Trick-or-Treat Street

Today’s fact: Research indicates that language comprehension skills in people with Down syndrome are almost always better than their language production.

Well, last night was costumed-event number 3: Trick-or-Treat Street. This is one put on by the school my mom teaches at, which is pretty much why we go. It’s fun, each room set up has a game or activity and then the kids get candy. Anyway, Kalena decided to change it up with the costumes for last night, so we had a superhero theme going on.

Spider-Man and Wonder-Woman ready to go.


We met up with a friend there, who made her son the awesomest Mater costume ever.



This room was Will’s favorite. The kids had to crawl under string “webs” to get through, and Will took it very seriously and did lots of “Spider-Man moves” (it was awesome.) He probably would have stayed in there all night being Spider-Man if we had let him.




Good times were had by all. Except maybe Daniel who kept looking at me like, You’re keeping me up for this?!

More Halloween fun

Today’s fact: Down syndrome occurs evenly among boys and girls.

I helped out at Kalena’s preschool party today. Daniel found the whole thing hugely thrilling. See?


I have no pictures from the actual party (besides that one of Daniel) because I was running the bingo station. Hopefully someone else took some!

About halfway through the party Kalena’s teacher informed me that Will was pigging out at the treat table. I apologized, but she assured me it was fine, she just wanted to warn me in case he was all sugar high later. Fortunately he ate lunch despite his indulgence and then both kids crashed for naps.

I have a really great picture of Will eating grapes (with a fork!) but wordpress is not cooperating with iphoto (or maybe the other way around) so you don’t get to see it.



Pumpkin carving

Today’s fact: About 20% of people with Down syndrome ages 18 and older live on their own.

You guys, I had such high hopes for pumpkin carving. I thought the kids would be excited and love it and we could totally make it a favorite tradition. It did not go like I’d planned.

Kalena did NOT want to stick her hand in the pumpkin. Seriously, she’s about to cry in this picture. (She said it was scary.)


So I made her stick her hand in, to show her that it wasn’t so bad.


Instead of thinking it wasn’t so bad, she stared at her hand for a while and then gagged. It appears she has a texture aversion. Note to ourselves in the future- never let Kalena go through one of those haunted houses when they stick your hand in gross feeling stuff. Otherwise she’ll be the kid who pukes.

Will was more willing but also grossed out. (No gagging from him though.)



In the end I scraped out all the pumpkins, and Brian carved all the pumpkins. Not exactly the family fun times I’d imagined.


Maybe we’ll try again in a couple years.


I’m sensing a theme

Today’s fact: 1 in 5 children with Down syndrome play a musical instrument.

Kalena dressed up in a homemade dinosaur costume for her first Halloween (2008.)

Will in his dragon costume at his first Halloween (2010.)

And Daniel in his own (new!) dragon costume this year.

Maybe WE’RE the reason our kids are obsessed with giant reptiles?

Maybe she has two left feet.

Today’s fact: People with Down syndrome have a base metabolic rate that is about 15% lower than the average population.

After getting home last night and getting the kids put to bed, I heard my mom say, “Oh no!” Then she came in and said, “These are the shoes Kalena came home in.” and held up these two shoes:


That’s two left shoes, one size nine (hers) one size ten and a half (obviously not hers.) Same brand, same style. There was a bump-n-jump at the party which is where the mix-up must have occurred. I feel a lot worse about the fact that we ended up with someone else’s shoe than the fact that Kalena is missing one. The sizes are close enough that I can see how she might not have noticed the difference, but I was a little surprised that she didn’t notice that she had two left shoes.

What’s funny is that at some point after she had put those shoes on I saw her and told her that her shoes were on the wrong feet. If I’d paid a little more attention I would have seen that I was only half right! Whoops.

Photo booth fun

Today’s fact: There are ┬ámore than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.

Our church Halloween party was tonight, the first of five Halloween events on my calendar between now and Wednesday. SO. Lots of costumed-kid pictures in the near future. Let’s start with some family shots. Tonight’s party had a photo-booth type set up.


Not an actual photo booth, but printed right away, photo booth style!

P.S. You didn’t know Spider-Man sucks his finger, did you?


Today’s fact: Brushfield spots (white spots around the iris (which Daniel has, btw)) are more common in blue eyes. They don’t affect eyesight.

Daniel now gets solids twice a day, but apparently that’s not enough. He still feels the need to eat his pajamas.


And Kalena’s teddy bear.



He’ll happily give those up when it’s dinner time though!


Weight check

Today’s fact: People with Down syndrome have smaller than normal heads, usually within the lower 3% on a standard growth chart.

Daniel had his weight check today (remember that at his 6 month visit he was gaining weight too fast?) His growth looked good. He weighs 18 lbs 10.6 oz (a gain of 9.6 oz) and is 27 inches long (3/4 inch growth.) That only dropped his height to weight ratio slightly, but enough that we don’t need to worry for now.

We did laugh about his head size. As my fact up at the top says, smaller head size is common, usually in the bottom 3%. However, our genetics tend the other direction (at 6 months Will’s head was in the 93%.) It seems that for Daniel, the genetic tendency for big heads has balanced out with the Down syndrome tendency for small heads– his head is in the 47%.

He’s a cutie though. Even without a giant head.

More cousin fun

Today’s fact: About 18% of people with Down syndrome ages 18-60 are in paid employment positions. About 50% work in some position, either paid or volunteer.

I love watching babies and toddlers check each other out. So that’s what you get pictures of today.

Daniel trying to eat Addilyn’s fingers. Pretty much what he does to anyone whose fingers get too close.

Eli using Daniel as a mountain for his dinosaur. Daniel is used to that, obviously. What else do you expect when Kalena and Will are your siblings?

Daniel checking out baby Ethan. Ethan’s the new guy for now, but that’ll change come February when Kari has her third!


Today’s fact: People with Down syndrome tend to have straight hair that is fine and thin. Hey! That basically describes my hair too!

Alright, on to pictures of the aquarium. First up, Kalena and Patrick with a giant squid. (Sculpture? Is that a sculpture?)


Kari and Amelia, who is doing a very staged looking open mouth point. Totally not staged, I just got lucky.


Babies at the aquarium for the first time! Me with Daniel, and Kirsta with Ethan (who is not quite a month old here.)



Kalena, comparing herself to a fish. Fish shouldn’t get that big, it’s just freaky.


The crowd. I can’t believe my sisters and I have 9 kids between the 3 of us. NINE! And Kari’s going to have another one in February! That’s just crazy. In related news, WE may be crazy since we voluntarily took 9 kids to an aquarium when the oldest one is 4.


Actually, it was less crazy than I expected. The kids were good, the babies stayed happy, and despite no naps everyone enjoyed themselves.