Monday, August 29, 2011

School's in Session...

..."It's the moooost, wonderful tiiiiiime, of the yearrrrr!" I sing that song regularly throughout August. People think I'm as nutty as these stores with all their Chrismas decor out already. But I love when school is back in session. I need a schedule. I need to ship my kids off and miss them for a few hours so that I can see them smile when they get off the bus and appreciate being at home with mom again.

It's kinda wearing them out.
I think the hardest part of putting both the boys on the bus this year was letting my mind fast forward to next August when all 3 kids will be getting on a bus. Yes, little Alexis will be 3 in April and ready to participate in the Early Childhood program at one of our elementary schools. It's hard to fathom, but as social as she is, I really think she'll thrive. In November we will meet with the First Steps school rep that will help us with that transition. And it won't be until after our first IEP that we will know how often she'll be in school. But knowing that she will be in school already next year, got me to thinking that maybe finding a one day a week preschool might be a good transition for her.
I did a bit of research and found that the Methodist church here in Noblesville has a Parent's Day Out program that Alexis could attend one day a week. I did a bit of research and asked around and then made an appointment for Alexis and me to go visit the school and talk to the director. I was sold. So in just a couple of weeks I will be shipping my baby off to school. Gads! I'm excited for her because I think she will love it, but it does make my heart hurt just a bit. My baby...
Alexis has been making huge strides in therapy. She can eat just about anything if it's cut up small enough and if we make her take her time. Anything in cheese or tomato sauce and she loves it. Life is a lot easier now that she can feed herself goldfish crackers and cheerios (although we have to watch her like a hawk to keep her from stuffing her mouth full).

She has also started standing. I will say though, she doesn't love to stand for the sake of standing. No, she likes to stand up because it is knee-slapping hysterical to fall back down on her rump. And then everyone has to cheer for Alexis. And Alexis cheers for herself. And then she does it again.
It's so exciting to watch her make so much progress so quickly. She understands so many directions we give her. She repeats us when we ask her to (if she's not in her "no" mode). Every day it's something new that she's learning.

Yesterday she learned to spit.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"What's wrong with Alexis?" This is why we walk.

Alexis and I had the privilege this past March of talking to a few hundred 3rd graders for the "Everybody Counts" program in the Noblesville Schools. One of the questions asked at some of these talks was, "What's wrong with Alexis?" And I was very glad that I could tell them, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with Alexis."

Having Down syndrome doesn't mean there's something wrong. It's not a disease. Nobody caused it. You can't catch it. Down syndrome just happens to be something that Alexis was born with, just as she was born with fair skin, blond hair, her daddy's blue eyes, her mama's terrible vision, and a smile that melts the hearts of everyone in our family.

And we walk because we want people to understand that. We wouldn't change anything about our little girl. Alexis is a normal and healthy little 2 year old girl who adores her brothers, is curious about everything in every cupboard and drawer of our house, loves spaghetti, throws her cheerios, yells when she wants our attention, loves to sing and dance, and happens to have Down syndrome. To us, Alexis is perfectly Alexis.

This isn't to say that we don't have challenges. Who doesn't? People with Down syndrome often have accompanying medical issues: heart defects, hearing loss, low muscle tone and delays. And thanks to Down Syndrome Indiana, people with Down syndrome and their families have lots of support at their fingertips.
Blake, Lexi and Nick all ready for the Buddy Walk 2010

The Buddy Walk raises money for Down Syndrome Indiana, an organization that provides information, support, and advocacy for people with Down syndrome and their families. We will be walking on October 8, 2011 at Celebration Plaza-White River State Park (It's only 2.6 miles. So short you could walk it in stilettos.) and we welcome anyone to come and walk with us. We would love for you to join our team, Lexi Lou's Whos, and we appreciate any donation you can make. No donation is too small. If you are able to make a donation or want to register to walk with us, you can contact me or go here: