Monday 23 December 2013

Season's Greetings

Christmas is nearly upon us! I have one more day left in work then it's feet fully up for the festive period – as much as three children will allow anyway! We really look forward to this valuable family time together and will never take it for granted as we think back to Rosie's first Christmas spent in hospital.

Rosie has been getting herself in the festive spirit by playing the part of an Angel in a 'mini' Nativity play at one of the local toddler groups she attends. Needless to say we thought she looked adorable sat with her friends, dressed in a white cloak and tinsel halo. I was really proud at how she managed to keep the tinsel on her head for most of the performance whilst staying relatively still too.

The last couple of weeks haven't been without mischief either as Rosie decided to go on one of her exploratory missions to the kitchen where Karen found her emptying the contents of a box of powdery cereal all over herself and the floor! I was at work at the time and received a picture message of the mess saying, "Look what I've been doing Daddy".  I couldn't help but laugh, her 'caught in the act' face is just brilliant. As no real harm was done and the mess was already made Karen decided to let her play in it for a while which she thoroughly enjoyed!

Rosie has also been busy developing her vocabulary and yesterday added word number 10 to her slowly but surely increasing portfolio. It's with great pride and embarrassment that I can unveil word number ten as (drum roll please)...


She was sat on my knee merrily trumping away (*note to self, avoid sprouts in Bud's Christmas dinner) when I said, "Rosie will you please stop making those Bum noises!" to which she replied, as clear as day with, "Bum". I couldn't help chuckling (bad Dad alert!) and because it raised a laugh she kept saying it – with much encouragement from her cheeky brother Joe! Typically of all the ten words she can now say it's the one that she pronounces the clearest! I'm hoping a lack of encouragement will put it out of her mind for a while.

Bud's vocabulary so far:

1. Addy / DadDad (Daddy)
2. Mum-ah (Mummy)
3. Ba ba (Bye Bye)
4. Nu nigh (Night Night)
5. Leh Low (Hello)
6. Ess (Yes)
7. Oh (No)
8. Layna (Helena – [her best bud])
9. Dod (Dog)
10. Bum.

On a less embarrassing note the year has ended on a very proud high after I was interviewed by TOTS 100 for a special feature they have been running throughout December celebrating five inspirational parent bloggers of 2013. It was a genuine surprise to be asked and a real honour to be included.

Some of you may recall a post from March titled, 'Bionic Boy' written about our friends little boy who was cruelly taken from the world far too soon. Well yesterday would have been his second birthday and we were extremely privileged to be amongst their guests at a wonderful celebratory party packed full of family and friends – all of whom have been touched and continue to be inspired by their wonderful son, Harry.

I urge you to read this beautiful letter written to Harry on his second Birthday by proud dad Ian. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and daily battles parents must face when losing a child and I'm in awe of Ian's ability to convey his feelings into words: Happy Birthday Harry

As this is likely to be the final post this year I'd like to take the opportunity in not only wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and 2014 but also thanking you for all your support. It's been a fantastic year for the blog and the accolades received really couldn't have been achieved without your help. I hope you will continue to enjoy following Rosie and her progress next year.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Free Fallin'

Those of you that have followed the blog from the start will know how much Rosie loves the Tom Petty tune 'Freefallin' (see The Tom Petty Effect). It has become a firm favourite of hers since we discovered at about 11 months old the calming influence it has on her whenever she's upset. Rosie regularly listens to it and has become so familiar with the tune that on Sunday she decided to have a crack at singing along to it. The video is really cute to watch but more importantly it shows another sign of progress – okay, if you didn't hear the tune in the background you wouldn't understand what she's singing and to many it will just sound like random babbling but she knows exactly when the chorus kicks in and seems to sing in time to the verses. It felt like quite a big step forward in her speech and I couldn't help feeling really proud listening to her sing along.

I mentioned at the end of my last post (with regards to getting onto her feet) how Rosie will do things when SHE is ready and how SHE wants. Well as expected she hadn't shown any further interest since getting the new shoes – that was until a couple of days ago when we discovered her, unaided, pushing her weight onto her feet, sticking her bum in the air and balancing on her head. It's difficult to explain but I got a quick snap (below) that I hope will help visualise it! We've never seen her do this before and can only assume it's her way of experimenting with balance whilst developing confidence to get upright. Maybe the next stage will be onto hands and feet then (hopefully) eventually fully upright. Knowing Rosie she'll never do it again but it has happened three or four times so we can always hope!

I've also included a poster below which I created with the hope it might help towards shifting some common misconceptions associated with Down's syndrome. If you like the poster please do not hesitate to lift it from the page and share as you wish on Facebook and Twitter etc.

Free Fallin' from SwissBaldItalic on Vimeo.