transfer to wordpress

so I think I am up and running on our new blog - check us out on the new site. I haven't done much apart from importing the old blog but hopefully tomorrow I will get some cute pics of the boys in their costumes. Well cute of Timothy and Wil. Luke has insisted on being a ghost, and I think he wants to be a little scarier than casper so "cute" may be a thing of the past for his halloween costumes.

anyway, once again our new blog address is www.waldenhouse.wordpress.com and James' has changed too for those of you keeping up with his theological musings. It is lutherspub.wordpress.com. I thought when I imported everything to the new site it would send you over automatically but I can't seem to make that happen so if you will just go ahead and update, I think I have pretty much made the switch faster than I had planned. see you there. :)

we're here and stuff's happenin'

So there are only two days left in the "Get it Down:31 for 21!" challenge. I was hoping to come out a little better than I did but life got the better of me and last week blogger got the better of me. In fact I am having such blogging issues and frustrations that I have decided to move on to another blogger host. I'll fill you in on that in a moment.

First a quick update on what has been going on around here and if I can overcome the picture uploading issues I have been having I will give you some fluff. The major issue is a really long story but I will try really hard to give you the short version. I was going to leave this off the blog altogether because I was so disgusted by it but some friends encouraged me that in the name of parenting boys I should share the joy. Okay, in short - Luke has been peeing behind his dresser at night. Oh, and in the bathroom trashcan because he emptied the toilet of water and didn't want to refill it. So for a period unbeknownst to me he has been filling the trashcan with urine. It was quite heavy. The odor in his room has been difficult to get rid of. For all I know this has been going on since we moved in and has absorbed through the carpet pad into the sub-flooring. Although I was pleased that our friend from Gainesville that came through on Sunday, who claims to have quite the sniffer, didn't pick up the smell of urine. Thanks Kevin. (That's right, I put company to the test. I have been that obsessed with this.) So, there's that. And that is the very short version of the story.

On a fun note. . . we enjoyed a fall festival for kids with special needs put on by the company that provides Wil's early intervention. Events like these really show us the differences in our kids personalities! Luke enjoyed scaling the old fashioned tractor.
Timothy loved sitting on the pumpkin cart. Wil, not so much.
However, Wil really enjoyed talking to the pigs. He has been working on his animal noises in speech therapy so it was fun for him to see the real deal.
And then later that same day we got together with a few friends to celebrate Luke's fifth birthday. It is hard to believe he is five.
Timothy is pushing Wil in good ways as they both advance in reaching milestones. And Timothy flat out amazes us with his appetite. Really, he eats as much as Luke which is saying a lot.
And Luke has been discovering his inner artist. Here he is getting some input from his cousin and pal, Gavin.

Okay, so the blog. I am switching to wordpress. Our new address will be www.waldenhouse.wordpress.com. This will be a process so if you visit now you will not find much more than the template and the header done. I haven't found my way around the wordpress host yet but think overall I will like it better and hopefully won't have the problems I have had here. Just to give you an idea. It took me well over an hour to post this and get these pictures uploaded (and I see that some are not even showing?) when normally this type of post would have been a quick 15-20 minute post. Once I have completely converted I should have it set up so that when you visit this address you are automatically forwarded to the new address until you can get it changed. So anyway, a heads up for you there. And for those of you that read James' blog we will be changing him over at some point too.

Monday mornings

So James, being the ever-so-thoughtful one, has decided he is going to make sure I get out of the house on M-W-F mornings for some much needed exercise. Starting this morning. Well, because I have this hacking cough, exercise just wasn't going to happen so I decided an hour out for coffee and some reading would be just as rejuvenating. It was a nice brisk morning so I put on some corduroys, a long sleeve t-shirt and my favorite worn red shoes and was ready to walk out as James was loading Luke, Wil, and Timothy up to take Luke to school. As usual we could not find Luke's backpack so I joined in on the search. Now the preschool backpack serves two purposes. 1) It carries an extra set of clothes should they be needed and 2) it carries the all important folder which is used to transport papers from school to parents. Most of the time I do not see these papers. They generally get dumped in the back of the car or worse left in the folder where the teacher realizes the following week that Luke's mom and dad are not reviewing his work or reading the important messages they are sending home. This is how we missed things like Luke having "show and tell" every Friday, therefore he showed up empty handed the first month of school. Or failing to bring snacks because I missed the paper that told me to do so. Yes, we are those parents, despite our best efforts - okay, so I won't be president of the PTA, who am I kidding? I won't even go to the meetings. So anyway, this morning I grabbed the notebook to sift through last weeks papers as James was backing out of the driveway. Thankfully I was able to flag him down after reading that district two was closed today - there would be no school! Bummer.

Since everyone was loaded up and ready to go somewhere they joined me for my cup of coffee. Not exactly the quiet hour to myself that I had envisioned but it was good just the same. And from now on I will be a dutiful parent and empty Luke's folder at the end of each day. Oh and read what is removed.

Get it Down:31 for 21! day 22

Buddy Walk 2007

Walkin' for Wil, Wild about Wil, Woop Woop Woopin for Wil, Wil's Wacky Crew, Team Wil, Okay. . . We really didn't have a team name, and there is no one that is really wacky except maybe aunt Joannie. We kinda had a team though, 11 of us including Wil. But disorganized me didn't organize our little group for a photo. Oh well, this was our first walk so maybe next year we will have our act together. The point is we made it. And let's face it, these days, just "getting there", wherever that may be, seems to take it all out of me. So here are a few pics of our afternoon.

A few of Wil's fans trying to distract him from the noise. . .

It doesn't take long

I had just run our heavy, "is there any suction in there?" vacuum over the downstairs rug and carpeted area. I hauled it upstairs where it would sit until I was up for another round of aerobic activity. At least the downstairs was starting to come together. Luke is spending the night out tonight. A baby-sitter is coming to stay with the little guys. James and I are going to our favorite restaurant and to hear a friend play acoustic and sing in a local coffee bar afterwards.

When I got to the bottom of the stairs my little troublemakers had done it again.


I don't even know where the box of crackers were. I don't recall seeing them prior to this. It really is amazing what they can get their hands on. They were not at all happy when I came in to clean up their little mess. Both of them began shoveling crackers in their mouth as fast as their hands would allow and Timothy was even pushing me away as I attempted to scoop up the pile he had gathered in front of him. All I could do was laugh as I headed back upstairs to get the vacuum cleaner, wondering if it would pull up the mashed crackers and cheese.

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a Dyson vacuum. ;)

Get it Down:31 for 21!

Noise

There are times on our house when the noise can be unbearable to me. I have that sensory overload feeling where I feel like I want to stick my head deep in a hole and scream. I know, that doesn't sound very helpful but that is what I feel like doing. The sound I never tire of is the sound of the boys playing together, most specifically their laughter. And boy can they get going. I just love it.

Today Timothy took an uncharacteristically long nap. Wil took an uncharacteristically short nap. And Luke, well he seems to have dropped his naps altogether. So Wil and Luke got some bonding time without Timothy nudging in. They had a great time as Luke pushed Wil on his "bike", had pillow fights, played ball, and shared lots of laughs. At one point I looked over and Wil was giving Luke one of his famous hugs. I just happened to have my camera in hand (it is so rare that I catch such moments! I usually try to recreate them and you know how that goes!)


Get it Down: 31 for 21! Day 18

We're here, we're here

We are busy passing some form of illness or another around and around and around. Poor Timothy cannot tolerate his stuffy nose and needs a little extra attention in the evenings. When James is not home this leaves Wil to get into all sorts of mischief. Tonight he escaped from my safe spot for him. I came downstairs to find him back on top of the dinner table. To be fair he was trying to be helpful. He was clearing the evenings dishes for me. I came downstairs to the sound of the plates shattering on the wood floor. Thanks Wil, you sure know how to keep me busy. Oh, and Luke, as usual, looks at me and said, "what mommy, I didn't see. I was drawing."

Tomorrow we have our first of many sessions with the school district as Wil's therapies will transition in March. Over the next several months they will put Wil through a battery of tests that will tell us exactly how delayed he is. On the one hand it is important because this is how he qualifies for services. On the other hand these things stink. We just don't look at Wil and think about all the things he is not doing. We are proud of what he is doing. I was beaming today when I watched him work so hard to swing (in slow motion) his leg over his little bike. He struggled with this seemingly simple task on his own with such concentration and no help. When he got on he just looked up at me and smiled, then honked the horn. :)

Get it Down: 31 for 21!

Milestones

First, my apologies, to anyone keeping up with my Get it Down: 31 for 21 challenge to post every day for the month of October. The reality is that life - sick kids, migraine headaches, soccer games, you know - sometimes gets in the way. I'll try to get back on track this week.

Last week in physical therapy Wil, I believe, was cussing at his therapist the whole hour. It was demonstrated in the form of stiff bodied screams directed squarely at his sweet and patient therapist who somehow managed to get him to walk despite the protest. (this is testimony to her skill and Wil's perseverance) He was so unhappy with her for making him walk behind his toy walker that his Nonnie bought him and Timothy. When she left we were given strict instructions to get him behind his walker regularly as well as walking with us, using only one hand for support. Our little guy, who is such a hard worker has accomplished both. Here he is cruising the house.


And now it's time to celebrate the accomplishment!

We are so proud of him. He is one determined little guy!!

Are they Twins?

There isn't a day that goes by - let me rephrase that - every outing we make someone stops and asks if Wil and Timothy are twins. No, I reply, they are 2.5 and 1. Most look at me quizzically, give me some quip about their cuteness and move on. Others look at me quizzically and remain before me, their presence demanding an explanation. So I give a brief explanation for Wil's small stature and add that Timothy is a giant.
Even though our lives are filled with things that continually point us back to Down syndrome, like therapies(four a week). Or doctors appointments (countless). Battling with him over wearing his SMO's (braces for his ankles), or various other issues, we just don't look at Wil and think he is "different" or (and this is my favorite) "special." Not until someone else looks at us and wants to know what is different.
I don't mind the questions. I am always happy to talk about my family and never turn down an opportunity to educate others about Down syndrome, I just hope they are listening.
Get it Down: 31 for 21! Day 11

21 Things about Wil that have nothing to do with Down syndrome

Get It Down; 31 for 21


1. He is the rough one in the family, loves to roughhouse with dad and brothers.

2. He loves swimming. . .

3. as long as he is in control. Don't even think about pouring water over his head.

4. He likes to swing and swing high.

5. He laughs with ease.

6. His favorite food is bug macoroni with vegies.

7. He does not like to wear hats.

8. He likes to be tickled.

9. He loves being outside.

10. He likes music and seems to have a propesnsity toward bluergrass, demonstrated by big grins, swinging legs if in the car, or rocking on hands and knees if in the house.

11. He likes books, he is often found with legs spread flipping pages pointing to his favorite images.

12. He has a healthy self-esteem. He often takes time to stop and applaud himself after accomplishing something. anything. :)

13. He has an eye for detail.

14. He can destroy a clean room in under 30 seconds.

15. He is great at putting things away, especially if you are singing the "clean up" song.

16. He is the best "medicine taker" in this house.

17. He likes to climb up the slide.

18. He makes sure all doors in the house are closed at all times.

19. He loves to play with his brothers.

20. He can smell a doctor a mile away, okay maybe that does have something to do with Ds but it is pretty darn smart!

21. He is as handsome as they come!!

Hidden Treasures?

Every so often I must stop what I am doing to conduct an all out search for Wil's glasses. This happens because a quick glance around proves a more thorough search is needed. Timothy is normally responsible for removing Wil's glasses. Wil takes them back, tries without success to put them on, then hides them. Wil has become quite good at hiding things so this has turned into a time for me to find all sorts of interesting items. Like old disgusting milk bottles or rocks. Today I found this. Having a hard time making it out? Hershey kiss candy wrappers. Lots of them. On the floor. Between the sofa and a stack of books. This is in our "sitting" room and it is on the far side of the room so it is not generally visible, unless you are looking for a pair of glasses. As I look under the sofa I find more. In addition to more wrappers I find a stash of unwrapped kisses.

So I clean it up, pull out the six or so whole pieces and put them on the kitchen island. When Luke gets home from school he spots them. I see him eye them. He looks at me. He looks at them. Then he walks over to see if I have placed more candy in the bowl on the buffet. No. He comes back, still quiet. Then he says, "I think Wil is stealing candy." lol!

Wil is just looking at me smiling while he eats lunch, signing more, oblivious that his big brother is trying to make him the scapegoat. Or maybe he's not. I'm pretty sure he is the kind of guy that just might cover for his brother. I can't wait to see how this relationship unfolds.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

3 Croups and a Sinus Infection

So here it is after 8pm and I have not made my Get it Down:31 for 21 post for today. Of course, had I not committed to this challenge I would be lying on the sofa with my Southern Living and a sweet tea right now but the "rule follower" in me is drawn me to the computer.

The reason I am just getting to the computer? I have had three sick kids for a week now. Today we made our fourth trip to the doctor, Wil's second, since last Friday. They have all had croup and obediently taken their steroids (Luke even got two shots to the legs which let me tell ya was not fun!) but Wil, poor Wil, whenever he gets any type of cough or congestion it almost always develops into other types of infection. And that is what we found out today - a sinus infection and two more weeks of antibiotics. It's hard to see the little guy so uncomfortable but we know the drill so hopefully we can get him cleared out soon. For those of you that don't know kids with Down syndrome have smaller airways so they get clogged up pretty easily and therefore when they get colds (or croup in this case) they tend to last longer and often lead to various kinds of infection. So this time of year is tough. And for us this week has been tough and it all seemed to culminate today. Or maybe I just completely ran out of resources today. Either way, it's been a long day, a long week and I am glad it is behind us.

Oh (please inject a hint of sarcasm here) and did I mention that while I was sitting in our den this morning trying to console Wil I looked up and noticed that our ceiling was wet? It is a second story ceiling, nothing above it but attack space sooo. . . could it possibly be that our new house, with a three month old roof is leaking?! It was almost too much for me to consider at the moment but thankfully our warranty department is on the ball and sent someone right over. Turns out it was the A/C, which is housed in the attack, that was backed up and leaking. Problem solved, but now we have to have the drywall guys come in and set up scaffolding in a week or so to repair the ceiling. There is always a convenient time for that with a 1, 2.5, and 4 year old running around! lol

Okay, well, I had some pictures of our sickly brood for you but those aren't uploading for some reason and I am too tired to figure it out.

Quiet moments

I have a great husband. He is kind and generous. He is funny, smart - really smart - great with our boys and very thoughtful. This morning we woke, as is ususal, to the sound of Luke down in the kitchen trying to make his own breakfast. That's his newest thing. Being thoughtful like his dad he doesn't want to wake us so he makes it himself, only problem is he doesn't have the quiet thing down yet. Anyway, James sends me out for some coffee and time to myself with instructions to be home by 10:00. So I did just that. It was really nice.
When I walked in I found our little troublemaker up on the kitchen table rolling the pumpkin to the hardwood floor. I made it over in a few leaps and caught if before it went splat. Luke is sitting next to him coloring like he has no idea there is anything unusual going on. Timothy is crawling around with Wil's glasses in his mouth and James is in the shower. I look around and the place is a mess. The clean dishes have not been emptied from the dishwasher and the sink is full of the mornings mess. The sofa is torn apart and all the cd's are emptied from the armoir drawer. Then James dashes downstairs and out for work. I was left wondering if it was really worth getting out. Ultimately I decide it was. I will grab quiet moments when I can get them and am thankful for a husband who knows I need them and more and more I am learning to embrace the chaos that is our lives.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Starbucks take me away. . .

As all moms of more than one know, getting out of the house to do just about anything with the kids in tow can be challenging. I find this to be particularly true at times because two of my three cannot be reasoned with and the third is determined to challenge everything that rolls off my tongue. I had one of these days last Thursday.

Luke and Wil desperately needed haircuts. Now, to start with I knew this was not going to be enjoyable because Wil flat out does not like to be touched by hairstylists, doctors, or dentists – or anyone else who appears to have an interest in anything attached to his head. (the fact that he keeps his glasses on is an act of God! There really is no other explanation.) So Timothy and Wil are in the double stroller watching Luke, the big boy get his hair cut. I am playing referee as Timothy cannot resist pulling Wil's hair (remember Wil does not like this). Luke does a fine job with his hair cut with the occasional complaint about stray hairs irritating his skin and Wil clapped proudly for him when he was done. I thought this was a good sign. Maybe Wil was going to cooperate this time. Nope.

Here’s how we do it. I sit first, am drapped, then Wil sits on me. He does not like the drape on me at all and is working feverishly to remove it, then it gets really complicated when he gets his own cape. That is when the screaming starts. My job is to try and hold his arms down while the stylist cuts. This is no easy task. Wil is strong and very determined to push Kelly, the evil woman with the scissors, far away from his head. He breaks free several times giving her a good shove, she backs away, then moves back in and keeps cutting. All the while his head is swinging from side to side, face down, cheeks beet red with big ole crocodile tears rolling. It is really remarkable that Kelly is able to give him such a good cut. She deserves some sort of special honor for this.

Now you should know that while this is going on Timothy is screaming intermittently. Timothy shrieks by the way. It is piercing and when in public we do our best to preempt this to spare all those within earshot. Crackers, I have crackers. “Luke. Luke,” I call out. He is so engrossed in some completely inappropriate show on in the waiting room that he does not hear me so I get louder. He finally alerts and gets some crackers for Timothy. We go through this more times than I would like even though I asked Luke to sit with his brother and keep the crackers coming. But there I was with screaming Wil on my lap, not exactly in a position to get down and talk with Luke about cooperation and the objectification of women. Sigh.

So on the way home I treat myself to a Starbucks. I think I have earned it. Getting them all inside to get my drink is not without difficulty – or comments from others – but it is worth it. On the way home they are happy listening to Buzz Buzz and I get to enjoy my Iced Toffee Nut Iced Coffee. Thanks Leah!

Get It Down:31 for 21!

Did you know before he was born that he had Down syndrome?

This is probably the most frequently asked question we receive concerning Wil. I’m always a bit curious what prompts this question. When it is raised by women in the “babymaking” years I realize I may represent one of their biggest fears - having an “unhealthy” child. When it is raised by medical professionals they almost always assume we did not know before he was born otherwise we would have aborted. And then I assume some people are just genuinely curious about our journey and how we received the news that would change our family in countless ways.

We did not know Wil was carrying that extra 21st chromosome before he was born. The day I “knew” was not due to his karyotype results or a conversation with a geneticist, it came from Wil. He arrived early, 32 weeks, and was in NICU III doing very well. We received great reports, he was breathing room air, his lungs looked good and his hematocrit looked good which was the most immediate concern. We were thrilled. Then the murmurings started, “He has the look,” some of the nurses were saying. They began pointing out some characteristics that are often seen in children with Ds. “But,” they would say, “he doesn’t have the palmer crease or the space between his toes.” Every time we went in those first couple of days they were back and forth. One nurse would say, “nooo. He is just puffy from all the extra fluid, I just don’t see it.” Another would say, “yes, I think he definitely has some characteristics.” The neonatologist was just as uncertain and to my surprise so was the geneticist after a bedside exam. So the karotype was ordered.

In the meantime I did what I do best, for better or worse, I went into “control” mode. I devoured everything I could get my hands on concerning Down syndrome. I didn’t even have a clue what it was, I just had all these false images rolling around in my head. I read and read and read. James and I were overwhelmed with information and we didn’t even know yet whether our second son would be carrying us on this journey.

Back to the day I “knew”. Wil was five days old. James was at home with Luke and my mother drove me to the hospital so we could visit with Wil. His nurse, Elvie, was there and she was our favorite. Being from New Zealand she had a great accent so it made listening to all the medical jargon easier and most importantly she cared so tenderly for Wil. As we stood by Wil’s isolette she was talking with us about his night and her impressions when Wil opened his eyes and looked up at me. It was the first time he really opened his eyes. That’s when I “knew”. Those beautiful crescent shaped eyes met mine and I knew that our lives were going to be very different than we had imagined. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t all sunshine and light with an understanding of the joy Wil would bring us. Actually I walked into the waiting room and fell into a pile of tears until my mother and Elvie came and scooped me up. After that I finally got to hold Wil for the first time and I knew everything was going to be okay.

Get it Down:31 for 21! with 29 to go.

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