Friday, August 27, 2010

Two Words!!

More speech milestones for Chase today:  for a week or so, Chase has been stringing the words "Thank you" and soemone's name together.  You can actually hear it on the video that I just posted if you listen closely (it is right after he takes a cup away from Gavin...).  It is so cute, because it sounds like, "Tanks...(big pause)..Guy Guy."  And he does it for basically all the family members without prompting.  Love it.

But even more exciting is what he just did to me.  He came in from the back patio, and I thought he was mostly dry because he hadn't actually been sitting in the kiddie pool, so I didn't immediately strip his diaper off and put a dry one on like I usually do.  Well, apparently he cares about dry pants more than I do, because he walked right into the kitchen, tapped me on the leg, and said, "Wet....diaper."  Only it sounds like, "Wwwet....bie-perrrrrr"  (he goes heavy on his r's!).

I guess I don't have a leg to stand on next summer if I want to request ST over the summer because of possible regression...:)

Our Redneck Paradise Movie...or, what happens on the back patio, stays on the back patio

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guy @ 14 mos!

14 months old is CRAZY!  I definitely do not have a baby here anymore, which is kind of sad, knowing that Gavin is the last dude to join our family, but it's also kind of really exciting.  Not that I don't love the cuddliness of a baby...or the excitement of the first year and watching all of the milestones happen so quickly, but it will be nice in a way to move on to the next season of family life...the one where we get to do bigger kid stuff and ALL of the boys enjoy it.

Side note example:  we went to Monkey Joe's a couple times last week for our Buddy Walk kick-off parties with the DSAC.  While there, all 3 boys independently played on the inflatables!  They all wandered around, decided what they wanted to do, and did it.  Granted, Guy needed some help getting to the top of the biggest slide there, but for the most part, it was hands-free play time.  Side note to the side note:  Chase can get up to the top of the very biggest slide, the one that Ian was afraid of until he was five, and goes down it with a giant scared smile on his face, culminating with a loud "Again?!"

Anyway.  Guy at 14 months:
*Walks everywhere.  Quickly.
*Wants to do his own thing.  Always.
*Loves to play with other kids.
*Pushes cars around on the floor.
*Chases other kids if I tell him to "Go get so and so....!"
*Makes a roaring sound when he sees a dinosaur.
*Loves bath time
*Loves Monkey
*Loves his pacifier (trying to limit it to naps/bedtime)
*Is a daredevil- climbs on top of chairs/couches/playground slides, etc.
*Signs milk, all done, more, eat, water, bath, please
*Says (in Guy-language) milk, monkey, paci, more, bath, slide, bar, no-no, night night, up up up!, mama (yelled, repeatedly), thank you, music, uh-oh, Daddy, ball, book
*Still super happy as long as you don't try to make him nap when he doesn't feel like napping.
*Loves books and songs
*Does that awesome baby-bounce dancing whenever he hears music.
*Plays outside in the water table and baby pool almost every day, and doesn't even mind it when Chase dumps cups of water directly on his head.
*Loves going up and down stairs.
*Still has to-die-for hair
*Has 4 top teeth and 2 bottom ones.
*Is hooked on Yo Gabba Gabba, thanks to Chase's habit.

Honestly, I think this is the very cutest stage yet...I love hanging out with this little dude.  Even though I had grand plans of going back to teaching this year, I am secretly grateful for the crappy job market out there.  I am so happy that I am not missing any of his life...sure it may be a little hectic here, what with the daycare kiddos and all, but I know that I am supposed to be here right now.  This time is too good to miss.  And that goes for Ian and Chase, too (for when they eventually read this blog in 10 years and wonder why I only want to be home because of Gavin!).  I do my share of complaining, but I wouldn't have it any other way...watching them all grow up, being here for every milestone, and creating a safe haven and a fun place for them to live and learn and play is truly, truly amazing.  End sappy mom-musings :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The R-Word Revisited (again)

For those of you still not convinced that when you use the word retard, in my presence or anyone else's, here is another view of it's usage and the meaning behind it.  And also for those of you who want to pass this along to anyone who needs it...

Sometimes soemone else's words come across so much more effectively than mine ever could.

Read this GREAT GREAT blog post from Rolling Around in my Head.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Diaper Wars, Part Deux

Here at the Mad House, we are learning new things every day.

Like how to get along with our friends without punching them (Ian), how to say 2 word sentences (Chase!), and how to take off a diaper at nap time and fling poo around the room (GAVIN!  GAH!!).

It took me a couple minutes longer than normal to get upstairs when I heard Guy calling whenhe woke up from his nap today...and I don't know if the deed was done before or if he was trying to teach me a lesson, but when I opened the door to his room, it reeked.

And Guy was nekkid.

And there was a puddle on the floor right in front of where he was standing in his crib.

And there were nuggets tossed about the room.

And junk under his nails.


I always knew that Chase would teach us lessons throughout our lives.  I just thought that they would be more of the lovey-acceptance-understanding-type of lessons.  Not Diaper Stripping 101.  I did not expect that.

2010 Buddy Walk!!!

In case I missed you on our email list...or you didn't check it is again :)  Please help us rally to support Chase in the Buddy Walk coming up soon:

I'm sure you were ALL recently sitting around wondering what you should do on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9th...Well, folks, get your calendars out and put a big circle around that date so that you will be able to walk with our team, Chaser's Racers, for the 2010 Annual 
Down Syndrome Association of Charlotte's 
Buddy Walk!!!!!!!!

This is the 4th year that we will be walking at Freedom Park in order to raise awareness and support for people with Down syndrome.  The money that we raise goes toward our national foundation, the NDSS, and the local foundation, DSAC.  Money for our local association will help pay for children with Down syndrome to attend one-of-a-kind camps during the summer, for special events for families of children with Ds, for new parent contacts and handbooks, and for education of medical professionals regarding prenatal diagnosis.

You have all been around for all or some part of our journey, and you probably already know how much we love the Down Syndrome Association of Charlotte.  This network of families has been invaluable to us as we have journeyed through life with Down syndrome.  Bryan and I both give our time to the DSAC regularly, and I couldn't think of a better organization to support.  

Please, please, please walk with us at the Buddy Walk- and the more, the merrier- bring your family and friends with you!   We'd love to have a HUGE showing for our team, Chaser's Racers.  We are going full out this year- team shirts sponsored by, balloons, a team tent, and homemade goodies for team members :)  This is very much a family friendly event, with music, entertainment, bounce houses, face painting, arts and crafts, and more.  Lunch and an official Buddy Walk t-shirt is even included with your $10 registration fee!  Who could ask for more?!

To get started, you can join our team or donate by clicking this link:

You can join our Chaser's Racers official Facebook page here:

And NEW THIS YEAR...our official can go to www.alwayshappylife.comand order one of their super cute t-shirts (check out the baby onesies- totally adorable- Gavin loves his).  Proceeds from Happy Life t-shirts during the month of September go to Chaser's Racers!!

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Please let me know if you plan on attending by September 18th so that we have enough time to get Chaser's Racers team shirts printed up for everyone.  We look forward to walking with you!!!

-Laurie (and Bryan, Ian, Chase, and Gavin)

PS- If you got this email in error and have NO IDEA who I am or who Chase is...well, you probably accidentally got stuck in my gmail from craigslist or something.  Even so, you should join our team :)  You will LOVE us!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Super Spy Gavin

Guy loves to play with glasses, but doesn't love to keep them on his face...except for this pair that he found over at Tiff's house.  He walked all over the place wearing his new favorite accessories, and pitched a GIANT fit when her little boy, Weston, tried to take them away from him.

I can't quite decide if he looks like a spy or a snowboarder or maybe if he wore a yellow suit, he could be part of a haz-mat team...

Tiff caught a few blurry shots of him (dang he moves fast now!)

A shot of Weston (who also looks smashing!):

Super Spy Gavin, The Movie.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Football Season

Not only is Bryan psyched about the upcoming NFL season, but so is Ian.  Because "Daddy can take me to the sports bar and we can watch it on TV."  Yes, we take our kids to a bar.  Frequently during the fall, in fact.

But ALSO Ian has started his first season of flag football!  Of course, no pictures, as I was keeping an eye on Chase and Gavin, who incidentally can now both wander in different directions.  I will try to get some at next week's practice.

They ran little tiny football drills, where children were most of the time beaned in the head, neck, or chest with the ball...The coaches taught them what the lines on the field meant, and how to hold their hands out so that the ball *may* actually end up in them.

Ian's thoughts when I asked him how he liked it:  "Yeah, I looooooove football.  Except the catching part."

Rain Gutter Bookshelves

Has anyone heard of this idea before?!  Check out this mom's blog for a how-to and great pics.  I am so putting this at the top of my list for projects to do.

I am also stealing a pic from her so that you can see an example without having to click out of here:

Right Handed

I think Chase is definitely a rightie.

I know, because he only colored his left arm with green marker this morning.

Diaper Wars

Chase's newest trick (obsession) is taking off his own diaper.  He LOVES to be naked.  Which is cute...after a bath, on the back patio, or streaking around the house in the middle of getting dressed.  What is NOT cute, however, is when he wakes up from nap and quietly takes off his full diaper before I can get up there.

This is so complicated.  Because on one hand, he is at the point where he doesn't want to wear a diaper.  It is uncomfortable.  It is bulky.  It makes crinkly noises when he walks.  On the other hand, he is SO not ready to potty train.  He has yet to actually go on the potty...he will sit there for a bit, but actually letting loose is another story.

He has, however, on the few occasions that I put him in little tiny underwear, let loose on his little chair, on the kitchen floor, and all over my LazyBoy.

So what do I do?  I am thinking that I should just bite the bullet and do the whole make him drink a ton of water and have him sit on the potty a thousand times a day...but frankly, I am not ready to start that process, because I am afraid it will be a very very very long one.  And I just don't want to clean up that many accidents.  Not to mention, with daycare kids here, I am afraid that I don't have the time to devote to that method right now...

But am I short-changing him?  He obviously wants to be out of his diapers...maybe he just needs that little nudge to start using the potty?  Maybe I should wait until he starts school and they can reinforce it there?  Maybe I should give up on the little tiny underwear approach and try pull-ups (I hate those things)?

Until I make any or all of those decisions, I will be duct taping his diaper closed at nap time.

Friday, August 13, 2010



Mom? You know I used to have x-ray vision, right? One time, when I was little, I was trying to see over a fence and I couldn't, but then I looked right through it and saw this BEAUTIFUL yard.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Roots and Shoots Summer Picnic

This past weekend was the annual Roots and Shoots (birth-3) summer picnic for our DSAC.  My friend Gaelyn (Michael's mom) did an awesome job planning and organizing the entire thing, bringing over 80 people together to play and eat in the sun.

I brought Ian and Chase while Bryan stayed home with Gavin, who was running a fever accompanied by some mystery rash, which is never a good combination at an outdoor summer picnic infested with children.

The older boys had a BALL, though.  Chase thoroughly enjoyed running through the sprinklers, eating giant cookies, and traipsing up and down the stairs a thousand times.  I think I saw Ian maybe 3 times, when he came in from the playground or the splash pad to get food...he has developed such good friendships with some of the other siblings.  I know that at this point, they are just fun kids to play with at these events, but I know that in the future, these are going to be the friends that will understand an area of his life that he may struggle with...No gloom and doom here, but let's be honest.  Someday Chase is going to do or say stuff that will be embarrassing to a teenager trying his best to fit in.  Kids are brutal, and Ian will be put in positions where he might not like to be.  These sibling friendships are going to be there to back him up...just as my friendships with their parents help me get through tough periods in our journey.  (And I confess, I secretly hope that Ian grows up and marries Michael's sister, Emily, and then Michael and Chase can be brothers!)

We had so much fun, and yet it was a bittersweet experience, too.  I sat and watched my fellow picnic-ers, and realized that 3 years ago, I had a teeny baby with an extra chromosome, a lot of doubts, and an overwhelming urge to 'just be normal again.'  And now, I am the mom that I stared at and was comforted by when I watched as she played with her toddler in the sprinklers, or spotted as he climbed higher than she could reach on the playground, or who spoke with knowledge and authority on matters such as EI, prenatal diagnosis, and the EC preschool system.  I am the mom that said everything was going to be okay (and believed it, well, most of the time!).  I stood there and watched the new families, with their teeny tiny babies, with those beautiful almond eyes and the way that they melted right into their mother's arms...and I realized that I have begun to graduate.  This is my last summer picnic with our baby group...and we MADE it!  We did it!  We grew up, we learned, and we leaned on each other...and look what happened!?  My squishy baby turned into this boy, and we're here to tell about it.

The next regime...Branson and Sophia- I couldn't resist posting this photo of these two cuties.  I think they are already courting...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great Ds Blog Entry

Check out.this blog entry that my friend Ruby sent to me.  Sometimes I need to be reminded that Chase is here to teach me stuff, too.

Thanks for passing it on, Ruby!!  I miss you!  Atlanta is lucky to have you :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Don't-You-Eat-My... Game

Mr. Pickypants used to be a good eater, like a million years ago.  Now I rejoice in every coerced bite of cookie, fruit, or waffle.  The nutritionist once told me that I should tell him, "If you eat a bite of vegetables, then you can have a bite of yogurt!"  It just.doesn'  I don't know if it is that he doesn't understand the concept of if this, then that, or that he just frankly doesn't care.  Reverse psychology didn't work either...until now!

Now, most of the time (well, some of the time, when he feels like playing) we can get Chase to eat if we play the, "Hey!  Don't you eat my (fill in the blank)!" game.  This morning it was eggs and toast.  He thinks it is the funniest thing in the world, to do something that we don't want him to do.

Look at that impish grin!

I have a strange feeling, though, that this tactic is going to bite me in the butt the next time I have to yell, "Chase!  Don't you run across the parking lot!"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ringing the Bell

A momentous occasion here in the Mad House:

Ian climbed the rope at gymnastics ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP and rang the bell yesterday.  Twice!

See that teeny tiny little blue blur near the ceiling?  Yeah.  That's my boy :)


I had to talk with Ian this past week about our good friends who will be moving away.  Ian has lived 2 doors away from his 'bestie' for 3 years (they are planning to get married someday and have a baby- Ollie if it is a boy, and he doesn't know what the girl name would be because Leah gets to pick out the name if it's a girl), and now Leah will be moving back to Florida.

She told him that she was leaving, and he ran to me with a scrunchie face and a quivering lip...he told me tearfully, "Mom...?  Leah's moving to Florida....and she's taking the Mustang with her!"

Then later..."I know it will be alright because I will get to see her when we visit, but I really really REALLY want to jump on her trampoline before they put it away!"

I'm not sure if he truly realizes the full effects of their move, but I am hoping that it will be any easy transition for him.  Thinking back to my kindergarten friends...well, I can't really remember them.  (Except for Scott Rosenberg, who I kissed goodbye on the bus every day when I got off at my stop.)  I know that he will make many, many new friends at his new school, grow and nurture his already strong friendships with our sister family next door, build many lasting friendships as he grows, and say many more goodbyes throughout his life.  But it is still sad to put an end to any chapter in life, even if there are new chapters ahead that I know will bring joy.

Such is life.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


We've had Shannon and Erin (Bryan's cousins) here for the past 2 weeks, and they have been SUCH a big help around here.  I started back with my daycare kiddos, and with Ian and Chase not starting school until September, it has been a HOUSEFUL.

So, in an effort to show these California girls that North Carolina is about more than just watching babies and changing diapers, we took a quick day trip to Linville Falls today.  The day was overcast and cooler- perfect for a hike and a visit to the caverns.  The kids were mostly good; a little antsy about the 2 1/2 hr car ride, but happy to be out in the fresh air, to picnic by the water, to explore the awesome caves, and to eat at a roadside hole-in-the-wall BBQ place (yes, I ate a pulled pork sandwich!  Some things are harder to resist than others...)

And we are back, ready to start the week...refreshed and mostly happy to be out of the minivan :)