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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Good and The Bad

I'm feeling excited yet nervous about the Down Syndrome Association of LA's Buddy Walk this weekend. I'm excited to go and represent my son and our family and connect with other families like ours. We have raised way more money that I ever expected, so much so that our team, Team Smiles, is ranked #2 at the moment! I'm happy about that, but I'm nervous because at the same time being a part of the Buddy Walk and being with so many other people with Down syndrome can be quite emotional for me. We didn't do the Budd Walk last year because we just didn't feel ready. Miles was only 2 months old and we were still emotional broken. So this will be our first time really immersing ourselves in this world and it's already bringing up quite a few emotions for me.

I also looked at photos and information for some of the other teams and they are very well prepared with team shirts and banners and such and we've done nothing. I planned on getting baseball caps with a Team Smiles logo, but when I looked into it, printing just 10 was too much money. And up until a couple of days ago, we only had about 6 team members anyway, so it seemed like we would be pretty small. I honestly though this would be such a small thing for us, that I didn't put much attention into it other than raising money. Which we did.

I hope it goes well and that our team members do show up and that we all have a nice time. I feel like I'll need the emotional support!

Beyond that, I am very happy to say that Miles has reached a big milestone: he's finger feeding!! After months of practicing, he can now grab the little cheerios with his pincers and put them in his mouth! This just started about a week ago and since I'm not used to it, nor was I prepared for it, I don't really know what else to give him so he can feed himself. I give him the cheerios and the goldfish things and scrambled eggs. But he still only has two teeth and doesn't chew particularly well, so I don't want to give him too many things that he could choke on. I have had to do the Heimlich on him twice and it was not fun!

Miles is also holding the bottle by himself and can drink most of it on his own. He still can't quite tilt his head back and hold his balance, but he tries! And he is also starting to stand up on his crib and be curious enough to try to pull himself up on the couch. So many little milestones are starting to emerge at the same time, but I have to remember that there might still be a long while before he can actually walk or fully feed himself.

And although Miles is doing incredibly well in those areas, he is nowhere near speaking yet. He vocalizes and makes lots of sounds, including "mama", but I don't think he grasps what mama is or that I am his mama. He seems to know his name about 50% of the time and with gestures, he seems to understand simple commands. But not with the words alone. It amazes me to no end when I see other kids his age understand what a "horn" or "bubbles" are and even say the words. How does that happen? How do their little brains connect that so fast?
Do other parents speak to their kids much more than we do? Am I just confusing Miles because I speak to him in Spanish and nobody else does? I mean, I know it will delay his speach more than it already is, but will it also delay his understanding of things?
No matter, I have to stick with it and believe that Miles will eventually catch up, just as he is doing right now with his fine and gross motor skills.

And on another note....I was feeling kind of down a couple of days ago and I went on a rant about people and how they make me feel when they are trying to be nice. I feel bad that I wrote that, but it's how I was feeling that day and have felt at times. I have lots of ups and downs even if generally I am very content. Deep down inside, the little things do affect me. And I suppose this is all just part of my therapy. Thanks for understanding.

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