Monday, November 24, 2014

Out of the Closet

In almost two years we have never had someone approach us and ask if Camden has Ds or mention anything about it. I always wondered when that first moment would come. I'm sure people have noticed or assumed, but probably just never said anything. Last month we were finally "spotted" at the grocery store while searching for milk. An older gentleman came up to Camden and just starting smiling and telling him how wonderful he is. He asked me how old he was and kept saying how "special" he was. I knew right then that he probably knew. The gentleman went on the tell me that he and his wife had fostered many children several years ago and how they all had special needs. He kept talking about this one child in particular and how she had a hole in her heart, and that it closed up without surgery. He then asked me about Camden's heart and at that moment there was no doubt that he new that Cam has Ds. He ended the conversation by giving me a hug and telling me how blessed I was. There was no mention of Down syndrome during the conversation, but there was that connection. My friends and I always say it's like a secret club. It was nice to finally by approached by someone in that "club".
Then just a few days later it happened again, and it was another older gentleman. I was eating breakfast out with the boys and this man walked up to Camden and started talking to him. He said that Camden kept staring at him while he was eating, so he had to come over and say hi. He also asked how old he was and then continued to play with him. Then he said, "I'm glad your mommy let you out of the closet so I could see you." At this moment I really had no idea what this guy was talking about. It was a bit awkward and I just smiled and said "Yep, I let him out." Then he went on to say that back in the day parents locked them up in the closet and never let them out in public. After that I realized that he knew. I suppose he wasn't saying anything bad, he was just very blunt. He then praised Camden for how well he was doing. Before he walked off he told me that he's doing so great and to keep up the good work. Hmmm. Thanks...I guess? I suppose he thought he was doing so great because he could actually eat pancakes? Or maybe it was because he would laugh and smile and interact? Or perhaps it was because he would scream and throw food across the table? It was interesting that he said that because it made me realize that there are many people out there who have certain perceptions about our kids. That is why I want to try and change how the world views Down syndrome. I want to squash the stereotypes.
I'm glad I let you out of the closet too, my sweet boy!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Photo Catch Up

I have some major catching up to do from the past two months! It's been crazy busy around here, but I think it's probably the same for everyone this time of year. We've had a lot of illnesses in this house, mainly Camden, but it hasn't been anything too serious. We've also been having some much needed fun!
Last month was the DSPNT Buddy Walk and we had a blast. It was a bit drizzly and cold, but it didn't stop the kiddos from having a good time! Buddy walks are held all over the country and it is a way to raise money for local organizations, to celebrate our loved ones with Ds, and to help spread awareness/acceptance. I get excited when this time comes around because I know I will get to see some of my Rockin' Moms and their littles from out of town! I didn't create a team for Camden this year because I was still uncomfortable with the whole thing. I really don't know why, but I felt bad for asking people to donate money or to walk with us. I need to get over it. A couple of my close friends found out about it and decided to walk with us anyway. It really did make my heart happy because I realized that so many people love Cam. So, next year there will be a Team Camden!
We made a trip to the pumpkin patch with our friends. It was Camden's first time and he definitely loved the pumpkins. He tried to throw all the ones he could pick up. I'm ready for the throwing phase to be over! It was pretty hot for October, but we still had a good time!
Every year we go the State Fair, and this year was no exception. I was really looking forward to this year because Camden was a little bigger and would enjoy it more than last year. The fair is one of Carter's favorite places to go during the year. He loves the rides and playing the games and throws a little fit if we are doing anything else. He is also a fan of turkey legs just like his daddy. He insisted on having his own even after me telling him multiple times that he couldn't finish it. "But I'm five now, and I'm big."  We got him his own turkey leg...and he didn't come close to finishing it. Daddy was happy to eat it for him. Camden loved riding the little rides. He used to have a fear of motion, but I guess he has gotten over it because he just laughed and smiled the whole time! I'm already looking forward to next year!
Camden had a GI appointment recently to check up on his weight, reflux and constipation issues. He gained a few ounces and still weighs 19 pounds. Yep, I have an almost two year old that only weighs 19 pounds. I want to hit that magic number 20! It just sounds better. The doc gave us samples of some dairy free supplement drinks to try. Camden is NOT a fan! He liked one of the juices okay, but it costs over a $100 for a case. Ummm, no thank you. We will just keep trying. He is on Prilosec still for his reflux. He doesn't spit up a ton, but it comes up and then goes right back down causing pain and sometimes aspiration. The constipation is still a problem and we have tried without medication to fix this, but it's not working. I've given in and decided to do Miralax. I'm not excited about it, but we will try and see what happens.
Halloween was a lot of fun this year too! It was Carter's idea to be Batman and he wanted Camden to be Robin. I thought that was very sweet and cute. Camden isn't walking yet, so I pulled him in the wagon and he had a blast! He was babbling, smiling, and laughing the whole time. Carter on the other hand, was done after only 30 minutes. He kept saying that he was ready to go home. I made him tough it out a little longer despite all his complaining. I'm such a mean mommy!
We tried to spend a lot of time outside before it got too cold.
Camden has been in full blown toddler mode. He is a master at destroying the house and will even look at you and smile before and after he does it. Little turkey!
We got to go to Kennedy's birthday party last month. Her mommy is a Rockin' Mom that I met online only a couple of months after Camden was born. We try to get together every couple of months since we are not that far away form each other. We also got to see sweet Allie and her Rockin' mom too!
We have been to see Santa already. We get a little excited around here during this time of year!

  Camden has really made some big strides in the development area. I walked in to a little surprise a couple of months ago while he was supposed to be napping. He was standing in his crib! It was the first time ever that he had pulled to stand all on his own. He then started pulling up in his crib almost every time you put him in it, but he still couldn't pull up anywhere else. A couple of weeks ago he started pulling up on everything! He pops up like he's been doing it forever. It seems crazy to say that my 23 month old just started pulling to stand, but we couldn't be more proud! He has also picked up about 10 more signs and he's now using them without me prompting him. He will point to his shoes and sign "shoes". He will now sign "more" when he actually wants more of something. He signs "bath" when I'm running his bath water. You get the point. It's exciting to see him put it all together and communicate with us! He has also verbalized a couple of new words such as "car" and "yes". Every time we walk by the men's department in a store he always signs "daddy". It's so sweet. He is starting to actually play with his toys appropriately now. Most of the time he would throw them, bang on them, or just not play with them at all. We're making progress!
My wonderful friends at DSDN are doing this great holiday card campaign again this year. When you send out your holiday cards, consider including your medical providers and other professionals too. We will be doing this again this year and I encourage you to join!