Friday, August 24, 2007


Lili and Daddy took a trip to Knoebels on Wednesday to meet up with cousin Henry and his posse. Mommy had to stay home to fight off a nasty bug, so a return trip is definitely on the agenda. Lili had a roller coaster of a time - we kicked the trip off with a meltdown (the kiddie ride with the flamingos and fire trucks was apparently not cool).
Things started to calm down, we found some grub, peace and normalcy appeared to be returning to Lili-land...

Then a REALLY LOUD (kid's?) band started playing right next to our little oasis of fries and avacado. So we thought we would try a calmer ride - maybe a pleasant jaunt through the woods on a little train...Lili loves trains, right? ... right??...

Luckily, Pappy saved the day by spotting a quiet gift shop where everyone regained some composure and had plenty of stuffed animals to talk to. The turning point of the trip then took place, as Lili spotted a little playground ball in the gift shop. This little rubber ball proved to be the entertainment hit of the night for our little heroine. She had a fabulous time the rest of the evening playing with Grammy and Pappy and anyone walking by. Daddy even got to check out some of the big kid rides (the Phoenix is a great wooden coaster - always ranks as one of the top ten in the country).
Darkness fell, and Lilienna crunched her pretzels into the night and slept the whole way home. Good times.

Thanks again to Aunt Carrie for the photos...

Monday, August 20, 2007

CCDSS website

The website for the Centre County Down Syndrome Society is gradually coming together - it's to a point where I'm going to start sending people there to check it out... :)
Stop by and let us know what you think! I know I would have been thrilled to find something like it two years ago...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chuckin' rocks

To quote cousin Henry - "Did you see the size of that splash?!?"
She would applaud herself for most of the good splashes. This one got a standing ovation from Daddy.

Fun times at the creek - Lili loves throwin' stuff. She's got quite an arm, so throwing rocks in the creek is about as constructive as it gets. Her glasses flying across the living room, on the other hand...

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I have big plans for Lili. Not really plans, exactly - I envision wonderful opportunities and experiences for her. Don't worry, we won't be forcing her to do things she doesn't enjoy. But, I truly believe that I will not deny her any opportunity to try something if she wants to. Society comes up with a lot of "well, kids with Down Syndrome won't do such and such" or even better "Downs people aren't very good at this and that" (I'll rant about person first language another time). All the parents I have met have generally agreed that they want the best opportunities for their children, whether they have special needs or not.
But I challenge you all - do we really give our kids every opportunity? Do we hold them back just a little, saying to ourselves 'maybe when she's a little older' or 'well, he's not so good at that kind of thing'? I'll admit, I've been guilty quite a few times. I'm a clingy dad, but if I get up the courage to let her try something new, she usually blows me away with how well she figures it out. And she's 2. I'm a new dad anyway, so I really didn't have any idea how clever 2 year olds were at all. Little did I know she can climb all the way up into the seat of the bench swing and start swinging herself, or tell me all about her day: "sunscreen, outside, swing!, Jesse, play, the sun, hot!, splash, water, brrr!"
I got thinking about all of this while reading a great post called Was I ever wrong on a now-defunct blog by Michael Berube, author of Life As We Know It and fellow Happy Valley resident. These revised expectations are a perfectly natural, healthy way of reacting to the parenting instinct - we primarily want our children to be safe and comfortable. We don't try to underestimate them, we're just trying to be reasonable. That type of thinking is not exactly dangerous, but can lead you down a slippery slope - planning way too far into your child's future, assuming that they won't do this or might not do that. Forget that. I have no idea what Lili will be able to do tomorrow, but I'm not going to tell her what she isn't able to do.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Walgreens Rocks

For anyone who hadn't seen this yet - very cool.