Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Alayna is just about as excited for New Years as she was for Christmas...She can hardly wait until midnight to wear her party hat and blow her noise maker.
Ok, Ok if you know the Cannons you know we won't be up at midnight(or at least I won't). With a baby who sleeps all night I won't be wasting any of my beauty sleep on watching the clock.
Alayna is getting super spoiled by her grandparents and enjoying every minute of it. Although I am a little worried next week when they leave that I will be the only one here and she will be expecting to be held 90% of the time. Oh well, that is what grandparents are for...

I can hardly believe that in just one week Alayna will start at the Infant Development Center (IDC). She will be 3 months old too. Ugh where does the time go? I went to buy swimming diapers for her, as they have to have swimmers for their pool therapy and the smallest size was 16 pounds. I guess I will be duct taping those on her every other week when she dives in. I will be sure to take pictures of that and post it. Quite comical I am sure.
Jason is off tomorrow so we will have a nice, quiet family day to start the new year. We
hope you all have a fun, safe and Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Working out after the holidays...

A girl has to keep working on her figure after all...

Alayna continues to impress us by her daily tummy time workouts. She loves to lift up her head and shoulders and look at her musical toys in front of her, she enjoys laying around in a diaper and kicking her arms and legs to move around in circles on her tummy time mat. She is still working on rolling over from front to back (she is so close).

She has worked out so much that she no longer fits into any of her newborn clothes, on to 0-3 month sizes...Yahoo!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Aidan's wish for Christmas was that Alayna got to come home from the hospital. We are so glad that we have been home 2 months now and she is doing so well.

Alayna was not too thrilled with the brain squeezer that I tried to accessorize her in (maybe we need to spend a little more time with LC and learn her beauty tips).

Aidan did a great job of opening his gifts as well as Alaynas...(needless to say at 2 months she was more content hanging out on grandma's lap than opening any gifts. But, big brother had a grand time enough for both of them.)

Grandma knitted Alayna a beautiful sweater to match her blanket.

Alayna and I get a moment to pose for a picture on Christmas eve. (Her outfit says TWINKLE on it, isn't she the cutest little star?)

We hope you had as great a Christmas as we did. Grandma and Pop Pop (Rochelle's parents) arrived late Tuesday afternoon, on Christmas Eve we all attended the Kaw Prairie Barn service and watched Aunt Elise wonderfully portray Mary, then on Christmas morning Aidan was up at 7 am as usual ready to open gifts (except baby sister kept on sleeping and sleeping and finally woke up at 8am) Did I tell you she is sleeping great through the night? (I know I have but it bears repeating HAHAHA) Merry Christmas to me, no more middle of the night feedings (maybe those dark circles under my eyes will start to fade now).
Aidan lit the birthday candle and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and moved the baby Jesus in our nativity scene then he commenced to tearing into his packages.
We enjoyed hosting Uncle Ed, Aunt Jane, Kara, Kellie, grandma, Pop Pop and great grandma for Christmas dinner. I thought I wouldn't get the turkey in the oven in time so woke up at 4:30am and couldn't go back to sleep. I was so glad Alayna slept until 7:30 this morning and Jason and Aidan were quiet downstairs so I could catch up on a few zzz's.
Pop Pop and Alayna are telling each other stories.

Monday, December 22, 2008

YAHOO! It was worth waiting a week for...

WARNING: The following blog entry contains graphic material, not for the faint hearted.

Well, folks after waiting, praying, coaxing, visiting the doctor etc. we finally, after one week and one hour, have a huge bowel movement from Alayna. YIPPEE!!!! (She is just saving us money on diapers really, didn't mean to cause any concern, what a thoughtful baby!)

Our family is doing the happy dance. She does not have a blocked bowel or constipation (trust me it was flowing out well not hard or pebbly). She is indeed using up most of the breast milk for her rapid growth. We thank you for all the thoughts and prayers and check ins that everyone has made on her this week. This mommy can now sit back and relax.
Maybe she knew we had x rays scheduled tomorrow if she didn't produce... take care all and have a wonderful Christmas. Will definitely post pictures of the kids later in the week (thought you might like to skip a picture of todays adventure) HAHAHA!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DSG Christmas party

Today we attended our first DSG (Down Syndrome Guild) Christmas party. It was an awesome event attended by several hundred people from the metro area. They had a great breakfast, visits with Santa, a gift for each child that attended, wrapping paper and gift bags (compliments of Hallmark) and just a nice time to reconnect with families we met at the new parent breakfast in November and meet new families that also have a child with down syndrome.
Alayna slept most of the time but woke up just in time to have pictures made with Santa...
We were so glad to see Courtney, Justin and LC. LC looked fabulous in her Christmas outfit!
We pray that you have a peaceful week as you prepare for the birth of Christ (hint: stay away from stores that always makes me more peaceful).
If you are in the KC area and are looking for something to do on Christmas Eve, come check out our barn service it is a family friendly, cool way to celebrate Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas present?

The mother instinct in me decided to take Alayna in to see the doctor today. All is well and she doesn't think she has a blockage, just using up most of the breast milk for growth. She didn't want to do x rays but will do if the problem continues. She was glad I brought her in though as children with down syndrome have intestinal issues more often than a typical child.
Alayna is up to a hefty 9 pounds 1 oz. She is growing right before our very eyes. I am sure by Christmas that she will be 10 pounds...
Alayna is sleeping through the night (or at least has been for the past few nights) she wakes up at 5 am to nurse and goes back to sleep until around 8. I know, I know angel baby...That is my early Christmas present.
I will update this weekend with pictures of Alayna & Aidan with Santa....stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is she sleeping through the night?

Ok, every mother has heard this question a million times. As of last night I can say yes, our girl can sleep through the night (but will she do it every night?). She went to sleep at 9pm and woke up at 5am. Of course, me being a neurotic mother (you would think this was my first rodeo) I woke up at 3 waiting for Alayna to wake up and be starving.

But, all I heard were sweet little baby sleep noises from our room (and Jason snoring) then Aidan bellowing from his bedroom, "I had a bad dream". Fortunately, a little twilight prayer for good dreams with Aidan worked and he drifted right back to sleep and a good poke to Jason and he stopped snoring.

We ask for a prayer for Alayna's body to resume its normal functioning (ok really prayers for her mother to stop worrying so much about her). Alayna's plumbing has been a little blocked up this past week, not sure if it is the quick growth, her shots knocking her system out of whack, the 2 month old don't need to poop as much as I did when I was a newborn thing, her low muscle tone, or she is using up most of the breastmilk so there isn't much waste to part with or what.

I tell you she is going to have legs like a rockette (or abs of steel)with us doing the "bicycle" motion to try to get things moving. The nurse assures me that if she has gas moving all is good (well, she does take after her father so that tooting thing is no problem for her).

Aidan was so excited that we had a few inches of snow that even with -10 degree windchills he was out playing in the winter wonderland. Alayna took one look outside and decided a nap would be a much better use of her time.

Try to stay warm (unless you are in Texas then be sure to wear your sunscreen!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Did Someone say party? I love a party!

Party? I love a party~ oh until the next day then I am SO tired I can hardly hold my head up...
This is Alayna after a full night of Christmas partying on Friday night. The party started at 7 and she woke up around 7:30 and finally went to sleep around 11 pm. She was intrigued by all the people, voices, music and entertainment. Of course, she was passed around like a hot potato and loved every minute of it. She wasn't about to close her eyes and miss anything. She had to take it all in.
On Saturday she spent most of her day on daddy's chest fast asleep...(great excuse for Jason to lay around and doze).

Today Alayna decided to model her new outfit, compliments of "Big Sarah" . She is all ready for her next party which will be Saturday for the DSG Christmas party (she even gets to meet the big guy in the red suit - stay tuned for more pics)

Alayna is definitely a mover and a shaker, she is now kicking her legs and moving her arms when she is laying on her back and gets excited about something. Very cute.

Uncle Ed didn't think she could smile yet until she glanced up at him, shot him those big blue eyes and toothless smile. I think his heart melted on the spot.

We pray that you are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday as we are, please know that we are having too much fun playing with Aidan and Alayna to do Christmas cards this year. (OK it is just a great excuse as I am feeling too lazy to write them out). If I took the time to do them you would definitely be on the list...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

People first language

Even with my background in special education I had to adjust and use "people first" language. Here is some information from Alayna's school that will help us all put her (and others with special needs) first!

People First Language

At the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center we believe that children are children, and come in all different packages.
All children have unique gifts and talents. We are here to help each child reach his or her potential by giving them whatever help they might require, according to their needs.
Because we have the utmost respect for our children and their families, we use “people first” language. This means that when we speak of our children, we refer to them as children first.
For example, instead of saying “special needs kids” or “Downs kids,” we say “children who have special needs” or “children with Down syndrome.”
The word “children” come first, and the disability comes second.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two Months Old Already?

Wow, it seems unbelievable that 2 months ago our sweet Alayna came into this world. The time has definitely flown by.... We look at how big she is now and it is already hard to imagine how tiny she was at birth (I look at her preemie clothes every now and then just to remember). Our pediatrician even said, "How big was she at birth again? Wow she has grown so much in 2 months".

As I look back over the past two months we have experienced so many emotions, concerns, joys, love, and support. I again thank everyone who has visited us, prayed for us, showered us with food, gifts, support and help with Aidan. God blessed us with Alayna and so many other wonderful people in our lives. We are glad you are reading this and keeping up with our beautiful daughter & our family via this blog.

Aidan, Alayna & I were up bright and early this morning to be at the pediatricians office by 8:30. Jason helped get Aidan ready while I tended to Alayna (wow getting 2 kids ready and somewhere on time is hard work, how do you parents of more than 2 do it?)

Alayna's 2 month visit went extremely well...She is now 8 pounds 6 oz. & 19 3/4 inches long. YAHOO! She is up a half pound since last Thursday. Go girlie go. Aidan said "we can't call her peanut anymore, she is too big". She is in the 50% for weight, 10th% for height & 55% for her head circumference.

She had her 3 injections, which she was not at all pleased with Lisa our nurse for administering the shots. She made the cutest pouty lip before Lisa even stuck her. However, she didn't cry too long afterwards. Aidan said that was the most he has ever heard her cry. Which is true, she is normally laid back and doesn't cry except when she is hungry or wants a diaper change. But, after a minute she was back to her normal laid back self and snuggled right into my shoulder and went to sleep so I guess the shots didn't bother her too much.

She has met all her milestones that she is supposed to have met to this point. She continues to do well with tummy time ~ lifting her head and pushing up on her arms now. She is smiling at us, moving around lots and talking to us or toys now which is lots of fun to watch.

She won't go back to the pediatrician until February for her 4 month check up and shots. But, I will continue to blog about all her accomplishments until then.

Aidan remains the ever doting big brother. He is mature and wise before his time. We know God placed these children in our lives strategically at the right time. On Saturday night we met an adorable 4 year old girl who also has down syndrome, Aidan knew immediately and commented on the way home, "Mom I think she also has down syndrome". Then he said, "Mom I don't care if Alayna has down syndrome, I love her so much anyway." This gave us a great opportunity to talk about differences in people and how we can be accepting and help other people to be accepting of all of our differences.

They are both such a huge blessing to us we can't begin to thank God enough. Seeing Aidan unconditionally love his baby sister makes your heart melt & makes you truly thankful for all our treasures.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Children's Mercy Genetics Clinic Visit

Today we visited Children's Mercy Hospital's Genetics Clinic (everyone is first evaluated and talked to by the genetics staff before going on to the down syndrome clinic). We met with a genetic counselor and then a great geneticist who discussed what causes down syndrome and answered all of our questions that we had about the genetics part of down syndrome. (If you are still unsure of the cause read on in red, if you already know skip down to the black text again)

What Causes Down Syndrome
The human body is made of cells. All cells contain a center, called a nucleus, in which genes are stored. Genes, which carry the codes responsible for all our inherited characteristics, are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Normally, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when some or all of a person's cells have an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21.
The most common form of Down syndrome is known as Trisomy 21. Individuals with Trisomy 21 have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46 in each of their cells. The condition results from an error in cell division called nondisjunction. Prior to or at conception, a pair of 21st chromosomes in either the sperm or the egg fails to separate. As the embryo develops, the extra chromosome is replicated in every cell of the body. This error in cell division is responsible for 95 percent of all cases of Down syndrome. For more facts about Down syndrome

We were thrilled to learn that Alayna has now caught up to Aidan's birth weight and length. As of today she is 8 weeks old and 7 pounds 14 oz. and 19 3/4 inches long. YAHOO!!! (I knew those newborn diapers were getting snug).

We have an appointment on April 1, 2009 at the Down Syndrome Clinic. This will serve as a consultative service and screening for Alayna yearly through adolescence on top of her routine visits with our family pediatrician. A team of professionals will meet and review Alayna's needs then will problem solve to help improve her quality of life. The team consists of: a pediatric geneticist and nurse practitioner, a genetic counselor, a registered dietitian, an occupational therapist, a behavioral psychologist, a clinic coordinator, an audiologist, and a speech pathologist. This clinic is not something we HAVE to do rather something we are going to try out to see if it is helpful to our family in providing more eyes in which to evaluate Alayna and make suggestions on how we can help her meet her goals. Will let you know more after April 1st.

Alayna is all decked out in her ballet outfit!