Friday, November 25, 2011

halloween...a long time coming.

Yes, it's taken me this long to get back blogging.  After doing the 31 for 21, I needed a break.  Also both Maya and I have been struggling with sickness.  Off and on we have been sick for over a month.  It sucks!  Snotty noses, sore throats, coughs, hasn't been fun. I think we are both finally on the mend. 

Anyway I wanted to post photos from our Halloween.  Every year is an adventure when it comes to this holiday.  Now that I have a little more understanding about Maya's sensory needs, I can better deal with meltdowns.  But before the trick or treating started Maya's playmates from our mommies group decided that we would have a little get together.  I have to say that this was the highlight of the day for us.

This year I asked Maya's respite / habilitation provider to come along with us.  Honestly Maya just adores her.  Christina is an energetic college student who has years of experience working with children with special needs.  In short, I get the feeling that Maya and Christina are almost like sisters.  They just get along so well.  I am so grateful that she has come into our lives.

At the party, Maya had a great time playing in the backyard with the other kids.  There was even a pinata and pizza dinner. I was really impressed with Maya's participation in swinging at the pinata.  To top it off she even ate a whole pizza slice.  These are the moments that I just don't take for granted! 

When the sun started to set we all made our way to the neighborhood for trick or treating. On the way to the neighborhood, Christina showed Maya how to sign "trick or treat".  Within a few minutes we hit the first house.  Maya signed "trick or treat" and with that, slowly I think she started to understand what she was supposed to do.  She carried her pumpkin bucket a few times, but usually dropped it after she got the candy. It was cute though and I was really pleased that she was getting the concept.

Unfortunately Maya had a bad fall at one of the entry ways of a home and after that she was pretty much done.  But all in all I think it was a great Halloween night.  Every year it gets better.  I think having the get together before the trick or treating was a great idea.  I could see that as being a new tradition for sure!

Walking to the party with Christina.

Making her way to the backyard.

Getting coaching on how to hit a ball.

Playing soccer with a friend.

Getting ready to hit the pinata.

Hitting the pinata.

Picking up the loot.

The first house.

A happy girl.

After the fall, Maya got a ride.
On our way home.

Monday, October 31, 2011

31 for 21, Day 31: Happy Halloween.

Happy Halloween!  Happy last day of Down Syndrome Awareness month!  Lots still to say and hope to keep writing event though 31 for 21 is over.

We had a busy day today and a pretty good Halloween.  Maya is crashed and I'm ready to sleep also.  More about that tomorrow...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 for 21, Day 30: Quality time

It was so nice to have a bit of quality time with the family today. We had some time today between doing our Sunday errands to hang out in the backyard.  We took out the bouncy house that a friend lent us.  It's just the right size for Maya to bounce in.  Dada couldn't help but also get inside.  These are the moments I cherish most.  Just hanging out and doing silly things together like this is the best thing about having a family. 

Maya cleaning Dada's face.

I think Maya thought the cloth was a napkin.

Trying to jump. She's almost there.

Trying to walk in the bouncy.

A very happy girl.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 for 21, Day 29: Step Up Walk.

Today was the Step up for Down Syndrome walk.  One of the cool things about this walk is that it is part of the ASU homecoming parade.  It's a public event and anyone who was there to see the parade saw us in it. 

I want to start off by thanking all the people who supported us by donating to our fund raising efforts. The continued support that we have received has been so wonderful. A special thank you to the people who came out to walk with us.  There is something amazing about having friends that take the time out of their busy lives to come and show their support.  I'm very grateful for the friendships that have grown from having Maya in my life.  If it wasn't for Maya I wouldn't have met most of these people.  And I wouldn't have been able to develop a special connection with the people that I already knew. 

I have to say there were a few pitfalls today.  Maya's sensory issues do play a big roll in how she interacts with everyone. Unfortunately the combination of loud music, cheering and all the people moving about, did end up being too much for her.  There came a point where she couldn't take it anymore and became upset.  From that moment on, she never quite got back to her usual self.  But we made it through the majority of the activities and had an overall great experience.

So here are some photos of the day...

lots of shadows but the only photo of us three.

Riding the light rail to the event.

T and M checking out the pirate ship.

Playing football.

C passing the football to M.

Maya's Dream Team, minus a few people.

Waiting for the parade to start.

Teammates watching the band set up.

Happy Maya.

In the parade.

Our group walking with everyone.

Tired dada and Maya chilling at home.

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 for 21: Day 28, Courage.

You are afraid and yet you still want to go inside.
You want me to hold your hand, 
but I say,  "You can do it."
It's OK to be afraid.
Maybe I am also afraid.
Then you run around the house,
and make a game out of it.
Courage comes in many forms. 
You always show me that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 for 21, Day 27: Field trip.

Today Maya and I went on a field trip with the school.  I often have mixed feelings about these kind of events because Maya usually has her own agenda in mind and most of the time it has nothing to do with what is going on.   When we get to the place, party or whatever it is, she doesn't always know what we are there for.  Of course this never stops me from taking her.  With enough exposure I figure one day she will get it.

First off I have to say that the weather was fantastic!  This might not mean a thing to most people, but in Arizona we go through brutal summers.  The end of October is when it finally starts to cool down...and I mean the end as in the last day of October.  So when I woke up this morning feeling the chilly air, I was grateful.

As soon as we walked into the pumpkin patch, Maya went straight to the pumpkins and actually sat and posed for me.  We did a little pumpkin searching and I was so proud of Maya for picking out her own pumpkin.  She also was very captivated by the guy on the tractor that brought more pumpkins.  It was the first time I've seen her so interested in a tractor.

Next, we decorated the pumpkins.  This is a big deal because I can really see how much she has grown. She stood all on her own on a hay bail while trying to decorate the pumpkin with stickers. She understood what we were doing.  And as far as I could tell she was enjoying it.  A double hooray because she didn't put one of those stickers in her mouth! 

After a hayride and checking out the farm animals, we went onto a hay bail maze.  The last time we were at this pumpkin patch, Maya was close to 18 months old.  She wasn't walking yet and she had no interest in any of this.  But today, she went into the maze and she followed the others all the way out.

She lasted the whole time at the field trip, including eating a snack with everyone.  It may seem strange to some, but it made me so proud to see her do these activities.  It eases my mind.  She is able to interact with her peers and do things that every kid does.  Even if she does it a little differently she has a good time doing it. 

Maya is telling me the pumpkins are cold.

"Where you going tractor man?"

Serious decorating going on.

Entering the maze.

Running in the maze, following the others.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 for 21, Day 25: her own story.

Our creative fashionista strikes again.
There she is helping Dada take out the recycle.
Everyday I am amazed by her way of interacting with us.
She is watching our every move so she can create her own stories.
I am glad to be a part of it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

31 for 21, Day 24: Lady Bug.

A little pre-Halloween fun!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 for 21, Day 23: sick days.

it's been a rough few weeks. Maya has been struggling with a bug that just won't get out of her system.  Boogies, an ear infection, and a chesty cough, it's been a rough road.  All this time Maya doesn't even know she's sick. But for me, well I worry and I don't rest when I worry.  Yes mama got sick too.  Oh the fun!  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 for 21, Day 22: The big girl chair.

This week I took Maya to get a haircut...a much needed trim.  As soon as she saw the building she knew exactly what we were going to do.  She didn't want to go and started to scramble for a way out.  Luckily the lady that does her hair, already knows she loves Barney.  So she had already popped in the tape and started the Barney video.  At that point I found myself trying to figure out what exactly to say to this three year old that just hates the water being sprayed in her hair, hates the sound of the blow dryer.  Barney, that's all I could say, "Let's go see Barney."

Now Maya is getting more strong willed and this mind you is a good thing.  She is developing in the regular course of a three year old I guess.  So I usually can deal with it.  But today she really tested me.  She would not, and I mean NOT, bend her knees to get into the little car seat for the haircut.  Usually the car is where she sits, she's OK with it.  The broken horn distracts her a little bit, but mostly Barney does the trick.  Today, there was no way I could get her in. She was stiff as a board. It was kind of hilarious now that I think about.

The hairdresser said, "let's try the big chair.  OK at that point I'll try everything.  The first thing I said was, does the seat belt work.  Because the seat belt in the car is kind of broken.  She said yes, so I gave it a try.  Low and behold she sat in it.  She didn't budge, she didn't try and get out, she didn't fight it.  Then we switched Barney on and all was good.

So I'm happy to say that Maya is now using the big girl chair.   At least when she gets her haircut.  =)

Friday, October 21, 2011

31 for 21, Day 21: Make new friends, discover new blogs.

Yay! It's Blog Hop day! 
Visit as many blogs as you can in the next 24 hours and leave a comment that you've been there. 
You will make new friends and discover new blogs. 
All for Down Syndrome Awareness.
It's a great thing!

What is blog hop?  Check out the info here: Hoppin' for 21 Blog Hop
 It's not too late to join!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

31 for 21, Day 20: pillow fight.

You can't see it in these photos but Maya is an extremely happy, giggly girl when we do pillow fighting.  She always asks for more, and more when I throw the pillow on her.  I throw them lightly mind you, but she often is engulfed in a sea of pillows...and she doesn't mind it at all.  In fact she loves it.

I am told that this might be a good way to help her with the sensory issues she is having.  She needs more input, she needs to swing, bounce and evidently she needs pillow fights.  Luckily these things all seem like play to her.  But when the 20 minutes of bouncing on the ball are done I also feel like it's a workout.

So often I am worried that I'm not doing enough, but I also have to remember to see it in a different light.  Perhaps it's all about play.  She is discovers things through play.  Sometimes she needs a little help learning to play but other times she shows me how to play.  It's a collaboration.  We were doing pillow fighting even before the OT told us it was good for her.  If she is laughing it's gotta be a good thing... for her and me.  It's good all the way around.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 for 21, Day 19: Blog hop.

Instead of wordless wednesday I wanted to write about this awesome movement called Blog Hop for Down Syndrome awareness. I'm a bit late because I often don't have time to visit my favorite blogs. But thanks to checking out The Bates Motel, one of the hosts, I've been able to join.

You can join also until Oct 21st.  That's when the fun really begins.  For 24 hours on the 21st, hop around the participating blogs and leave comments to spread the word of awareness for Down Syndrome.  What a great idea!  Here are the rules written by Erin at Crazy Beautiful Love (one of the hosts).

I hope you will join.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 for 21, Day 18: Moms with Apps.

I'm sure many of you know about this great site....but thought I would share this info for anyone who doesn't.  

MomsWithApps is a collaborative group of parent mobile app developers seeking to promote quality 
apps for kids and families.  If you sign up for their newsletter they will email you every friday with  awesome deals on apps for kids.   

Also if you join them on facebook you will get heads up on lots of other deals.

Check them out if you get a chance.

Monday, October 17, 2011

31 for 21, Day 17: There she goes.

She is learning how to climb those steps.
Even if she is shaking with fear.
She reaches for my hand.
With that she knows she can do it.
Even better, she goes to the tall slide,
then she pushes to the edge.
There she goes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 for 21: Day 16, end of summer.

The end of summer is coming.
After a few more weeks, no more shorts or sandals.
I will miss seeing your little toes.
You often don't stand still long enough for me to document your feet, 
but today was a good day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 for 21: Day 15, I wonder.

After you helped me put together your Mr. Potato heads,
You took them from hands,
and held them close.
Then you gave them a hug and kiss.
Who taught you that?
I wonder.

Friday, October 14, 2011

31 for 21: Day 14, Maya's Dream Team.

I'm so excited to say that we have 17 people on Maya's Dream Team for the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk.  We haven't put together a team in a long time, not since our first walk in 2008.  Maya was barely 7 months old then and we didn't know much about the walk except we wanted to be a part of it.  This year, I decided it would be fun to bring together our friends for the walk.  We are putting the Team in Maya's Dream.  So now we have a little entourage!  I'm really looking forward to it.

This year I also decided to make buttons and stickers for our team to wear during the walk.  That way everyone knows that we are Maya's Dream Team.  Thanks to my friend, Sammi's Mom, for giving me the idea. =) I can't wait to get them in the mail!