Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blogger Questions and Lapbooks

I have noticed the past week or so, that all of the blogs that originally would show more than one post on a page are now only showing one at a time. My question is....is this happening with this one as well? I have tried signing out and coming back to see it, but can't. It looks ok to me. If somebody could post or email me what you are seeing, I would really appreciate it.

My other question is, do any of you use lapbooks out there? I am specifically talking to those who are doing Pre-K/ K. How do you use them? Do your children go back to them once they have finished them?

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, lapbooks are a new tool to use mostly in unit studies. You can make a lapbook for anything from colors or shapes to history, Bible stories, or literature. If you can do a lesson around it, you can make a lapbook about it. If you check out some of the home school links on the side of our page, many of these people use lapbooks.

I was looking at the Tot School site last night. She has soooooo many great ideas. I am thinking that I will probably be putting a couple of lapbooks together for Lil' Man. There are things that I will have him do in each of them (i.e. color, maybe paste, cut a little with push scissors), but I don't think he is developmentally advanced enough to get much out of putting them together. Right now, unless he is REALLY into what we are doing, he has the attention span of a gnat. It is not worth fighting him over if he is not ready for that much concentration.

I have a few different ones downloaded, and have some ideas to add to them. They all cover the same basic things: colors, shapes, 1-10, A-B-C's, and recognizing his name. The difference is really the "theme". I think these will be great to put into his backpack when we have trips to the doctor. There is enough variety that there shouldn't be any danger of him memorizing and getting tired of the activities. Now all I have to do is go get some new color ink cartridges for the printer! LOL!

Lil Man had an interesting night last night. We were getting worried because he was not waking up. He slept until 2 a.m. If this child wants to sleep, there is NO way you are going to stop him. Once he woke up, though, he was ready to go. He has been "junky" sounding. I had to suction him a few times last night, but he seems to be ok right now. His eyes had green yuck in them and he had a bloody nose at some point.

I sat him in his chair for awhile to try to clear his lungs a bit. We watched Sesame Street. He worked on putting his coins into the piggy bank again. We also played a younger version of Candy Land. It has 4 gingerbread people with different shape/color sections on each arm and leg. You pull on a candy cane to make a plastic shape piece come out of a castle, and try to match it to the shape on your board. The first to match all of their shapes wins. We did two different boards before he lost interest. While I would tell him what shape each was, we were really working on colors and matching. I don't think he really "gets" matching yet. We will keep working on it.

We also watched the movie Inkheart last night. It had Brendan Frasier in it and was a PG rated movie. It was pretty good. It is about a man who can bring the characters in books to life when he reads aloud. That's all I am telling - you'll have to watch to learn the rest. :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Buddy Bands

It's almost that time! We are getting ready for Buddy Walks. We kind-of belong to two Down Syndrome groups. We have more involvement with our local one, but we are also involved with one across the state close to where Lil' Man had his open heart surgeries.

Unfortunately, I don't think we will be able to make the Buddy Walk in Morton this year. However, they are selling bracelets. Here is your chance to get your own Lil Man bracelet! All proceedes for this sale will go to the Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association in Morton, IL www.hoisda.org

There are three types of bracelets available:

The fancy ones are two-toned, metallic silver with blue lettering. They will say "I'm Little Man's Buddy" These only come in the Medium size (7). They are $6 each.

The others come in either Metallic Silver or Navy Blue. The letters are stamped into the bracelet. These will also say "I'm Little Man's Buddy" These come in sizes S(6) - fits most children, M (7) - fits most adults, and L (8). They are also $6 each.

Last, but not least are toddler sizes. These only come in Aqua and are one size fits all. They will say "I'm Little Man's Buddy" , and are also $6 each.

If you would like to order some bracelets, please e-mail me at Lilmanhasmoore@gmail.com Let me know the number, colors, and sizes. We have to send off the order by July 15, so let me know as soon as possible.

Thanks so much for helping me to do our part to support the Down Syndrome groups here in IL. They do so much for us! Stop by their site and look around. Thanks!


Lil Man's Buddy

I hope I do this right. Please watch the following video, and go over to the Blankie sight. Jaxson is a little boy fighting many of the same issues as Lil Man. His wonderful Mommy, Lacey, makes blanket for other children who are fighting. Please send them your love and support:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Night School

So, last night Lil Man was very interested in school. We worked on different things for about 2 and 1/2 hours! This is very unusual for him. I think he has some teeth cutting in and he has been VERY lovey (and slobbery) for about a week.

We worked on a wooden shape puzzle. I talked about the shapes, but mostly concentrated on the colors. He was very good at picking the correct colored piece when asked. He is still working on getting them into the spaces, but getting closer. I have to point out the correct place and he "aims" for it. He would probably do a little better with the puzzles with the big chunky handles on them, but picking up the little knobby ones helps to work on the pincher grasp.

Lil Man had a stroke sometime close to his birth, so his right side has always been a little weaker. When he was a baby, it was very obvious. Now, you have to know what you are looking for. He has become very adept at getting what he wants/needs by any means. Since he also had two open heart surgeries by the time he was 14 months old AND spent 6 months after the first one with his arms tied down (to keep from pulling out his ventilator or I.V.'s), he doesn't always reach across his mid line very well. We were working on that last night too. If you get him to playing a game, he doesn't realize he is actually having therapy.

Santa brought him a Toss Across game for Christmas this year. He hasn't quite figured out the game board part, but LOVES to toss those beanbags! We played "Catch" for about a half an hour. I was able to get him to use both arms and reach across mid line to get the beanbags. He REALLY doesn't like to do that. It makes him feel unstable. He was having so much fun zinging the beanbags at me, he was too excited to worry about falling over. He was also in his little chair.

We love, love, love this little chair! It is actually a booster feeding seat. You can strap it to a regular kitchen chair. It has a tray, a nice high back, and can recline to three positions. We just sit it on the floor and he can sit for hours in it! He always wants that tray on, though. He will try to put it on himself if you aren't fast enough.

He also put his coins in his piggy bank (thanks Aunt T). It is a large piggy bank with giant coins. The pig plays a little tune when you get the coins in the slot. He has to be in the mood for that one, otherwise he just throws it. All of the coins are primary colors, so once again, the exercise was two-fold. Part PT/OT, part color review.

We read 3 different books : The Three Little Pigs, Baby Bop ABC's, and I Can, Can You? The last one is a board book that is all pictures of children with Down Syndrome doing different things. If you are interested, they are available at Woodbine House www.woodbinehouse.com or Barnes & Noble. We looked at pictures in a few other books, mostly about baby animals. That seemed to be the theme for Barney last night.......all 3 of them. :) W also went over the pictures in his sign language book. This was always the last thing that his teacher, Mrs. Bobbette, used to do before she finished his lessons.

He was worn out after that, but wouldn't go to sleep . He just needed to relax a little and play with all of his musical toys. Hopefully, we can keep this trend up! I need to make some more lesson plans - he just blew through the entire week's worth last night!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Thanks Kathleen, from About. com for sending this out today!

Here is a post from Paul Dougherty, who works at the Cinncinati Enquirer. Hope you like it.....

Doc: A day for tears
By Paul Daughertypdaugherty@enquirer.com

There is something watering my eye, and a hole where my lip used to be. Lee Ann Womack’s "I Hope You Dance" plays in the background, mood music for what is to come on this boldest and gladdest of days.

"Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance. . .”

Jillian Daugherty has always navigated the mysteries of life with both oars in. And now she has docked, temporarily, hopeful and unafraid.
Lots of kids will graduate Saturday from high school. It’s a joyous rite of passage, at once an exit and an entrance, a renewed chance at climbing the airy stairs of possibility.

It’s a little different here. The words are the same, but the music is from another corner of heaven. Jillian, the kid with Down Syndrome, is getting her diploma today.

The child who couldn’t learn, has. And now she’ll walk from one life to the next, the unique mathematics of her possibility arranging itself anew.

I write about athletes for pay. I add myth to their deeds, donating words like “courage”, “dedication” and “passion”. It’s all well and good. Occasionally, it’s actually true. They’re mostly good people with tremendous gifts they don’t take for granted.

They’re not Jillian.

When talking with parents of children with disabilities, I advocate just one thought. It is the only road on the map. It can apply to everything and everyone, from sports teams to careers to the dreams you have for your children. It defines, in some way, Jillian’s day today: "Expect. Don’t accept."

Don’t allow your hope to be tethered to the perceptions of others. All we’ve done for Jillian is fight for her right to be Jillian. She has done the rest. The proof is Saturday, when the seas part, the world stills and she flips the tassel.

I could cover a million star athletes and never find the sand in any of them I see in my daughter. She has worked so hard.She wouldn’t ride a two-wheeled bike. We were told this. She spent four months in training wheels on the long, common driveway out front, pedaling and falling. She spent another month on two wheels, mom or dad holding the back of the seat. It took her five months to learn to ride a bike. Last year, she and I did 20 miles on the Little Miami trail.

She wanted to be on the high school dance team. She spent hours in the basement, dancing, before the tryouts. She danced on the JV team.

To some kids, homework is a pain. It’s like eating vegetables or cleaning your room. To Jillian, homework was a nightly Everest. An hour, two hours, occasionally three.

Tired, cranky, dogged. “One more,” she’d say, after about the 10th time going over a seven-word spelling test or memorizing some vital fact regarding the geography of Western Europe. One more time.

By the end of most sessions, the quizzers were more tired than the quiz-ee.

You learn to persevere when you start every race a lap behind. You understand that attitude is all, and a good one is all that matters.

Never settle for the path of least resistance. . .”

You understand, deep inside, that just because for you spelling two-syllable words is like climbing a tree in roller blades doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the view from the highest branch, eventually.

Jillian has done the projects, written the papers, taken the tests, earned the grades. The fastballs she sees don’t blow up the radar gun; picture Phil Niekro’s heater, not Roger Clemens’.

But she has maxed-out her potential. She will be the best she can be. No one who knows her doubts that. How many of us can say that?

The passage of time shivers our knees. Graduation day gets us all, in one jelly spot or another. With Jillian, it’s been a joy, a wonder, a pain, a pleasure, infinite sadness salved by timeless hope. A patience with some, a fight with others, a full-time yearn that, someday, everyone will not simply look at her, but will see her as well.

Maybe beginning today. Graduation Day.I’ve had something watering my eyes for days. They’ve been brimming like a full-moon tide. Must be the pollen. Has to be. I’m counting on it to rage Saturday, when nothing matters so much as the 4-foot-10, 100-pound spirit before me. She did it.

“And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance/“I hope you dance.”

E-mail pdaugherty@enquirer.com and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/enquirerdoc

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rain, Rain....

If you are local, you already know about the NASTY storms that passed through here Friday night. Lots of thunder, lightening, hail, and rain. This was the first time Lil'Man has ever expressed any fear from thunder. I don't know if it was because it was soooooo loud (it shook every window in the house), or if it is just a phase that he is going to start. As long as the T.V. was going, he seemed ok. He didn't throw and out and out fit, but it was new behavior.

We have read some stories the past couple of days. He likes a set of animal shaped books that his teacher last year gave him. I believe they are from Scholastic. He is in to the fish book right now.

I am trying to go through stuff for a rummage sale that Grandma wants to have by the end of the month. Lord knows we have enough stuff....its just getting through it and getting it over there.

I have also been trying to come up with some lesson plans for homeschooling. I have too many ideas for things that I want to do with him. I am having to pull back and write everything down. I do much better with a plan. I am also waiting for a copy of a curriculum written specifically for preschoolers through Kindergarten with Down Syndrome. It takes in to account the different ways that they process language and math. Can't wait to check it out.

Well, this is all for today. We are planning a post tomorrow for Father's Day. Have a great weekend!


Friday, June 19, 2009


So, Lil Man is a 3rd shifter. I place the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of the nurses in the PICU at OSF. He was there for six months the first time, and when we left he had decided that nighttime was the right time for everything! I have tried everything I can think of, including drugs to get him on a "normal" schedule. Why be normal?

So now Lil Man goes to night school. Right now we are still working on colors. He is getting his colors correct when I can get him to pay attention. I made some nifty flashcards by combining templates from a couple of other places (www.kinderprintables.com , and Tot School). I laminated them with a machine that Sr. bought me for Christmas a couple of years back. One set, has three other smaller flashcards that can be attached with Velcro. He was having fun pulling off the little pictures and putting them back on. He hadn't really noticed the little pictures before, but this is good for fine motor skills.

He has been able to correctly pick, from a set of two cards, the colors he is being asked for. I have several sets of these that I like to switch out because you never know if he is just memorizing the correct answer for that particular card, or if he REALLY gets the concept. When he identifies them correctly a total of five times, I will move on to different objects (i.e. red ball, green car, etc.). Then I will do picking from a set of three.

He had a sucker last night. He had tried earlier with Senior. Lil Man would stick his tongue out and pull Sr.'s hand over to him. He would lick the sucker exactly. He made Sr. rub it on his tongue. Later, I tried another with him when I hooked him up to his feeding. He seemed to like it and "licked" about half of it. The suckers we were using are organic, gluten free, casein free, vegan, etc. They come in yummy flavors like wet-face watermelon, too berry blueberry, googly grape, pomegranate pucker, and mango tango. They are made by a company called Yummy Earth, and we bought them at a health food store (Strawberry Fields for the locals). Thanks Gamma! Here is the website for the company : www.yummyearth.com

Lil Man also put together a new puzzle. It was just an el-cheapo foam puzzle that I found in the grocery store dollar bin. It had different colored crayons that popped out of the puzzle. He liked putting those back in, and was having fun with the feeling of the foam.

So that is about it for last night. We are going to attempt to go take a nap. Sesame Street is over. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well, here we go. Welcome to the first post on our new blog. We are starting this blog to keep an account of the Life and Times of Lil' Man.

Lil' Man is 5 years old. He has been through a lot in his short 5 and a half years. He has been through numerous hospitalizations, countless doctor visits, and probably about a combined total of a year in the car heading out to the various places.

We have just started homeschooling Lil Man. This should prove to be an adventure in itself - both for Mama and Lil Man! He is currently getting physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy at home as well.

If you are new to our story, feel free to visit his Carepage to catch yourself up. www.carepages.com OurLittleMan I am sure there will be a post at some point detailing his medical history, but until I get this blog figured out the Carepage is the best place to start.

We are mainly starting this blog so that family and friend can feel more involved in our lives. Lil' Man has an immune system disorder, and we are basically quarantined.

Some rules for our blog:

We welcome any and all comments, questions, etc. We may not always agree with one another, but attacks will NOT be tolerated here. If you cannot state your opinion without attacking another person, or myself, you will not be allowed back.

We have learned from some of our other blogger friends. If you want to leave a message, you will NOT be allowed to do so anonymously. If you can't stand up for what you have to say, it doesn't need to be said here.

If you notice, as of right now this blog is NOT monetized. In other words, we are NOT making money off of this. We are not asking for money from anybody. There are no plans to list our address publicly for the purpose of monetary gain. We will, however, take all of the PRAYERS and SUPPORT we can get.

Along the same lines, I do have plans to put a wish list for Lil Man on here as soon as I figure out how. Again, this is for family and close friends only Those who are normally asking , "What can we get Lil Man....What does he need?" As we are quarantined, we don't get to Grandma's or cousins like normal families. We don't have the opportunity to pass on wish lists for holidays. If you saw our house, it looks like Toy-R-Us exploded here. :) This is not a gift list for all of our blogger friends.

One last thing that I feel I have to address before it even starts.....because of the April Rose fiasco, there has been fallout on many other sites. We ARE real people, our son HAS real medical issues, and we are living life the best way we can with all of it. We are not perfect, never will be. We are REAL!

Now that we have gotten the hard stuff over with, lets have some fun! Thanks!