Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vote for Riley... Friday morning, we were blessed to be involved in a wonderful reception. Congressman Jim McCrery has established the Jim McCrery scholarship fund for Riley's daycare center, the Goldman School. As many of you know, Goldman is based on the inclusion model, where students with disabilities are taught along side their typical peers. This leads to enhanced learning, for all the children and furthers the idea that we are all more alike than different. Daycare for any family is a large expense, and due to government cutbacks, all families at Goldman school are required to pay. In years past families with children with special needs were helped with child care costs, but those days are long gone. Caring for a child with disabilities as with any child is expensive. Mr. McCrery believes strongly in the Goldman School and wanted to help offset cost for families. So he endowed the school with over $25,000 to set up the scholarship. Friday morning, there was a reception at the school to honor this. Gerard and I were excited to attend. Riley had been chosen to be in the "parade" for the event. After several speakers, while Mr. McCrery was talking, I saw the parade forming at the back of the room. There was our girl, in front helping to hold a Thank You banner. "Hi Mama, Hi Daddy" we could here her say. A few children(both typical and special needs) from the center paraded in. Of course Riley headed straight for us. I had to hold her in the pictures but then she turned on the charm. As the children were leaving to go back to class, Riley ran up and gave Mr. McCrery the biggest hug, which earned her a standing ovation. Then she waved and said "bye" to everyone, blowing kisses. She was so cute, they asked us to bring her back in for more photos with the Congressman. My little ham made such and impression one lady told me she should run for public office... VOTE FOR RILEY!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

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Monday, August 24, 2009

My little thief. Riley loves to play with my cell phone. I try to keep it out of her reach, but sometimes she outsmarts me and gets it. Tonight while I was cooking dinner, she snuck my phone into her playroom. She dialed a few random digits, then managed to call her Nonna and Papaw. I noticed my phone was missing and immediately went to the playroom, My mom filled me in that Riley had called them. I set her up with a movie so I could complete dinner and put my phone high up on a counter. Obviously not high enough. I started looking for my phone but could only find the pink cover. I looked everywhere and Riley "helped" me. 2 hours later, I found her hiding spot. In my living room window. I found not only my phone, but a handful of dollars. I'm not sure if it was my purse or her daddy's wallet she robbed, but Little miss had $9 hidden away. I couldn't help but laugh, I think I'll take her shopping.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to school time is here. Although Riley has been attending daycare since she was 9 months old, this year is different. The daycare director approached me about moving her into her age group(because she isn't far behind). So she skipped a class at daycare and was promoted to preschool. I couldn't be prouder of her! So on Monday Aug. 17th, my baby started preschool. This class like the rest at Goldman School is based on the inclusion model where children with disabilities are taught along side their typically abled peers, so children learn from teachers as well as each other. However, the preschool class is much more structured. We even got to buy school supplies. I had a blast!Riley picked out what color scissors, yarn, pencil box, etc. she wanted, it was fun. Riley is doing great!. She is speaking in complete sentences now. She can say her first and last name, count to ten, and knows almost the whole alphabet. I know preschool is going to be so good for her. She's doing great even after only one week. Her teachers are very impressed with how well she's doing. So am I. I'm sure I will have lots of preschool stories, I'll keep posting. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kids say the cutest things. Just the other night, my husband(Gerard) was cooking dinner, Riley being a Daddy's girl, wanted to be right next to him. I kept getting her out of the kitchen, distracting her with games, toys, movies, etc. But she kept managing to end right back next to Daddy. We told her over and over, "stay out of the kitchen baby, Daddy is cooking it's hot", Its hot Riley, Daddy is cooking", etc. Finally she looked up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and said. "Mama, Daddy's hot cookie". I happen to agree wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh the joys of potty training. We've been at this process for awhile. Riley is doing pretty well, it is taking a long time. However, I'm not entirely sure if that has anything to do with the fact that she has Down Syndrome, I think it probably has more to do with the fact that she's extremely stubborn.(She gets it honest). I first realized she had the concept of potty training down some time ago, putting it in to practice has not come as easy. How I came to this realization....Riley was playing in her octagon shaped play yard, we lovingly referred to it as the cage, while I was doing some spring cleaning. The play yard was big enough for her toy box, a chair and tons of toys, plus we set it up in front of the TV, what more could she ask for. I noticed she was emptying her toy box, throwing bears, bunnies, and other stuffed toys, blocks, balls, etc. out of the cage. This was not unusual so I went on with my sweeping and mopping. Then I noticed a tale tale odor coming from my living room. My darling daughter had emptied her toy box, taken off her diaper climbed in the box and pooped. then she climbed out and went on playing as if nothing had happened. The toy box and my entire living room got a good scrubbing with Clorox. It wasn't on the potty, but it was a start.

When Riley was younger, I had her playing in her baby walker while I cooked her favorite dinner(Chicken nuggets and fries) As I got the nuggets out of the freezer I noticed that the chocolate ice cream had gotten freezer burnt, so I threw the tub of ice cream away. I finished cooking and was setting up the high chair for dinner time. I heard her wheel into the kitchen and knock over the trash can, this was not unusual, as she loved to get into stuff. I knew it was a brand new bag with nothing but a tub of ice cream so I continued setting up her food. I looked up and my beautiful child came rolling in smiling the biggest smile. All I could do was laugh, and run for the camera. Definitely a Kodak moment. Oh, how she makes me smile.

Monday, August 17, 2009

When my daughter was born(almost 4 years ago) she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. After the shock wore off, I immersed myself in finding all the information I could on Downs. Books and the Internet provided a lot of valuable, scientific, clinical, and medical information. There was however, a lack of real world info. To help fill this void, I am BLOGGING. This will be a light hearted, irreverent, and true account of raising a child who is beautiful, smart, funny, sassy, sweet, loving, kind, and who happens to have Down Syndrome. I hope that this blog will bring smiles and laughter and show UPSIDE of DOWNS!