Friday, October 29, 2010

Noah Bryce, Age 4 yr, 1 mth

Today we had our bi-annual appointment at the Endocrinologist. Noah has been on Synthroid for hypothyroid since he was six months old. The good news, he has been on the same dosage all these years. His body has seemed to adjust and is using the minimal amount to keep our little man growing big and strong!

Noah has always been off of the Down syndrome growth/weight charts, as he is a big boy! He is on the typical growth charts and moving along at a wonderful pace.

Today he measured 40.25 inches and 36 lbs! He has remained constant on the typical growth chart at the 50% in height and he is around 40 - 45% on the typical weight chart... tall and skinny.

Lovin this little guy!

International Festival Day

On Thursday evening, Noah's school celebrated their International Festival Day.

The month of October was spent studying the different countries around the world and their traditions.

It was so adorable, the kids performed for their parents and family. They sang about 10 songs all in different languages with gestures to accompany each song.

They did such a wonderful job!!!

Noah's Great Grandmother is Native American from the Cherokee tribe. That makes him 1/8 Native American (my little blonde native)!
So, it was appropriate for Noah to represent the Native American's during his school festival.

He insisted on being front and center... never taking his eyes off of his teacher, except at the end of the song to clap and share his joy with all those around him!

Below is a fabulous montage of the celebratory evening, captured in photo by my amazingly talented hubby ;-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Craft!!!

Today Noah brought home his first school craft that he completed... a necklace for Halloween.

Noah is still attending Community Montessori School, this is his second year. Last year he began attending in September, with a nanny/aide. He would go daily from 10:30-12:00. We then slowly increased the time through the fall so that by January he was attending 9:00 - 12:00. The first hour, he was going to school on his own, then the nanny would arrive around 10:00ish and stay with him until 12:00.
Through the Spring, we began to have the nanny go less and less, until the last month of school he was attending completely on his own!

This year, Noah began school on September 1, going completely solo like the rest of his peers :-) He is attending from 9:00-12:00 daily, and is doing fantastic! It takes a lot of work as far as keeping in contact with the director and the teachers, sharing what Noah is currently working on at home (especially regarding speech) so that they can reinforce it at school, but it is all worth while!

I am so proud of my little man! Here is a photo of his first independent art project, (with a little help from Miss Carol)!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Devin Brooke, Our amazing daughter!!!

Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Tucson with our daughter, Devin.

She is now a Junior at the University of Arizona.

Yesterday she was being honored for Academic Distinction at the College of Science Honors Convocation. (This is an incredible honor where she had to maintain a 3.5-3.9 GPA for 30+ units)!

Jacques, Noah and I drove the two hours down to Tucson, picked up Devin at her house and went to the college for the Convocation, which we thought began at 4:00 pm. As we are trying to find a parking space, Devin reads that it actually began at 3:00 pm and refreshments were at 4:00! Poor baby, I felt so badly for her, missing the recognition in front of all her peers to receive her cords that she has worked so diligently to receive!
Ahhh, typical Barbey moment! ;-)

Needless to say, by the end of the day, everyone was a little grumpy... I love spending time with my kids, attitudes and all!!!

We were still able to get her cords and have our own celebration which ended in a wonderful dinner with her girlfriends at a delicious Italian restaurant with the ambiance of a true cafe in Italy :-) Yum!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Noah Bryce!!!

September 29, 2010 - Noah turned 4 years old!!!

Our little man is growing up! Part of the day's celebration was to share with his friends at school.

Noah attends Community Montessori School, which has children from ages 3-6. (preschool thru kindergarten).
The birthday celebration at school consists of sharing what makes you special and defines you since you were born on this earth.

This year we choose to share something that makes Noah special... being born with Down syndrome. We talked about how it may take Noah a little longer to learn how to play soccer or maneuver across the playground equipment, but that Noah will learn and he is just like his friends. We also talked about the fact of Noah learning to talk and use his words and that sign language is a bridge to help him to communicate his wants and needs right now as he is learning speech, but that he is just like his friends. We shared that even though Noah may not speak right now, he understands all that is being said to him, just like his friends.

The morning went really well and at the end of the school day we gave to all of the parents some informational coloring books (idea originated from Amanda Bell) that we put together talking about Down syndrome and how Noah may take longer to learn some things, but actually, he is just like his friends.

We have received such positive feedback from our message sent home to the parents that I am so very grateful!!! It is so nice to have my little man be accepted, regardless of the challenges that he may face.

Enclosed are some photos from that morning... Happy Birthday little man - we love you with all of our hearts!!!

My little Libra, enjoying his birthday morning with the rising of the sun

Noah is greeting all his friends as they enter the classroom...

Everyone "shake your silly's out" before sitting down on the line...

Birthday Boy wears the crown; well sort of...

4 years ago today...

A hand made card from Miss Ella... :-)

Happy Birthday my little man. In the past four years you have brought me more joy in experiencing the most beautiful, yet simple things of life. You have brought me closer to God and the understanding that life, our life, is in the hands of the Lord. You have taught me patience... oh, the patience to wait, learn and accept things as they are right here and now. However, along with that patience, you have taught me the definition of hard work and tenacity - true tenacity... that of never giving up and never accepting anything but what you believe is your best!!! Yes Mr Noah, I have learned this precious lesson from you!

The four short years that we have shared together on this earth feel like a lifetime... I could never imagine my life without my little man. I am so eager to experience and learn all that you have in store for us in the years to come.

Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy - for choosing us to be your family!
With all of my heart and soul I write to you my son Noah. Lots of love, Mommy.

The Longest Summer

I know that it has been forever since I have taken the time to log and blog. For this I apologize, the time has just run away...

This was a summer of work; very hard, consistent, determined work. All with one goal in mind... SPEECH!

Noah, my little man with more tenacity in his little toe than I and most people possess in our entire being, worked his little body and mind non-stop this summer. He was having speech therapy 7 times a week! 7 times! I'm surprised CPS didn't show up at our door! ;-)

Although not "officially" diagnosed, it is presumed that Noah has Apraxia of speech. Therefore, he knows what he wants to say, but it gets lost somewhere from his thoughts to his mouth. With Apraxia, it is very important to have constant repetition. Constant. The sounds, vowels and words need to become like a reflex. Something that is innate without thought or effort.

We began this intensive (and very expensive, thank you Grandma J9 for helping) approach to help his speech in mid-June and are still going strong with weekly sessions of 5x each week.

The goal - to talk, to communicate his desires, wants and needs. The results... as of today, after 3 1/2 months of intensive therapy, we have made progress. The definition of that progress may be defined by many expectations, but progress has been made.

Noah is speaking, mostly when prompted, in elementary word approximations. Ex: More = mo, Milk = mi, Ball = ba...
We are working on the bi-labial sounds, P,B,M and the vowels. So, the word Book will sound like "bbu, uuh" Blue sounds like "bbu, ooh" ect. Is the process long and excruciating? Yes! However, imagine yourself as Noah. How frustrating! To know what you want to say but as you attempt to express yourself, it doesn't come out as intended. So then, why bother? Why not just scream, yell, point and pull someone to show them what it is you are wanting?

What I wouldn't give to spend a day in his little body and mind... perhaps someday :-)

We did manage one escape early in the summer down to a family home in LaJolla.

Here are a few photos of our little local on the shore...