Monday, October 5, 2015

Step Up for Down Syndrome 2015

I admit.  I slacked this year.  I just…  wasn’t in the mood.  So at the last minute we decided to go with no tent, no food, no strollers or wagons.  Just GO. 

DSC_0126The obligatory “Mom, it’s too bright!  Please stop making us take a picture here!” picture.  It was so stinking hot, no one had their long-sleeved walk shirts on.  But they did look cute.

I’m so glad we did.  I’m always glad we go.  It’s so much fun seeing all the kids.  I run the Mom’s Night Out group here in town, so I see the moms routinely, but the kids not nearly as often.  My mom, our loyal supporter, came with us (as always) which the kids adored, obviously.DSC_0110

It was hot this year, so I was exceedingly glad that we didn’t have a tent to set up, take down, and haul back to the car.  We tent-hopped with our friends which actually worked out well- I think we saw a lot more people that way! 

We did NOT do the 2 mile loop since we had three kids and no way for the girls to ride.  But that worked out well, too- they could dilly-dally on the 1 mile loop, they could watch the ducks, and it wasn’t as busy. 



Besides, there’s only, like, two times a year, maybe, that Piper has the chance to get her face painted like a tiger.  It’s always a tiger.  Every. single. time.  Doesn’t matter what else happened- Piper got tiger stripes, so the day was a success!DSC_0139

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Goodbye Summertime!

Our neighborhood is so much fun.  This weekend they had an end of summer bash, including Chickfila for dinner, cookies for dessert, ponies to ride, bounce houses, face painters, a live band, tractor rides…

Addy wanted to do the horses first, so we headed that way.  Addy was a natural- her pony rides at school are paying off.DSC_0355


But Piper surprised me with her lack of trepidation.  And she was even on the BIG one!DSC_0365


But as soon as they were off the ponies, Piper catapulted herself toward the bounce house.  I’m pretty sure she would have stayed in there the whole time if we’d let her.  Run in the door, bounce a while, climb up the stairs, go down the slide, repeat.  Oh, and giggle.  A lot.  There were lots of squealing giggles.



Cody, who was fighting something all week wasn’t invited into the bounce house.  This is what he had to say about that

While Piper bounced away, Luke took Addy and Cody on the tractor ride.  Cody, who’s currently addicted to anything with wheels (and stuck in the backpack) thought it was a great idea.DSC_0379

Luke and Addy and Cody were on the tractor, and Piper was trapped inside the bounce house, and I was chatting with a family who’s buying the lot a few houses up from us.  And being the stellar mom I am, I just assumed that Piper would continue bouncing her heart out.

So you can imagine my surprise when I looked over and saw this:DSC_0375

Shocking- my kid found her way to dance on the stage.  Glad she didn’t go too far, I s’pose.

We ended the night with ice cream from the food truck that was there.  Addy was dead set on blue.  Usually when I think “blue” I think blue-ish.  This was not blue-ish.  This was, well, BLUE.

Note to self: inform teacher tomorrow that Piper’s lips are STILL blue from ice cream, not respiratory failure or deadly virusDSC_0406



At the end of the night, there was a group of about five families in the bounce house.  And every one of them had melting down kids.  I told the girls they had ONE MORE SLIDE.  Addy looked at me, got her mad face on, and determinedly (loudly) stated “NO! TWENTY MORE TIMES!” 

You’re killing me, Addy.  And you’re gonna  have to work on those bargaining skills.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Addy is a BUBBLEGUM!

Adalynn had her first day of preschool this week.

To say that she was excited would not do her enthusiasm justice.DSC_0295

Piper’s been in school for three weeks; poor Addy has been anxiously, not-so-patiently waiting for HER turn to go to school.  “But Cody can’t go, because he’s not big enough!  RIGHT, Mom?  Cody can’t go because he’s a baby, right?”   

I’ve been hearing endless renditions of “My bunny Jack…” “I have twoooo peacocks- Peter is green and Angel is white!” “Mom!  Did you know I have PONIES at my preschool???”

And usually all I can think is “If I had all that to look forward to, I’d be excited, too- can I come???”  DSC_0286

Thursday was, finally, The Day.  She was all giggles.  And ready to go EARLY.  She had to pick out shoes that matched her shirt and a headband that matched her shoes.  “I wonder what we’re going to have for snack?  I wonder if we’ll get to see the animals?  Mom- I use the pink potties, right?  Not the blue potties, because those are for the boys.”  DSC_0304

And she marched up to that place like the owned the joint.  No hesitation.  No nerves.  No particular youthful excitement- just plain LET’S GET TO WORK.  She went to her room, hung up her backpack, found her name plate, stuck it on the wall, and was the first to enthusiastically. gleefully, answer the Question of the Day: “What classroom are you in?”  “I’M A BUUUUBBLEGUUUUUUM!!!”   DSC_0330

Monday, August 31, 2015

Piper the Ballerina

When it comes to Piper and Down syndrome, we’re incredibly fortunate to live here in Denver.  Children’s Hospital, the Sie Center for Down Syndrome, Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association, Linda Crnic Institute, Global Down Syndrome Foundation…  It’s really awesome.  There are clearly benefits to having access to the medical care, sure, but that’s not nearly as fun as this.


Last week, Piper started the Be Beautiful Be Yourself ballet class sponsored by Global.  It’s taught by THE Pat Winders and two other ballet instructors.  And it’s AT Colorado Ballet- a real ballet company.


How cool is that???

Last year, I took Piper to a showing of The Nutcracker and it’s been ballerina twirls ever since.  She and Addy (who has not seen the ballet, for the record) have acted out the Mouse King and the Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy more times than I can possibly count.


When they first let the class into the ballet room, I’m pretty sure all Piper wanted to do was leap in front of the mirrors.  She ran and leaped and twirled and leaped.  She was in heaven.

Sometimes things are tough.  Sometimes things are really hard and frustrating leaving us both feeling helpless.  But sometimes I get to see this spark and Piper just seems to glow.  I’m so excited that we’ve found something that’s JUST fun.  JUST for Piper (thanks to Nana- Addy and Cody hang out with her while I drive Piper across town.  And home.  THANKS NANA!) 

And the leotards and tights and shoes and ballerina hair? 

Those are just an added bonus.  Because I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a cuter ballerina.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back to School!


Piper’s been back at school for a couple weeks now, and it’s going well!

I’ve been struggling with “coming out” with the details for this year.  So, I’m going to summarize to give a very “Reader’s Digest” version.

We moved in October of last year.  Piper started full-day, full-inclusion kindergarten in August.  She did great.  She was wonderfully supported and well loved.  She was known by everyone (students and teachers alike) by name. 

And then we moved.

If there was any way I could have transported her to her old school, I would have.  We moved into our neighborhood, in part, for the school, but we loved the old one so much.  New School is one of the best grade schools in the state.  I’ve never heard negatives about New School.  New School is HUGE and covers a large geographic area; I couldn’t wait to find out who else lived in our area.

New School had no desire, no willingness, and no attitude to serve my child.  In my naivety, I’d assumed that people would want my child to succeed.  I never, in my wildest dreams, thought people would push her to fail.

We’ll fast forward to the end of the school year.  We made the excruciatingly difficult decision to pull Piper from school and request a repeat of kindergarten in a different school.  We’ve been working to get Our Kid back since then. 

It’s been wretched.


But it’s time to move onward.  We’ve had a few “trust issues” at THIS New School (frankly for both her and I!), but things are going SO much better!  I hate the idea that Piper’s not at her home school.  I hate the idea that we now have major decisions to make about Addy’s placement for kindergarten next year (because we have to “apply” for kindergarten spots in January! YIKES!)  But, most of all, I deplore that Piper went through what she did last year.  But the new school is excited about having her.  They’re willing to take suggestions.  They’re willing to talk with the professionals we work with at Children’s Hospital.  Most of all, they see her potential, they see her intelligence, they see her worth

We have high hopes for a stellar year.  And I could not be more happy or more excited that Piper’s happy at school again.  Everyone deserves to be happy at school!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Goodbye, Summer!

School starts tomorrow.


I’m ready.

I’m so NOT ready. 

Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels so conflicted this time of year. 


To celebrate (read: keep our minds busy so we can’t get nervous about tomorrow) we played at the pool this afternoon.  Piper was, of course, in heaven.  Addy was having a ball.  And Cody, who’s been, generally, timid at the pool so far this summer, was surprisingly adventurous and didn’t cling to my side the entire time.


He even wanted the sprayers on, and pushed the button any time they stopped.


It was so horribly bright when we got there, Cody wouldn’t hardly open his eyes.  Ten minutes later, the clouds started rolling in.  Within an hour, we were freezing.  By the time we got changed, drove home, and got inside, we were in the middle of a horrible thunderstorm that was shaking the house in the same instant the lightning flashed. 


Good ol’ Colorado.

But, it worked.  The kids had a blast.  And, the best part of all, went to bed easily tonight.  Here’s hoping things go smoothly tomorrow, and that the tears are minimal.  You know, from me.  And her sister.  Last year, it was Addy who cried on Piper’s first day…