Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Elmo's World"? Mine, Too!

For Your Dining And Dancing Pleasure...

Aspiring Artists

Not quite 16 months yet, but already, Carter and Nathaniel are showing creative sparks. This week at Shelly's Drop-In, the boys worked with Karen to compose their first original works of art. They're definitely favouring a more abstract groove than that of their father, but there's no debating they know how to fill a frame. Could there be a message or feelings being expressed here? If there is, they aren't telling. Bravo boys!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Splish Splash Pt.1

Bath-time fun with Nathaniel...

Command Performance

Tax time had us returning to Fairview Mall a full YEAR since our last visit (for precisely the same reason) to turn our financial woes over to the know-it-alls at H&R Block. During our snack break in the food court, Carter broke into a few bars of "The Kitty Song", his first original composition. Nathaniel, riding up front, was more amused by his many admirers (one of whom took the time to stop to swoon over his smile and his brother's blue eyes and gush at how lucky I am! Like I need to be told!)...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Park And Recreation Pt. 2

A chillier-than-hoped-for Saturday didn't stop us from taking in a frenzied romp at Trinity-Bellwoods Park, where, in past excursions, the boys had only been spectators.

While Nathaniel was content to stay airborne, Carter explored every accessible nook and cranny and even got a chance to do a little digging when he came upon some well-worn abandoned toys.

Soon, it was once-around-the-park and then home...where the boys enjoyed hearty naps. Must've been all that comfy dirt-under-the-fingernails...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back at Surrey Place

One thing I loved when I was on maternity leave was taking Carter and Nathaniel to Surrey Place for the weekly Music Group last fall. It was a chance for the boys to play with lots of cool toys, meet new friends, and for me to connect with other parents of kids with Down Syndrome and get some support and advice from the experts Surrey has to offer.

So I faced a real dilemma when I received an email from the program's co-ordinator, Dr. Anona Zimmerman, about bringing the boys for the spring session starting March 18. I mean, I'm back at work now, Nanny Karen doesn't drive and I couldn't expect her to schlep two toddlers all the way to College Street and University Avenue by herself. But I really think the boys enjoyed this group and I wanted them to rejoin so badly. So I decided that since I reached the 10-year mark with my company while I was on mat leave and got an extra 5 vacation days, I'd use a few to take advantage of this wonderful program. So I've submitted six half-day vacation requests (which my boss was nice enough to approve) and me, the boys and Karen headed out this morning.

There were lots of new faces at this group -- only Kyle and his mom Rachelle were familiar from the fall -- but that's OK. We made lots of new friends, most notably Zachary, who is also 15 months old, and Melinda, who decided Karen needed some hairstyling tips. We spent the first hour playing with Pilates balls, and occupational therapist Linda showed us how we could use them to speed up Nathaniels newly-emerging walking skills. Then it was song and story time with Barbara, which the boys gave their full and undivided attention to (although Carter wasn't too fond of being on the parachute).

All in all a great morning and I'm looking forward to the five more sessions we'll be able to attend. I only wish I could get to all of them!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Runaway Best Seller!

This past Christmas, the boys received a gift from Mario, Bridgitte, Natasha, and Dylan: a then-unknown tome entitled "12 Cats For Christmas" by Roger Preddy, which offered a gallery of a dozen touch-and-feel cute kittens adorned in various Yuletide garb. Within days, it became an obsession--possibly inspiring Carter's current "kitty song" that he loves to hum at every opportunity!

The boys couldn't stop looking at it, touching the pages and within a very short span, ripping them from their sturdy bindings.

It probably wouldn't please Minnie and Maggie if they knew that "Oliver", "Misty", "Snowy", "Charlie", and "Tiger" were the household's most popular cat names for most of the winter...

By March, the book had certainly seen better days, but thankfully, the always reliable website had dozens of copies in stock, so inexpensively priced that I ordered two, just in case. The boys seemed to have moved on to new titles--"My Funny Monkey", "Barnyard Dance" and the newest arrival "Feely Bugs" are the more popular page-turners these days --but at least I've now got a copy for myself!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Literary Critics

Books have always been their dad's weakness (Mom's too!)--looks like Carter and Nathaniel have picked up the same bad habit...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Goodbye, Winter--Hello, Spring...

Ripped From Today's Headlines!

World Down Syndrome Day

It's March 21st today--which translates into 3/21. Trisonomy 21 of course, is the scientific name given to that which the rest of the world knows as Down Syndrome (the triplication of the 21st chromosone), and today, we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, first launched by the fine people at Down Syndrome International in 2005. No doubt cuties like the little fellow pictured here will go a long way to changing some of the (unfortunately) lingering (and false) perceptions of those who were born with a little something extra. Here's a link to the DSI's official site if you're curious for more info...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Parks And Recreation Pt. 1

Carter and Nathaniel enjoyed their first official outside play day of 2010 just down the street at Stanley Park, where Karen managed to keep two very busy boys confined to the grounds and out of trouble with the locals.

Of course, I couldn't resist the temptation to pay a surprise visit and snuck out of work on an "errand", just as the excitement was ramping up.

The playground's kid-friendly offerings were instant hits, which doesn't bode well for my future at amusement parks--today it's the swings--tomorrow: Drop Zone's 200 foot, 62 mile-per-hour plummet...

Unfortunately, an hour flies by a lot faster on the outside than it does baking under the flourescents in the workplace, and I had to head back. As Karen prepared lunch, the boys retired back to the stroller for some people-watching and light reading.

Could there be a more perfect way to usher in the first day of spring?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Above The Rim

Nathaniel surprised me yesterday morning when he decided to grab the miniature basketball and drop it through the Fisher-Price hoop--ten times in a row--completely uncoached!
Tonight, my attempt to stage an encore performance was partially successful--he dropped in three and then moved on to more immediate concerns (something under the chair, as I recall). Still, it made for an unexpected and thrilling spectacle for which we had front row seats--and at a fraction of the price!