Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Flour Painting. With Tude.

Justus was in need of some distraction one afternoon. So - I grabbed a cookie sheet, slung a handful of flour in it & viola - OT genius.

Of course, what would any activity be if not for some Justus 'tude thrown in the mix.
(I want you to know it took me six times just now to type out 'tude - my autocorrect was freaking out, it's not 'down' with my lingo apparently)

Could that be a smile????

I love my baby's little hands. So yummilicious.
(again, with autocorrect police)

Signing 'All Done'

Fun little activity. Clean up is a breeze. And ... it afforded me the all important coffee break. 
(All 5 minutes were heavenly ...)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crazy. Busy.

 Crazy Busy ...

... story of our lives here in the Browning home.

So. A bunch of things have happened over the last month. You can do a quick catch up over at our family blog here

Now that you are all caught up - I will leave you with some cute pictures.

Here are some pictures from our old house and Justus' first day of school there ...

Today we have determined that Justus will not be enrolling in the school system here. I have been so torn over this decision. We were trying to get him into the EEU at the UW, but unfortunately there are no spots available. We then were left with the decision of putting him into a developmental preschool, or not. I struggled slightly with this decision, just wanting to do what was right for my little buddy.  However, at the end of the day (and through prayer) we ultimately felt that he is STILL only three, and I do miss him terribly when he is gone and (I can admit it) worry. So, for now, our little Buggy Boy will stay home, helping mama with the laundry, making messes and shouting orders from his highchair.  

Ahhhhh ... it feels good knowing you made the right decision.

"Helping" mom with the laundry.

Best buds.

Our new family picture, taken by Jenny Savage - who is great at what she does!

We are hoping that our lives can find some calm routine soon. I have to admit, that all this packing, moving and unpacking as well as getting our other house ready for the rental market is ... stressful. I look forward to the slowness that winter promises. 

Max is doing well over all, but seems to be having some issues with wetting himself lately. (NOT LIKE HIM AT ALL) I can only assume it is the move? However, that seems strange given that he adjusts so well to change generally speaking. 

Currently I am looking into getting Ivanna evaluated by a local autism clinic. It is right around the corner and ran through Seattle Children's Hospital. UW also has an autism department. I'll check them both out. We are convinced she has a dual diagnosis going on, and we want to help her gain some focus and self control. 

Well, I need to run. Boxes await and the reward of coffee is in my future!

Coffee. It's like nectar from Heaven for this mommy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Not so Happy vs. Happy

Not so Happy:


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Love Quilt for My Lovey

Justus received a very special gift last week. A package came, addressed to him - and we immediately ripped into it. Inside we found a sweet note from the wonderful organization "Love Quilts". Under the note, neatly folded, was a beautiful quilt. Themed after Winnie the Pooh, it was made by ladies around the country. Each square, beautifully stitched by someone who took time, just for Justus. On each square is that person's name, and where they are from.

Love quilts is an organization made up of a group of ladies that work on these gorgeous quilts. These ladies are from all over the world. Their desire is to bless little ones that have life threatening illnesses or issues.  Justus has a heart condition that falls into this category.

I can't thank you enough ladies! Your gift is one that will be treasured for years - and I'm sure this lovely quilt will not look so "new" and pristine, as it will grow worn from being snuggled by one very special little boy. That first night I tucked Justus into bed and wrapped that quilt around his body, I teared up .... with a quiet gratitude, for people who will never meet the children they stitch these quilts. I thought about their desire to simply bring a smile, or be a blessing. I was touched, and continue to be.


You can visit Love Quilts here

I also ask that you might keep Justus in prayer as we seek the advice of a pediatric specialist next week. Justus continues to have a swollen cheek. He has already been seen by his pediatrician, and a general ENT - who are guessing at what it might be, but are unsure as of yet. I am specifically praying we get a right answer next week, and of course that it is simply nothing of concern ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Miss Ivanna Pants & Stuff

Well, first, let me apologize for the lack of posts. It must be so boring following this blog. I have a hard time etching out time to post - as it takes a bit of time to log in, post pictures blah blah blah ...

You understand ...

And as I type this I have a little Justus running to me upset about something. Lol. So goes it.

Ok. Justus is cuddling, and settled. So let's move on.

Life has been insanely busy. I do sometimes wonder what in the world are we so busy with? However, it isn't just one particular 'thing' we are trying to accomplish, but a whole lot of stuff mixed in with loving on these kiddos and just simply living life.

I won't bore you with all of that. 

I have found some pictures I took of Ivanna a month or so ago. They are her with a wrap around her legs. On the advice of her physical therapist, we have started to wrap her legs together every once in awhile to help her overcome 'frog legs', where she allows her legs be wide spread apart. The problem with froggy legs is that it doesn't train your muscles correctly - thus it becomes just easier to have your legs wide open - because that is how your body has adjusted. This is a common occurrence with children having Down syndrome, and it is due to low muscle tone. 

Ivanna is NOT a big fan of having her legs together. It is not hurting her in anyway - just out of her comfort zone, as she has gone years in developing the wrong muscles, so it's a habit that is hard to break.

I will mention that Ivanna is something of a Houdini when it comes to getting out of anything. She soon realized how to undo this wrap, and so we have started to do other things to help train her leg muscles. We have use the 'hip helper' pants, which are great, except Ivanna has learned if she just hikes them up, she can once again be unrestrained. Hip hugger pants are actually shorts with the legs sewn together.  Thus creating the same effect as the wrap. 

We are still playing around with different techniques. I am learning a lot from our wonderful physical therapist, of whom has really become a friend. She sees all three children in our home - and we love her. If your local and would like her name, just email me. Makes life a bit easier in managing appointments when three of those appointments can take place in the comfort of your own home.

Ivanna is going in for surgery on June 20th to have several teeth extracted. It requires surgery with anesthesia and will be done in the local hospital. The reason for the surgery is due to her adult teeth coming in behind her baby teeth - and the baby teeth refuse to loosen up. *sigh* Is this common with Ds?? So ... they must come out so her adult teeth can find their way to the appropriate place. I covet your prayers for her, as I always get a bit nervous at having to use an anesthetic. 

I am sure the outcome will be just fine.

*and yes, I realize Ivanna is wearing green dinosaur jammies. Sometimes you just grab whatever is closer - even if it is brothers pj's. (we're so stylish like that) Lol. *

Ok. Gotta run. I hear a crazy toddler making a racket somewhere in this house. . .  

Thanks for checking in. I hope you have a blessed day. 

Remember to hug your kids today, wether they are thirteen going on twenty or still a wee babe. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go Go Growing ...

The last couple of weeks we have been busy, busy, busy with dental appointments, and physicals with a few specialist appointments thrown in for good measure. Take into account that our crew is made up of nine children, one of which is a very sweet (but demanding) newborn - and you get a crazy couple of weeks.

Max had his physical on Monday. Almost a year since his last physical. He has gained ten pounds and has grown four inches since last year. 

He now weighs 37lbs, and is 3'4" tall. He is still a little peanut coming in at around 5% on the Down syndrome growth chart. He is wearing size 4T - 5T, and can still sport some 3T pants. Shorts are better fitting at 3T. With being so little, I sometimes forget he is seven. This works to Max's advantage, as his teachers also forget - making Max a very catered to little guy. He is insanely popular at his school, as I kept being told by his para educator. I got to see it first hand one day, as I went to pick him up early from school. As Max and I waited in hallway for his backpack to be brought, I witnessed as Max was continually high fived and said hello to by student after student as they all made their way into the lunch room. The kid is making an impact in more ways than one.

The other night I watched as Max wrestled with the rest of the kids and Daddy - only this time, he initiated it! He took his tiny head and ran towards the girls (easy target) and buried it into their chests, all the while giggling. Well, that was all it took - and my whole living room broke out in roars and laughter with high pitched squealing here and there as I had a mound of kids tackling one another.

Ya know, sometimes having a big family with some complexity mixed in can be a bit overwhelming. SOMETIMES.
But more often than not, I sit back as I witness God's goodness - in the form of growing little boys, squealing girls, and a clingy, cuddly newborn.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Bugalicious!

happy third birthday
(yes, that is our nickname for little Justus)

 Three years ago, today, our lives became more enriched, more blessed as we welcomed our sweet Justus.  We had no idea he had an 'extra something special'. We had no idea that you also had a heart condition known as Tetrology of Fallot. We had no idea that we were beginning a most amazing journey.

 I am so glad that God knows exactly what we need, even though we may think otherwise. Truth be told, we needed you Justus. We needed the challenges to pray fervently, as we never had before, when we were presented with almost losing you after your open heart surgery. 
We needed the sheer joy that we experience every time you reach a new milestone. We needed to know a deeper benevolent spirit as a family. We needed to know the absolute stance of protecting EVERY life - even when the world may think it absurd. We needed you sweetheart, and God knew it. I'm so glad He knows better than us.

 Justus, you have opened SO many people's hearts and minds to the world of special needs. You have broken down false perceptions by the simple smile you offer strangers. I have watched as countenances have changed so quickly as you reach out to those around you. You have taught me some very sweet and special lessons as well.

 I don't take life so flippantly anymore. You have taught me how very special life is. A precious gift, not to be taken for granted. I thought I had truly upheld the sanctity of life prior to your arrival, but ... I learned a whole new facet to that very basic conviction.

 Justus, I love you so very much. 

I am so grateful to God for allowing you to be in our family. 

 Happy third birthday Bugalicious!!!

In honor of Justus' birthday - we are posting this link:
In hopes that little Nico (who also has a birthday in May) will be able to celebrate his next birthday and be just as happy as our Justus too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Joyful Noise

 Ivanna was so thrilled to hear a loud booming sound the harder she "played" the piano keys.

 My sweet Ivanna looks quite at ease on the piano bench.

 Tickling the ivories seems to be in this girl's wheelhouse.

 Look at that! She is actually using the tips of her fingers here!

 A sweet duet.

 "Don't worry brother, I will show you how you make this thing sing!"

Sweet fingers, precious hands . . . making a joyful noise. 

  © Web Design by Poppies Blooming 2010

Back to TOP