles, they think of Bryce and want to share. Last week I posted this picture of Bryce smiling. It got 97 "likes" and 17 comments on Facebook. I honestly don't think it would have gotten such a response if he wasn't "special". I am overwhelmed by how accepting and loving our friends, family, and acquaintances are. Bryce is one blessed little boy!

Take care everyone!

3 Years Old!

Last Thursday, my first born turned three years old. Three. Three means no more pacifier. Potty training. PRESCHOOL. This has been a hard one for me. I just feel like three is so grown up. Like there's no going back. He's not my baby anymore.

Where has the time gone??

Birth Day

1st Birthday 

2nd Birthday

3rd Birthday

                                I am so proud of my big boy! Connor, you are my sunshine! XOXO....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Hi Friends--

     While I've been working really hard on being positive and not worrying about Bryce's Down syndrome, I do still have my moments (days) when I feel sadness. Bryce has been doing so great, and I know we are blessed particularly with his health. I have told myself over and over again that I need to change my expectations for him. He most likely won't sit at six months. He most likely won't take his first steps around his first birthday. He most likely won't talk for a few years. Logically, I know that. Up until now, we've been able to kind of forget about it, because he is pretty much is doing everything he should be doing. As I mentioned in my last post, he actually exceeds expectations in a lot of areas.

     The other day, I tried to put Bryce in the baby swing again. The last couple times I've tried it, he couldn't hold himself up well enough to sit in there. He has now gotten really big, so I thought I'd try again. He looked so big in there. He seemed to fill the whole thing up! But he still couldn't hold himself up well enough. I left him in there for a few minutes, and he seemed content, but I was afraid to leave his side for fear he would cut off his air supply. It made me so sad. He's three months old and he cannot hold his head up. It has been the one concern I have had from the start. He is so strong that he can go up on his elbows and roll over during tummy time, but if you sit him up on your lap or shoulder, he can't hold his head up. Of all the issues we could have, I know this is a minor thing. I know that he won't be three years old and still unable to hold his head up. I know these things logically. I know logically that I need to give him extra time for things. But emotionally, it hit me. It snapped me out of the dream I have that he will be the exception.

     It is weird the things that hit me. Most days are fine, but we really are still on a roller coaster. Even though I feel like now that he is three months he starting to fall behind, there have also been some highlights over the past week or so. Bryce finally smiled for the first time on Halloween night. He has seemed to be on the brink for a month already (he just has a happy looking face), but that was the first time there was no question--he smiled back at me. I cried. It was so beautiful. Not only did it light up his whole face, but it was like an accomplishment. He has to try so hard to do it. First, he focuses really hard on our smiling faces, then his lips start twitching, then he scrunches up his eyes, and finally his mouth opens up into this huge smile. It is so sweet. I hope that it starts getting easier for him soon so we can start getting rewarded more often :)

    Another thing that has made me proud lately is the relationship the two boys are starting to have. I still worry about the day we have to explain things to Connor, or the day Bryce starts to think things are unfair, but I am hopeful that they will have a "normal" sibling relationship. Everything I have read tells me that these kiddos have normal love-hate relationships with their siblings and I know Connor will be a better person because of Bryce. Already, Bryce LOVES Connor. If he hears his voice, he will whip his head around until he can find him. He watches Connor so intently. He even smiled while watching Connor sing a song the other day. And Connor is starting to interact with him so much more and is always asking about Bryce's whereabouts. It is so fun to watch them together!

    I am still struggling with my expectations for Bryce. I want to keep my expectations high so I can push him to do his best, but I'm afraid I will continuously be saddened or disappointed. I hope I get to the point where I can just relax and let him progress at his own pace. I hope I get to the point where I can just applaud every accomplishment without thinking about how long it took, or what is coming next. I hope I get to the point where I can watch how hard he struggles and just be proud and inspired instead of sad. I know I will get there. I need to give myself time, too.

    I'll leave you with a few cute pictures :) Take care!
Brothers :)

First Halloween/3 months!

Working on that smile!