Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Long Overdue Haircut

Molly's hair is thin and fine, just like her mama's. It didn't look the best longer but she was a girl and I wanted her to have long hair. 
However,  she would  threw an all out fit every time I wanted to put it up in a pretty, braid, ponies...ANYTHING!  She hated the tugging and would pull away from me and cry and scream. Every. Single. Time.
And well, Daddy isn't a fan of putting her hair in a simple pretty.  He is untrainable in the department, I guess.  So she would go to daycare and school with nappy looking hair
So I cut it.  On a whim one day.  Called to make an appointment and got right in.
At first, I hated  did not like it very much.  I was so mad at myself for responding to that wild hair. I really need to control those impulses.

It didn't take long to realize how cute it really was.  While on vacation this summer, I added a feather to accessorize that new stylish do which made me like it even more.
Three months later, I am very happy with my decision.  Not to mention Molly and daddy.  Our morning routine has been much more peaceful.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Earlier this fall, I had mentioned to Mike that I would like Molly to take up dance. He was not too receptive to it which kind of surprised me because well, I am the one in charge of the activities and honestly wasn't expecting resistance. He might kill me for quoting him but I am sure there are many fathers of DS daughters that feel the same way. 

 He said, "No, she will just be disruptive to the class. She won't just follow directions and that is not fair to the other dancers.  I know that you want her to do what everyone else does but she just isn't ready"

Well, you know me with that stubborn German blood running through me responds, "I am not doing this so she can be like everyone else. I am doing this because she loves music and she can follow directions"

The conversation did not go any further.  Mike knew I would put her in it. And I did.

I had a nice long talk with the teacher and told her that I would like to see her attend 8 classes and if she was indeed disruptive, did not follow directions, and just isn't getting it, I would pull her out at that time but I really wanted to give this a solid effort. The teacher stated, "Oh my goodness, Tracy! She will be fine! I have had several girls with DS in class and they do great and so will Molly!"

Last night was her 3rd class.  She doesn't allow parents in but she let me. For 5 minutes. So I watched in pure amazement and pride.  She did it! She really, really did it! She stood in line, followed directions beautifully, and best of all she was having a blast! This girl is loving this!

When you have a child with DS, "they" warn you to keep your expectations low.  I suppose to prevent disappointment. I think the hubs kinda keeps his guard up but not this mama! Guns out! Molly met my expectations last night and she exceeded her daddy's! She is her mama's girl.  A little German blood running through those tiny little veins, keeping her strong! 

You go girl!   She ROCKED it!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TaeKwonDo and ADHD

I wanted to shift gears for a moment to talk a little about Mr. Gavin.  That is what he goes by in his Tae Kwon Do class.

Gavin is a busy little man.  My mom refers to him as a breathe of fresh air and ball full of energy.  That is an adequate description of him, I must say.

We have had the "ADHD" talk in our home with him over the past few years. We have met with the child phsycologist, pediatricians, and have had the Vanderbilt testing, along with many conversation's  his teachers the past three years. 

The assessment, unfortunately, has been fairly inconsistent. Mainly between Mike and I.  He thinks he is doing OK for himself.  I, on the other hand, thinks he needs a little boost.  Just a little something to help him retain his ability to focus on chores, school, and general day to day operation of things.

His first grade teacher was very adamant about him getting on something. No doubt in her mind! There were many, many meetings with that teacher.

His second grade teacher thought nope. Not a problem.  He felt that Gavin responded well to praising, had strong and well established relationships with peers, and was able to complete his school work in an acceptable range. Again, another inconsistency.

We have "the prescription" in hand.  I obtained this from his pediatrician over the summer after an hour long conversation.  Still not convinced that that is THE answer.

It's not an easily obtainable diagnosis nor is the treatment. 

So, to honor my husbands request, I have decided to hold onto that prescription for now.  I have done some research on diet and have failed miserably implemented some of these things.  Not to the extent that I think would be beneficial but man! To remove process foods from our diet with the busy life we live seems like a really steep hill to climb!

I then stumbled upon an article that a mom had written in regards to Tae Kwon Do and ADHD (after my pediatrician made the recommendation).  Here is some of what she stated (and not all 100% pertaining to Gavin but you get the general idea):

"ADHD is gifted with spontaneity, creativeness and the ability to focus intensely on any task they take an interest in. All kids can be frequently distracted or inattentive and impulsive on occasion, but a child living with ADHD experiences these attributes most of the time. I know that as a parent I have a great deal of influence in helping him perceive these character traits as advantageous, instead of liabilities. The ADHD child doesn't lack focus but tends to apply that focus in inappropriate ways. He has a low tolerance for idleness and gets bored easily.

A martial art like tae kwon do always emphasizes self-confidence, self-esteem and self-control as part of the curriculum.

In our taekwondo classes, children learn the "right action" at the right moment which tempers impulsiveness and turns it into a positive action. Boredom is negligible due to the fast active pace of the class that is full of jumping and spinning, punching and kicking; the hyperactive child can unleash behavior in an appropriate way and be praised for it.

Another aspect of his tae kwon do training is tolerance and respect for everyone no matter what label society might have imposed.

And so, we enrolled Gavin in a local Tae Kwon Do class and he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES it!!!!  He takes it with his cousin every Tuesday and Thursday and looks forward to the next class.

Last week, Gavin got his very first belt, The WHITE belt and I couldn't be more proud! He worked very hard at this! 

So at the end of the day, he is happy.  He has amazing confience, his totally building up his slef esteem and his working hard at control.  Therefore, we are happy parents!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Molly's Mob

We celebrated Maggie and Molly's Birthday this year at the
Step Up For Down Syndrome Walk in St Paul.

It has been a tradition in our family to do this since Molly was born. 
(We obviously missed it the year she was born since it is always the last weekend in September)
  It's one of my favorite activities to do and to see all the support.

Me and my two favorite lady friends. 
These two have been there for me from the beginning and no doubt will always be there.

One of my favorite walkers reminded me of something pretty cool.  Each year we donate and or walk for something and this walk is probably one of the only "happy" walks.  So true. 

Nanna, once again, brought treats and the birthday cake (that you see Molly sneaking a taste!) and presents along with and the rest of Molly's Marvelous Mob!

So after the walk, we celebrated Maggie and Molly's Fifth Birthday Party with song, cake and presents, followed by a trip to the zoo.

..And the day wouldn't be complete with a picture of the Hurlbuts! (Seriously, though K--you are my idol.  I wish I would remember more often to take family shots like this)

As I was putting the girls to bed that night, I was asking Molly,
"Did you have a good 'all about Molly' day?"
and Maggie chimes in, "Mom! It was MY day too!"
I said, "Yes, Mag's.  You are correct.  It was a celebration for your birthday but also
to celebrate Molly and Down Syndrome"
She responds,
"Well, I have Down Syndrome too!"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day One! Ya gotta read this! Whatta day!

Today marks the beginning of my favorite month.  The month of October celebrates and promotes Down Syndrome awareness.  This is the time, on my blog and facebook, that I will share with the world how amazing Miss Molly is and how she has essentially made ME a better person, mother, friend, and wife.  Really. 

On Facebook, about three weeks ago, there were posts of an orphan, right here in the US with Down Syndrome.  People were pleading to "please find this boy with DS a family of his own". You see, he was placed with a family prior to his arrival.  Shortly after he made is grand entrance, his doctors revealed (what I call) his "secret".  The little man was sporting that extra 21st Chromosome!

With that, the family gave him back.  Just like that.  Fools. Oh, what fools.  If they had only known....

While reading this, I was thinking, "oh geesh! There are 100's of family's that will scoop this little ray of sunshine right up!" I really wasn't worried for the little man.  Just excited for his new family to explore and learn all there is to know and learn about Down Syndrome.

So today, on the first day of October, the first day of Down Syndrome awareness month, I got to meet this little man and oh my! Is he so stinkin' cute and sweet! Yes, that's right.  This sweet little orphan boy, whom I knew would find a family to call his own lives two doors down from me!

...And that is how I celebrated the first day of Down Syndrome Awareness month! It's gonna be a good month!