Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Liam Takes Over

 In honor of the upcoming World Down Syndrome Day on 3/21, Liam is taking over the blog and telling you all about his life!

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Hi!  I'm Liam!

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I'm almost 19 months old and I'm rocking my extra chromosome!  My mom always says that my extra chromosome makes me extra cute and extra happy!

I have Down Syndrome, but really, I'm not that different from you.  Let me show you...

As soon as I wake up, I start smiling, singing, and babbling.  I greet my family with the biggest grins in the morning, and hug them extra hard when they pick me up. That 12-14 hour night's sleep was long, and being reunited feels so good!

My mom plays with me for a few minutes, then we sit down so I can nurse.  It really doesn't last long anymore, but the fact that I'm still nursing at 18 months old is amazing.  My mom was told when I was 2 months old, and again, when I was 6 months old, that I couldn't ever nurse effectively, simply because I have Down Syndrome.  I don't think my mom liked that doctor very much.  My own doctor, my OT, and my nutritionist said I could, and my mom knew I could, and the rest is HISTORY!

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After I nurse for a few minutes, I get to eat breakfast.  Let me just tell you that bananas are a necessity.  If we don't have any, it makes me MAD!  Yogurt is also preferred.

He finally got the hang of feeding himself with a utensil! First time feeding himself the entire cup of yogurt without tossing the spoon to the ground or using his fingers! #milestone

 I've been self-feeding since I was 9 months old, and I'm starting to learn how to feed myself with utensils.  Sometimes, my mom has to get creative, because I do like to throw things!

Oh, just that time I taped Liam's yogurt to his highchair tray because I was fed up with him dumping it. #ItWorked

After I eat, it's time to get dressed and play!  That toy that I'm holding is my absolute favorite.  I loved it when I was 6 months old, and I still love it!

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On Monday mornings, I have Occupational Therapy for 1 hour. Ms. Pam comes to our house, and makes me work on some things.  OT is easy for me, but I do get frustrated with Ms. Pam.  She makes me play with my toys the way SHE wants to play, but I would rather play the way I want to play!  Ms. Pam was my very first therapist.  She joined our family when I was just 2 months old, and I do love her!

On Tuesday mornings, I'm busy!  I have Physical Therapy in my home for 1 hour.  Ms. Susan is really pushing me to walk on my own.  I can cruise around my house at top speed, but I haven't taken more than 1 or 2 unassisted steps.  My balance isn't quite there yet, but I'm getting close! I've been cruising since I was 1, and they thought I would be walking by now, but I like to do things on my own time.  It's hard work, but every so often I get to do fun things, like crawl through tunnels!

Today's PT session: Learning how to crawl through tunnels and climb onto the couch! No problem! #DownSyndrome #downrightperfect #nothingdownaboutit

After Ms. Susan leaves, I get a 45 minute break before Ms. Shannon arrives.  Ms. Shannon is my speech therapist.  I love her and I love speech therapy.  I sit calmly through the entire hour-long session, and I love to play with the toys she brings.  Just this week, I learned the word bubbles, and my mom was SO proud of me.  I think she squealed louder than my siblings squeal while they are playing!

I only have therapy 2 mornings a week, but on the days  I don't have therapy, my mom still makes me work!  That crazy lady talks to me all day, and makes me work on walking and strengthening my core!

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I adore this sweet little lovebug!!! #nothingdownaboutit  #downrightperfect #DownSyndrome

I still love her, though.  She's my favorite.

I held this boy extra close today. I am so thankful that he's healthy and happy. The biggest change to accept is the very real possibility that he will live with us, or in very close proximity to us, forever. But I will get the chance to see that joyful s

After morning therapy sessions or morning play, we have lunch, then head out for the day.  If we're staying home, I get some free play, but we don't stay home very often!

We have a busy lifestyle, and what we do depends on the day.

On Mondays, we usually stay home all day after OT, but sometimes we have to run errands or go to appointments.  In the evening, we pick my brother up from Intramural Club.

On Tuesday afternoons, right after Speech Therapy, my big sister, Lily, has Storytime at the library.  I usually nap through Storytime, then wake up to play when it's over! Some of my friends are there, too, and I love to play with them! I love playing at the library so much!  My mom thinks I get extra therapy work done there.  Ha!  I'm just having fun!

Tired little dude slept through storytime. That's the result of back to back therapies! Also, I'm going to miss the infant car seat. 1 1/2 years in it is a good run!
A big thank you to Liam's physical therapist for teaching him how to climb. Then again, life was easier before he could do this!!!

On Wednesdays, I have my weekly photo shoot.  I do some brand rep work, and I love to ham it up for the camera! Then again, that is my favorite person behind the camera!

He killed it with the cuteness today! So many cute shots for a Valentine's Day card and his 17 month blog post. The Valentine's Day bow tie from @lollyludesigns was perfect!

After the mini-photoshoot, we either stay home all day or run errands, but the one thing we have to do is pick Dylan up from choir after school! We spend a LOT of time in the car!

On Thursdays, we have a weekly playdate with some of my best friends. We do all kinds of things, but in the winter, we are stuck indoors.  The Burger King indoor playground is fun, but I prefer to play outside at the park, splash pad, or zoo. 

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Speaking of outside, we have our first outdoor playdate of the year tomorrow!  Watch out, playground, here I come!

Our Fridays are busy!  Every Friday, we visit my Nina and Papa.  I love going to their house!

We're visiting Papa and Nina today. He is a Papa's Boy! #lifewithDs

Friday is also our shopping day. I always get lost in the pile of groceries!  My mom LOOOOOOVES to shop.  I'm completely used to 4 hour shopping trips through multiple stores.  I sleep my way through them, and smile when I'm awake.  Best way to pass the time!

His game of peekaboo is making this long wait so much better! #lifewithDs #nothingdownaboutit #downrightperfect #upsyndrome

Our weekends are just as busy, but so much fun!  We almost always have a birthday party to attend, a family dinner to go to, or friends to hang out with.  We also visit my Daddy's family on Sundays.  There isn't much free time here.  I go EVERYWHERE they go.

Some constants in our routine is my daily afternoon nap, more playtime (usually with my brother and sisters), and my favorite...dinnertime!

Spaghetti night is his favorite! (Latergram from last night) #lifewithDs More favorites are up on my blog-link in profile. Happy Friday!

Have I mentioned that spaghetti is my favorite meal?

After dinner, I take my bath.  But sometimes, I have to take TWO baths a day.  I like to get messy.

Sometimes you need a lunchtime bath in the kitchen sink!

My day ends with about an hour of quality time with my entire family.  Then I nurse again for a few minutes, and go to bed.  I sleep 12-14 hours through the night, and my mommy says she is SO thankful!

That's my typical, crazy week!  Other than the therapy sessions, it's just like any other typical, crazy week!

I may have that extra chromosome, but I'm just like any other child my age!

I'm a typical toddler. I love to get into trouble.  My parents call me the toddler tornado!  What do they mean by that?!?

Someone forgot to shut the bathroom door. #toddlertornado
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One of those parenting moments  where you take a picture and just laugh. I was busy cleaning up Christmas, and apparently Liam can now reach the top of the kitchen table. I found him happily feasting on Lily's pudding!
Trying to keep Liam away from Lily's snack. Story of my life. Not that I blame him. Lucky Charms!!!! #momlife

I love to go outside.  Even when it's negative one thousand degrees out there.

Liam's first time playing in the snow! It snowed very little last year, and he was sick on the days we had accumulation. At first, he looked confused, then his smile took over! #firstsnow #16Months

I don't spend all my time at doctor appointments like so many people think.  Yes, I have more yearly appointments than a typical person, but that's just to make sure I'm still sailing along.  The truth is, I'm just as healthy as any other typical child! I'm tiny and I'm slightly delayed (I promise, I'll walk soon!!!), but I'm 100% healthy. 

My mom always says he's tiny but mighty. He is! At 17 months old he is 17 lbs 5 oz and 29 inches. Less than the 1st percentile for everything. That's their nice way of saying, "He isn't on the chart." Haha! Perfectly healthy, and developmentally, he is cl

And I like paper.  What else is there to do while I wait for my pediatrician during well exams?

Do you want to know the best thing about my life?  I love my people. I even love strangers.  I smile almost all the time, and I love to make people smile. And my people? They love me.  I'm surrounded by love!

I want you to meet my closest friends.  They are all "typical" but I fit in with them, because I am just like them.  I am a lucky little guy!!!  They love me and I love them!

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I have some friends who are rocking the extra chromosome, too.  I usually see them once every 1-2 months!  See?  My life is even fuller because of my extra chromosome!

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My siblings are the best.  I love them so much.  So so so so much.  They always tell me just how much they love me and just how proud they are of me.  They smother me with love! They make me so happy!

Liam is happy his brother is home from school today! #snowday #brothers
Most people who have a sibling with Down Syndrome say they are blessed. My older kids adore their baby brother!  Obviously, the feeling is mutual! #DownSyndromeLove
Phase Two is too cute! #siblings

My family is my rock.  They love me, accept me, and cheer me on.  They believe in me.

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Times have changed.  People with Down Syndrome are getting better healthcare, and early therapy, and we are thriving! The future looks bright for all of us.  We don't want to be stared at or treated like we're different. We just want love and acceptance!

Life isn't easy, and there will be bumps in the road.  But every single person on this planet faces challenges.  My family and I will stick together and overcome them.

My family doesn't shield me from the world.  They make sure I'm fully immersed in it!

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My future IS bright.  With these people by my side, I got this.  Watch out, world!  Here I come!

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If you want to meet more sweet kids like Liam, please visit A Day in the Life with Down Syndrome!

6 comments:

  1. He is such a cutie! And already has such a full, busy life :-)

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  2. i absolutely love this!!! he is such a lucky little guy <3

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  3. What a wonderful posting. I truly think your have been blessed with the best family. And Liam is such a ham for photos. What an angel. Thanks for the bright spot in my day.

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  4. Happy World Down Syndrome Day, Liam! You are a star!

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  5. This little boy is so loved. This post warms my heart.

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  6. What a beautiful post about little Liam. He's got such an awesome support system. Every time I read a post, I am truly amazed at all the things you are able to accomplish in one week Stefanie! Liam has an awesome future ahead of him--reach for those stars little one!

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