Thursday, May 21, 2009

Benjamin's first (play) date

Ever since Benjamin was born, I have had this incessant need when I'm in public to look for other children with Down syndrome so I can talk with their parents. That posed a bit of a problem the first few months, as I was pretty much homebound because of B's heart issues.

What killed me was it seemed like every time my SIL went to Target (which was nearly every other day at the time), she would call me and say, "I just saw the cutest little family..." ARG!

But even though I was reading books about families with a child with DS and connecting with many wonderful families online, I just needed that face-to-face contact.

Every time we went to the cardiologist's office my DS sensor was on high alert because many of our kids have heart issues. I did happen to see a couple of kids from time to time, but it was really just in passing, and I was too self-conscious to be that mom.

But in February (at our most recent cardiology appt) when Matthew and I were waiting with Benjamin to see the best cardiologist ever (Dr. Herold), I saw her.

A mom by herself with a baby in a baby carrier. And she was talking to others, so I knew she was friendly. I remember that someone asked her how old her daugther was, and she said six weeks, and then she got the invariable, "Oh, she's so small!" And I knew. Because, you see, we get that all the time.

So I scooped Benjamin out of his infant carrier and started walking with him around the waiting room. Because that's a normal thing to do, right?

We caught each other's eye and I went over and sat down next to her. Her name is Amie, and her daughter is Halli. She has a heart defect that is actually unrelated to her Down syndrome. She will have OHS sometime this summer. They found out prenatally, Amie already has an 11-year old son, and Amie was (is) having issues with eating. It is truly amazing how quickly we moms can get to know each other, LOL!

But then we were called back for Benjamin's appointment. So I said goodbye and went back to the office with the boys.

And the whole time back there, I kept thinking, "Oh, I need to go get her number/email, etc.!" So I jotted down my name, number, email, and blog on a piece of paper and went out to casually find her. But she was gone. Oh, I was so disappointed!

I learned two things from this:

1. I need to be more assertive.
2. I need a business card! (Seriously, I have since given out my information to two other moms, and I had to just jot it all down on a random scrap of paper!)

Weeks passed and I forgot about Amie and Halli. We don't go back to the cardiologist until August, and what are the odds of being there on the same day again?

Then some time in March (I think), I found out about a "Down syndrome 101" seminar that was taking place locally. I got someone to watch Andrew in the middle of the day (gotta love having family close by) and took Benjamin with me. I had never been to this particular place and it was raining. Great. I'm horrible with directions and I hate driving in the rain.

I found the place okay and saw one more available parking place. And as I pulled in the spot, I looked to the immediate left of my van and saw Amie getting Halli out of the car. Sweet!

The DS seminar sucked, but it was great to find Amie and Halli! We set up a playdate at my house a few weeks later, and here are the adorable pictures.

Halli was fussing a little, and Benjamin did not know what to think of her! Check out his facial expression!

Gotta love baby hand-holding!

Look at her cute socks!

I think he's smitten. (Sorry, Ellie and Stella!)

Just like a girl to act all hard to get.

Showing off their Simian creases. (B has them on both palms, but Halli only has one. Some kids with DS don't have any.)

Sigh. I love this kid.

We had a great time, Amie! We'll do it again soon.

And then, I have a few random adorable (of course) pictures of Baby B.

Dontcha love sleeping baby pictures? (Am I allowed to call him a baby anymore since he's one?)

He's getting really good at pulling up on things. Still no cruising or taking steps, but that will come. :)

That's it for today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday. I am headed to Weight Watchers tonight for my weekly weigh in. I think this week I will either gain weight or not lose any. Matthew and I have done the 30-Day Shred seven days in a row (only 23 more to go!) and my legs are already stronger and more toned. Which means I'm probably gaining muscle. Which weighs more than fat. Oh, well. My clothes are fitting better.


Anonymous said...

LOL. I am totally *that mom* when I see other babywearing mommas. I totally creep people out on occasion. But, conversely, I have made a few great friends that way!

Benjamin is an adorable baby. Lily is still my baby and she is 18months old...

The Hollimans said...

Jed is still my baby, too. I'll be in trouble this August. Benjamin is so cute.
Muscle also burns more calories so you can eat more!

Beverly said...

what a sweet story! I still call Noah baby and he is 7. LOL I love all the pictures.

ABCDE=Party of 5 for ME! said...

That is soooo sweet! I loved the story and matching pics... and if you want me to be completely honest, Dani sent me to the link of your site when I told her I had a dream about my unborn babe! I dreamed it was a "HE" (I have four girls) and that HE had downs.... I woke up and was like "alright, we can handle this!" SOOOOO when i was telling her that I had this peaceful feeling, she referred me to you! Now, we're in the middle of the integrated screenings and the nuchal fold ultrasounds.... so far so good (with the first US) but honestly, we dont care either way! We just want this baby, whether he or SHE has downs, 7 fingers and 4 thumbs... as long as the little dude doesnt have purple stripes and a green mohawk! ;)

Sorry to ramble ;)


Courtney said...

How sweet! I, too, want to get cards made up! I want to leave them with my pediatrician, cardio, etc, to hand out to new families that come in as patients. My own mini parent outreach program! :)

Anna said...

Angela, you are in TROUBLE! B is in looooove. Look at those ga-ga eyes! :)

So how do I get into this shredding thing? Is it a video? hmmmm.....

Ruby's Mom said...

Getting cards made up is a great idea!
The pictures are super sweet!

Alicia said...

What sweet pictures! Good luck at WW!

Denise said...

Just one more bonus to have a child with Ds....we get to enjoy them being a baby a little bit longer than others. I love that you found someone local to connect with. I am still trying but it will come. You were definitely meant to meet Amie and Halli

Shannon said...

those pictures were just too cute!!! what's so wrong with an arranged marriage???

business cards are a great idea... i wanted to get them when we moved 4 years ago and i was trying to meet people. now you have it on my mind again.

good luck tonight!!! my scale hasn't moved since starting the shred, but i am feeling better... maybe next week. keep up the good work!

Amber said...

Snaps at the crotch = baby.

Adorable of his little girlfriend!!

lesliemarie said...

go to to make cards. they're cheap! :)

Megan said...

While Halli is full of adorableness (is that even a word), she's way too young for Benjamin. He needs an older lady. One who'll show him the ropes. ;-)

Benji's real girlfriend.

Mary Jo said...

Oh I love his expressions when he's looking at her! He's totally in love! Sooooo cute. Babies looking at other babies is always fun.

Gisela said...

Those two cutie pies!!! Looks like they enjoyed their date!

And good luck on the 30 day Shred. I had started it and then slacked off... I vow on June 1 I'm going back!

Aishlea & Brandon said...

Did you go bike shopping this weekend??? My hubby wants one he found in Hixson at Owens Cyclery. they are closed on Mondays so I escaped the shopping trip!! YAY!! :)

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Yeah for Ben! He is so adorable and great pics with Halli!
I too did the 30 day shred for 30 days straight and I have to say that it works!! My arms look more toned so now I'm doing it for another 30 days. Don't you love how short the workout is? Makes it soooo manageable! Good job mama!!!

Kristen said...

So cute! And, yes- you can still call him a sleeping baby. I *still* say that about my 8 year old! ; )

My name is Sarah said...

Oh how cute. Great playdate.

ds.mama said...

Angela... so glad that you found someone you can relate to and call friend. I love the hand on hand photo... so sweet.

heather smith said...

hey girl! precious, sweet photos! amazing! and yes, you are totally allowed to call B a baby for now. i will refuse to call alana anything else until she's two! :):):) I loved the update on your family!

kristi said...

Great photos..they are adorable!

Gina said...

Oh. My. GOSH!!!! Those pictures are too cute for words! They made me feel all warm and fuzzy! Thanks for sharing.