Friday, September 24, 2010

my smart cookie

HAHAHA! found this shirt at Walmart this week for Seth. He's ADORABLE!!!! And he's doing SO well in school and therapy!

He's a smart AND silly cookie!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Buddy Walk 2010

Today was our third year to participate in the Down syndrome Buddy Walk. We were freezing, but we still had fun.

Seth LOVED playing in the bounce house!

Our group was considerably smaller than what we had the last two years, but that might have been a good thing since the temperature was so low today. All four kids stood in line to get a balloon creation. Seth only stood in line for a little bit, though, because a nice lady let him cut in front of her.

This was Jason's first year to be able to come to the Buddy Walk. He let Darryl and Amanda take care of the cross country team so that he could be with Seth.

Seth walked almost the whole entire way (the walk seemed longer to me this year, but it might be that I had to carry Seth part of the way because we didn't bring the baby jogger this year -- Seth did just fine without it).

We found Seth's friend and school playmate, Lindsey. She helps Seth in their special education time at school. Their favorite activity is to play with pretend food. Lindsey sets everything up and then they pray over the "meal" (Lindsey's from a Christian home, too).

We got to meet Sarah Palin and her youngest son, Trig. She commented on how much Seth looks like Trig and wanted to hear Seth say "mom." She took us over to meet Trig and told her mother that Seth had said "mom" very clearly. Seth gives EVERYONE he meets encouragement!

Apparently Seth isn't as impressed with being in the presence of a celebrity as I am.

When we finished the walk, lunch, and the prize drawing (we didn't win anything this year), we walked over to this beautiful garden to get a few last pictures.

Seth also appears to have no concept or concern for the laws about not picking the flowers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Last night was Open House at Seth's school. We learned two incredible pieces of information: 1.Seth can read more of the alphabet than about half of his class (made up of other 5-year-olds, none of whom have Down syndrome). This amazes me because Joel, Makenzie, and Luke could READ before they started kindergarten! But no one but me seems all that surprised at this information. I'm very glad that Seth's doing so well and enjoying his school experience, but I'm concerned for all these other kids. What have they been doing at home or in pre-school all these years? Even kids' tv shows teach the alphabet! anyway -- 2.Seth has progressed to the social development of at least a 3- or 4-year old. After we had been in Seth's classroom for about ten minutes, he realized that his teacher had probably never met Joel, Makenzie, and Luke. SO HE INTRODUCED THEM! In a Seth kind of way that I had to translate, but STILL! His speech therapist told me today that the concept of realizing that someone doesn't have all the necessary information in the immediate circumstance and being able to rectify that is a social skill usually seen in 3- or 4-year-olds. In some areas, he's still at about the 2-year-old level; but in others, he's really growing!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

fair, funny, & fantastic

I have fallen behind on blogging again -- I have three different topics to talk about. I prefer one at a time to keep things relatively short, but I need to catch up. First of all, we went to the state fair on Monday. I got up super-early so that I could first go to the half-off sale at Value Village (where I got several "new" pieces of clothing for only $17!!!!! LOVE that store!!!). We got to the fair pretty early to avoid the crowds. We didn't have to stand in line for much of anything.

We started with rides. The kids rode the hang glider with me again this year. It only fits three across, so Joel was on the seat behind us. He rode it again later with a friend we ran into. I just love this ride, feeling like I'm flying, but still feeling safe because I'm strapped onto a giant machine.

The older three kids rode a few rides before Seth got a turn. He thought this roller coaster was GREAT (obviously -- look at that smile!).

Joel and Makenzie rode this crazy ride that none of the adults would agree to ride with them. Joel held on tight, but Makenzie was waving her arms in the air.

Seth had to sit in the stroller most of the time because he can't quite get the hang of staying with the group. He didn't seem to mind too much.

Luke and Makenzie started out this ride smiling, but Makenzie was soon yelling at Luke after the ride started because gravity pushed him up against her so tightly that she was squished. She kept yelling at him to hold on tighter and SCOOT OVER!

Makenzie rode a little elephant ride with Seth. He didn't want to get off that one, but then he also enjoyed this little ride with Luke. Nothing could compare with the earlier roller coaster, though. I should've saved that one for last for him.

There were BEAUTIFUL flowers all over the fairgrounds:

It's amazing how quickly money disappears at the fair! Those rides were fun, but I'm not sure they're quite worth $3 or $4 each! And I know the food's not worth the money we paid for it! I'm such a tightwad :-)

The "funny" and the "fantastic" deal with these two sweethearts:

Luke came running outside to tell me that there was a "nude" in the house. When I explained that the word "nude" means "naked," he changed his terminology. Apparently, Makenzie had swatted Luke on the rear, and he knew that there was a grown-up word for this. "Mom, there's a HERBERT in our house!" I'm still chuckling :-) (just in case you didn't figure it out, he meant "pervert")

When there's both good news and bad news, I always want the bad news first so that the good news can maybe salve the discomfort of the bad news. I usually give news that way, too. Seth got tubes in his ears again a few weeks ago because of too much fluid built up behind his eardrums that could have gotten infected and that was keeping him from hearing well. He had two more hearing tests since he got the tubes put in, but his hearing really hasn't improved; so he'll be getting hearing aids in a few weeks. This is very disappointing, but the audiologist reminded me that it might only be temporary. Another child with Down syndrome had to have hearing aids for a while, but now she doesn't need them. The important thing, of course, is for Seth to hear correctly.

On to the good news:

Seth is in a regular kindergarten class for most of each day with a special ed. teacher or aide supervising and helping him try to do what the rest of the students are doing. He sees his special ed. teacher privately for about an hour each day. Friday, Seth's special ed. teacher told me that Seth had correctly identified 20 letters of the alphabet! I didn't really believe her completely. I thought she must have prompted him in some way or made the task easy somehow. So this morning I quizzed him with a set of flash cards, all shuffled up, not in alphabetical order. She wasn't kidding! He knew 17 letters immediately, another 5 on his second try! I was amazed. He can even accurately say and sign most of the those letters. Then we went to numbers. He definitely knows numbers 1-5!! Since Seth is the first child with Down syndrome that I've really known, I have no expectations. Every step that he takes in growth, development, and education is a FANTASTIC surprise :-)

The Hofacker Family 2008