Thursday, 31 January 2013

Little Buddy

Good morning Daddy...Wake up!
I was really pleased to get a message a few days ago, from one of the young Mum's I met at Playgroup last year, asking if Felix would like to have a play date with her little boy. We organised it for this morning and, although I was excited that Felix was going to have a friend over, I was a little bit worried about how he would cope. He's never been great around other small children and he's hardly seen any other little ones for the past 8 weeks, while the kids have been on Christmas holidays.

Felix put all my worries to rest today. He played with his little friend better than I have ever seen him play before. The other little boy is nearly 2 years old but is so much bigger than Felix. He's also much more agile and energetic than him, so I really expected Felix to freak out. Instead, he happily shared his toys with him and interacted beautifully. When he was eating some of his yoghurt buttons, he picked up one and offered it to his little friend, who happily ate it. I was so pleased to see him sharing so naturally and so sweetly. It was such a huge relief to see Felix enjoying time with another little boy without being scared. Hopefully he can put his fear of other children behind him and he can move forward with more confidence. I'm excited to see his friendships develop this year. Special thanks to this awesome Mum and her gorgeous little boy for thinking of us, and for coming and spending some time here today.

Are you awake yet?
Felix had another very long day today. I honestly don't know how he does it. He was awake at 5am this morning and didn't have a sleep during the day. After we put him to bed at 7pm, we could still hear him playing in his room at 8pm. Nathan went in there to put him back into bed and Felix tucked his 'ugly' sock cat under his arm and made a dash for the door of his bedroom and into the hall. Little rascal! He must have been tired because we didn't hear a sound from him after that. Exhaustion finally caught up with him!

We had a very successful day with potty training today. Felix only wore one pair of jocks all day and didn't have an 'accident' until just before bedtime tonight. He has been enjoying having Nathan home for the last few days, and has been doing extra big wees when Daddy is the one who takes him to the toilet. I think he likes being able to show off. We were pretty proud of our little man today.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Who Needs Sleep?

Me and my boy
Wow! How rejected do we feel tonight? The second I had put Felix's pajamas on, after his bath tonight, he climbed straight into bed. He tucked his monkey and his 'ugly' sock cat under his arms and lay down on his tummy, with his bottom in the air. I figured he was tired, because he didn't have a sleep during the day today, and thought it was quite cute that he had climbed into bed himself. After Nathan and I had both kissed him and said goodnight, we left the room and went and sat down. Within seconds, we could hear him up and playing with his toys. Cheeky boy obviously wanted some alone time, so he pretended to want to go to sleep so we'd go away! His lack of sleep caught up with him, though. It wasn't long until he was back in bed and sound asleep. He's such a good boy!
Look....I have nipples!

Earlier in the day, when Felix was meant to be having a day time sleep, it was very entertaining to listen to him through the baby monitor. At one point I could hear him wrestling his giant, colourful crocodile, which is made of different fabrics and has feet which make a crinkly sound and others which rattle. Later, I heard him emptying his blocks onto the floor and throwing them around; crazy kid! He spent some time repeating his newest word, "eat,eat,eat". I think he was thinking of all the excuses he could to get out of going to sleep.

After about an hour I decided that, although he was playing happily, I would go and open his door to see if he wanted to come out. I was hit by a horrible stench as soon as I opened the door. No wonder he didn't want to go to sleep! He was sitting on the floor playing with his toys, with a nappy tucked under his arm. He got straight up, still holding the nappy, and walked up to me. He gave me a look as if to say, "What took you so long? I've been waiting for you to come in and clean my butt!" Oops.. poor kid!

Fixing his mohawk
Ever the entertainer, Felix spent plenty of time in front of the mirror today, preening himself and making us laugh. I usually only wax up his mohawk if we're going out somewhere, but he was actually standing in front of the mirror, pulling the top of his hair and trying to make it stand up. It was so cute! I went and got the wax and spiked it up for him. He added his own touches to it, and looked pretty proud of himself.  The other hilarious thing is that Felix has discovered his nipples. Every time he has no shirt on, he touches one and then the other like he's counting them. Watching him discover new things never gets boring.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

28 Months Old

Signing 'phone'
I'm so excited! Felix can say 'eat'!!! He said it for the first time yesterday and has said it consistently today. We get the message when he's hungry now, because he signs it and says it at the same time, so we definitely can't ignore that...hahaha! I love hearing his little voice, and when he manages to form a word it's just beautiful.

Rocking the bear to sleep
Felix is 28 months old today. Where did that time go? I feel like I could burst with pride when I look back over the past 28 months. I have sat and watched my precious son overcome obstacles and smash stereotypes. I have watched him work incredibly hard to learn to do the things which come so easily, and so naturally, to other children not born with Down Syndrome. I have admired his determination; sometimes having to repeat an activity over and over and over, until he has success. The pride on his face when he completes a puzzle, or does something for the first time, is something so special.

Enjoying some quiet time
I've come to the realisation that, although Felix was off to a flying start signing 'toilet' and using it from 18 months old, it's going to be a long road before he's completely trained. Some days are better than others, but each day is different. On a good day, Felix will only wet one pair of jocks, but other days he'll go through four pairs. I was very pleased to receive a package today, containing four new pairs of jocks I had ordered. They are absolutely great because they are really absorbent, but the real reason I like them is because they are super cute. His new ones have puppies and ducks on the butt...adorable! Now I won't have to wash them and hang them up to dry straight away because I have some spares.

Absorbing his sweet potato through his skin
Felix has decided that day sleeps are for the weak and he doesn't need them anymore. Well, that's not entirely true; he still has a sleep every third or fourth day. I don't think I'm ready for him to give up his day sleeps completely. I like having a couple of hours to race around and do all the things I can't do when he's awake. I put some different books and toys in his room today for the days when he doesn't sleep. I'm so thankful he's happy to entertain himself for a while, even if he's not sleeping.

Sunday, 27 January 2013


Our littlest dog, Envy, is almost impossible to tire out, so we decided to take her down to the beach this afternoon to let her have a really good run. It was such a beautiful day, so we knew Felix would love it down there as well.

When we got to the beach, we noticed it was a little bit windy (not unusual for our beach), and the tide was out about a kilometre so we had a long walk to reach the water. The tide created ripples in the sand, making the surface a bit uneven and there were small pools of shallow water all around us. As a result, Felix had an impromptu Physiotherapy session. Not only did he need to concentrate on walking across different surfaces under his feet, but he also had to stabilise himself in the wind. He's only tiny, so the wind affected his balance quite a bit, but he soldiered on. Sometimes he lost his balance and almost fell, but each time he steadied himself and kept walking. He's doing so well.

One of the funniest things was when Felix walked into a pool of water and bent down to swish his hands around in it. While he was squatting down to play in the water, unbeknown to us, his feet had sunk into the sand. When he had finished playing, he stood up and went to walk but fell forward onto his hands again. He fell forward three times before Nathan and I realised that he wasn't losing his balance, he was falling because his feet were completely stuck in the wet sand and wouldn't move. Poor kid looked completely perplexed at why his feet weren't doing what they were meant to. He was quite pleased when Daddy pulled him out and put his feet back on the solid ground.

We decided to take Felix to the beach in his jocks instead of a nappy. We usually still put a nappy on him if we're going out but, we figured, it wouldn't matter if he wet his pants at the beach. I'm pleased to say that Felix still had dry jocks when we got home from the beach (he didn't even fall on his butt in the water!). Tonight, at dinner time, was a different story. It was pretty warm, and I had just taken a pair of wet jocks off him, so I sat him in his high chair naked to eat his food (figuring he would make a mess anyway). When he had finished eating, I picked him up and realised he had a puddle beneath him...Oops! Thankfully, he was more than happy to have a, very necessary, bath before he went to bed.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Australia Day

Today we decided to load our three youngest boys into the car and go for a bit of a road trip. It's Australia Day today so we figured, what better way to spend it than to go for a drive through some beautiful country towns. We were pretty pleased that Isaiah and Aaron wanted to come with us; teenage boys often have their own idea of fun and usually drives in the family car isn't one of them.

Felix was so excited when we got in the car and he saw that his brothers were coming with us. It's pretty rare these days for all of us to go somewhere together, and Felix thought it was great that both the boys were there. His carseat is in the middle and he didn't know which brother, either side of him, to look at first, Isaiah or Aaron. Sometimes Isaiah would put his arm across Felix's lap, and Felix would hug it tight; other times Aaron would rest his head on Felix, and Felix would stroke his hair. I enjoy watching how loving the boys are towards Felix and how much he responds to them. I know that it's largely because of his siblings that Felix is developing so beautifully. They spend so much time talking and interacting with him, pushing him to try new things all the time. Nathan and I are so thankful for our older kids.
Snuggling his brother and watching a movie

We drove for about two hours, stopping to look at a few things along the way. We're always on the lookout for emus. For some reason, I always seem to miss them, but today we saw one in a paddock so we stopped the car and I worked up the courage to get out and take a photo of it (emus aren't my most favourite creatures...let's just say I made enemies with one when I was about 4 years old).

Felix had lots of fun today. We had lunch in an old cinema which was full of movie memorabilia and antiques. Felix was able to wander around while we ate. He had a fun time looking at things and touching them. His favourite was a giant papier mache ram which he kept patting and saying, "Aaaaaah". We bought him a Vegemite sandwich, which he ate, but he liked the look of my pie better so, in between his wandering, he kept coming back to the table to eat some of it. He also shared my bottle of water which was a little bit gross, especially because after he drank some of it, I could see bits of my pie floating in it. Lucky I love him....hahahaha!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Strutting his Stuff

Toot, toot
When I woke up this morning, the cloud had lifted a bit. I was feeling much more positive and being greeted by a little man toddling into my room, with a big smile on his face, certainly helped set the tone for the day. A cup of tea brought in by my lovely hubby, and an early morning chat on my bed with Isaiah made it even better. 

I had a bit of running around to do this morning, starting with a haircut for Isaiah. It's always a rush to get last minute stuff organised before the kids go back to school after the summer holidays. Felix is going to be wondering where everyone has gone next week; I'm sure the house will seem very empty to him. 

Felix was in a very outgoing mood this morning. He strode in to the hairdressers waving and smiling to all the girls. His mohawk was all waxed up and he looked his adorable best. While we waited for Isaiah's turn, Felix went up to the other customers, who were already getting their hair cut or washed, and looked up at them and smiled. They were all lovely people, who talked to him and made his smile even bigger. We were waiting for quite some time, so Felix decided to expand his search for new friends by wandering out of the hairdresser into the shopping mall. There were a lot of elderly people who stopped to talk to him and shake his hand. He thought it was great, and I enjoyed showing off our gorgeous little man. 

Instead of the sand, he has to play in the dirt
For the second day in a row, Felix decided that he didn't need a day time sleep. I put him to bed and then listened, through the baby monitor, to the demolition of his room. He was perfectly happy, playing in there for over an hour, emptying his entire box of blocks onto the floor, reading books and playing with his monkey and 'ugly' sock cat. He seems to like his alone time and I can't recall a time when he ever cried because he wanted to come out of his room. In fact sometimes, if I hear that he hasn't gone to sleep, I will open his door so he can come out, but he'll decide to stay in there and play. I guess we all need some space and time to ourselves. He was well and truly ready for bed tonight at 6.30pm. I'm surprised he lasted that long. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Wouldn't change him for the world
I'm feeling a little bit ordinary today. Do you ever have a day when you feel like crying one minute, but feel like punching someone the next? If you haven't, you're a much better person than me and I'm truly glad there are balanced people like you in the world. If you have had a day like mine, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Nathan and I have been looking at making some changes, including moving closer to the city, for the past 6 months or so. Unfortunately, things haven't been falling into place, and my usual 'cup half full' attitude has taken a bit of a battering today. Just when we see some light at the end of the tunnel, things change and don't work out the way we had hoped. There just seem to be so many bumps in the road at the moment. We would give anything to be living closer to our older kids, and to be able to give Felix more opportunities to attend early intervention with his little buddies from Down Syndrome SA (we only managed 3 sessions last year because of distance). I have no problem with Felix spending time with children who don't have disabilities (in fact, I encourage it) but, I'm a realist and I know that as he gets older, the gap between his development and other 'typical' kids, is only going to widen so it's important for him to form friendships with kids he'll be able to relate to better as he grows.

Fun with Aaron
Much as I delighted in seeing the smiles Felix brought to people's faces at the supermarket tonight, all I seemed to focus on were the two people who stared at him. I don't know why it bothered me because there were at least six others who spoke to him and told us how cute he was. I think I was having a bit of a 'pity party'. I'm not sorry that Felix looks different because he has Down Syndrome. I don't want anyone's pity or observe their disdain. I just want people to see him the way I do; as a little boy with a gorgeous smile, who likes to help by pulling groceries off the shelf and throwing them into the trolley. I just want people to see Felix the way I see him and, today, it upset me that they don't always.

What's that face?
To cheer myself up, I'm going to post some photos I took of Felix yesterday. He was sitting up on Aaron's bed with him and they were having a great time, wrestling and laughing. Felix was a real joy yesterday. He spent most of the morning playing with the dogs outside while I refurbished an old chest of drawers. It was the first time I had actually seen him put both arms around the dogs and give them big squeezes. Our smallest dog, Envy, realised, with much enthusiasm, that there was a new person in the house who would sit and pat her  (which she loves- her name is very appropriate). She wasn't quite as excited when Felix started covering her with stones, as she lay on her side, but I think she figured that any attention was good attention, so she patiently let him do it.

As for me....tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Mohawk is Back

Pretty happy with himself
On the way home from the
Gone is Felix's scruffy mop of hair. Our little man is now sporting a new mohawk. He refused to wear a cape. He wasn't too thrilled about sitting in the hairdresser's chair, and was even less impressed with the hair dropping onto his ipad. All that aside, he sat fairly still and only started to wriggle near the end. He was a bit of a celebrity with the other hairdressers, and they all helped to entertain him while his hair was cut. One of them was making funny faces at him and he wasn't responding, so I asked him to do his crazy face. He had everyone laughing when he did it over and over again. He loved all the attention and it made him forget that he was getting a haircut.

1 week old and already
sporting an awesome
When we got home from the hairdresser, Felix caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. He was full of self admiration; looking at his new hair from all different angles. He touched his mohawk with his hands and then smiled approvingly at himself. It was absolutely gorgeous! It's pretty obvious he has a very healthy self esteem. He put some beads around his neck to complete the look and then went back to the mirror a second time to admire himself again. I might be a bit biased, but I think he looks pretty handsome too.

3 week old mohawk for his
hearing test
Looking at Felix's mohawk today reminded me of the day he was born. The Doctors were pretty sure he was going to be born with Down Syndrome because he had an absent nasal bone on my 19 week ultrasound, but we had refused an amniocentisis to confirm his diagnosis. Even if he had Down Syndrome, it didn't change how we felt about him; it probably made us fall in love with him a little deeper. Anyway, the second he was born, I wanted to look at his little face to see if he did, in fact, have Down Syndrome. It was obvious by his beautiful eyes and little flat face that he did. He was perfect. Nathan's first comment after seeing his son for the first time?? "Awesome, he has a mohawk!" There was no mention of his Down Syndrome being confirmed; just a very proud Daddy SO excited that his baby son was born with a mohawk. Did I ever tell you that my husband is amazing?
10 months old with his 'after bath' mohawk

I thought I'd share some past and present photos of Felix rocking his mohawk....

Monday, 21 January 2013


A bit of dusting
I think I must have been doing too much cleaning lately and it's rubbed off on Felix. This morning he followed me around like a puppy, copying everything I was doing. I went into the laundry to put some washing on and Felix was right behind me. I started to put the clothes into the machine, but Felix was so keen to do it I decided to let him fill the washing machine instead. He did such a great job, scooping the dirty clothes up and putting them into the machine. The only problem is that he loves the buttons on the machine so much, he just keeps pressing them. He has somehow managed to program the machine so that it stops now before the clothes have spun dry. I can't work out how to change it so I have to manually put the machine on the spin cycle before I can hang out the clothes. Oops!

Some sweeping
Nathan bought Felix a mini cleaning set for Christmas. It has a little mop (which Felix uses as a duster), a broom, dustpan and brush and a bucket. I found him 'dusting' the walls and the TV cabinet after he had finished with the washing. He looked so cute wearing his jocks, and nothing else, as he cleaned away. After his dusting, he came into the kitchen with me while I swept the floor. He picked up his little broom and helped me do the sweeping. I'm not sure if the front of the oven needed sweeping, but it got swept anyway. It made my cleaning a lot more fun (and take a bit longer) with my helper, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

After Felix had his nap, Mel messaged me to ask if her and Noah could come over for a play. I was excited to see Noah in his Down Syndrome Awareness tshirt we gave him for Christmas (even though it looks like a dress on him). I put Felix's matching one on and we got some photos of the boys together. Felix was so good with Noah today. It's hard to believe that, up until fairly recently, Felix was really scared of Noah. Today they played together so well; sharing beautifully and having some cuddles. The only time Felix didn't look impressed with Noah was when he had to share his big brother, Isaiah, with him. Felix didn't appreciate Isaiah giving Noah attention. He likes having Isaiah all to himself. It was pretty funny actually, seeing Felix so protective of his big brother.

Sharing his big brother
Showing Noah how to put the hoops on the stand
Noah and Felix were learning from each other today. Felix showed Noah how to put the wooden hoops onto the little stand. Noah watched him for a while and then he sat and tried until he successfully got one onto the stand too. We were pretty proud of our little Noah as, once he'd done it the first time, he did it over and over again. Later on, Noah was standing against the coffee table, banging both of his hands against it. Felix stood next to him and copied exactly what he was doing. Then Felix made a sound with his mouth and Noah copied the same sound back at him. They did this all afternoon; one of them would do something and the other would copy. It was great to see them studying each other and interacting so well. They're both such gorgeous little boys. Felix is going to miss his little nephew when he moves away in a couple of weeks. I think we might be making lots more trips to the city.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Wedding Photos

We're back to routine today, which is a huge relief. Felix woke up at 6.30am, had a two hour sleep in the afternoon and went to bed beautifully at 7pm tonight. There's something exhilarating about the mundane and boring when it comes to life with a two year old!

We had a nice surprise tonight. Remember the wedding Felix was in last September? He had barely walked more than a few steps before it, but he walked down the aisle on the day and hasn't stopped since? The beautiful bride (Felix's Godmother), Kerri, came over tonight with a USB of wedding photos. The photos are amazing and there are some really cute ones of Felix. The night of the wedding, after I had taken some fantastic photos, I lost my camera and with it, all my precious photos. I knew I had captured some unique moments of Felix with Kerri and her husband, Luke, and I was pretty devastated to have lost them all. The photos on the USB have taken some of the sting out of losing my camera and I'm rapt to have some wedding photos of Felix, doing his job as page boy so beautifully. I hope you enjoy the ones I post on my blog today.

With Felix finally well enough, we were able to take him to the beach tonight. The poor kid has been cooped up in the house for weeks, even through all the boiling hot weather we've been having. It was so nice to see him standing in the water, with the wind in his face, enjoying every second of it. We took our big Mastiff, Atlas, with us. We were able to let him off the lead and he ran from Nathan, who was out in the water, to Felix and I who were standing on the sand. Felix thought it was hysterically funny; he laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a beautiful sound and one I have missed over the past few weeks of him being sick.

I need to make a special mention to those wonderful people who have been so supportive during Felix's sickness. We have received so many messages, wishing Felix well; we appreciate each and every one of them. Thank you so much. An extra huge thank you to our other family; those with kids who have Down Syndrome. I try so hard not to be a panicky Mum, but it was nice to have people with a knowledge of Felix's symptoms, who also have a child with Down Syndrome, telling me that if they were in our shoes they would take him to the Doctor. A lot of good advice was offered, which we are so grateful for. I am so thankful to be part of this amazing community.

A couple of days ago, Felix received a 'get well' package in the mail from an incredibly cute little boy, Jaxon. Jaxon was also born with an extra chromosome, to a Mum and a big brother who just adore him. The book was called 'Felix' by Pamela Allen. It's about a cat who gets blamed for eating food from the kitchen even though it wasn't him; it was a mouse. He sets out to catch the mouse to prove he didn't do it. Felix loves it. He has read books even more than usual since he's been sick, so he was very excited to have a new book to enjoy. He loves cats too, so it was extra special. Thank you Jaxon (and Mummy) x x x

Saturday, 19 January 2013

And He's Back!

He loves his Daddy
I think Felix is making up for lost time. He slept all night last night and hasn't had a day sleep today. He has been a bundle of mischief; everything I have packed up, he has unpacked. If he was busy reading a story in the corner, I would take the opportunity to pack up his puzzles. The second I was finished tidying the puzzles, he would laugh and tip them all out on the floor. He got a container of tiny little animal counters for Christmas (to use for counting, matching animals and matching colours). He loves them, but there are so many of them that I always find them under the couches, behind the toybox etc. Today, Felix just wanted to tip them out for no reason except to make a mess...little monkey. The last time I picked them all up, I screwed the lid of the container on tight so he couldn't open it again. Felix is a bit more clever than that; our resourceful little man carried the container to Isaiah, signed 'help' and Isaiah opened it for him so he could tip them all out again (followed by an evil chuckle).

Hanging coathangers on Daddy's ears
Sometimes when there are only a few baby wipes left in the packet, I let Felix play with them. He's fascinated with pulling them out of the packet and will sit and play with them for ages. Today, he stuffed some baby wipes into one of his teacups and then had a 'drink'. Later, he put one on his head, like a hat, and then one on each arm. By the time he finished playing with them, his little fingers were all wrinkled up from the moisture in the wipes because he'd played with them for so long.

Felix seems to enjoy playing with any tiny, little 'treasures' he can find, whether it be a strip of paper from a magazine, a few rocks or a piece of string. He uses his imagination to make games for himself with his bizarre collection of objects. Tonight at dinner, he had triangular pieces of flat bread which he lined up along the edge of his high chair. I called his name but he was too engrossed in his imaginative play, to even hear me. I think he has played more with all his little items over the past few weeks, since he's been sick, than he has with anything else. Even at my parents house, he preferred clothes pegs, plastic containers and the mesh bag (used to wash stockings etc), to the toys we took there with us. I guess what he was lacking in energy, he has made up for in imagination.

Tickle time with Daddy
When Nathan got home from work today, Felix had a huge burst of energy. He wrestled, tickled and climbed all over Daddy for almost an hour.  Nathan was completely worn out by the time Felix had finished jumping on him. It was very entertaining for me to watch. Felix looked like a little Mixed Martial Arts fighter, using his legs, knees and his elbows to try and win the 'fight'. He was well and truly ready for bed after all his exercise; it's the most energetic he's been in weeks. He didn't sleep all day, so he fell asleep within minutes of going to bed tonight. Hopefully he'll get back into the fantastic routine he was in before he got sick.

We'll be saying goodbye to this mop of hair
On Tuesday I'm going to take Felix for a haircut. He was meant to go last week, but woke up with a high fever so I had to cancel. Much as I love his long hair, I think we're going to give him a fairly drastic cut this time. It grows so fast and if it's short it will keep his head cooler over Summer. I'm dreading it, because he's going to look so much older and I love it that he still looks like a baby. It will probably be with tears in my eyes that I ask the hairdresser to cut it all off!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Hard to Breathe

Hard to believe he had no sleep last night
We had yet another very strange night last night. We were staying with my parents, so Felix was in a portable cot in our room. When we went to bed we noticed that Felix was snoring really loudly and was extremely restless. It sounded, at times, like he was struggling to breathe as he kept gasping and then crying. Every so often he stopped breathing for a short time and then finally drew in a big, deep breath and cried again. The only time he seemed to be able to breathe more easily was when I sat with him, completely upright, on my chest. Needless to say, Felix barely slept at all and we slept even less. Nathan and I both spent the night listening out to make sure he was OK.

Yesterday we drove to the city to move Joshua into his new home for the next year, while he studies year 12 at school. We finished moving and unpacking everything today and he was looking settled and comfy by the time we had to say goodbye. I tried really hard not to focus on the fact that he's really moved out, or I would have cried. It was hard to say goodbye because he's such an awesome kid to have around and we're really going to miss him, but we know it's for the best and will give him the best opportunity to get the grades he needs for University next year. He will be living with my parents, who have been looking forward to having him. There's no doubt he will be very well looked after.

Watching Granny balancing toys on her head
After his very unsettled night, Felix seemed to be tired, but happy this morning. He spent the morning (while we finished Joshua's room), playing outside with Granny and Papa. They played with the clothes pegs, pegging them all over Papa, and then all over Felix's shirt. He also 'helped' Granny fold some washing and make her bed. He's become a bit of a Papa's boy and loves spending time with my Dad, laughing and playing with him, or going outside to look at the birds and plants in the garden. It was so cute to see Felix holding Dad's hand as they went up the hallway.

We had to make the long drive home today on very little sleep. Nathan got a bit more than me, so he volunteered to drive. Felix didn't go to sleep in the car until nearly 2pm this afternoon. I have no idea how he managed to stay awake for so long; I could barely keep my eyes open. He slept for 2 hours and then woke up very unsettled and crying. We have travelled with Felix so much, since he was a baby, and he has never cried in the car. Today he was really unhappy; not screaming, but just gentle sobs. His eyes had huge, red rings around them and his nose was running. He looked so miserable. I became a contortionist and reached around, from the front seat, to stroke his leg. He settled a bit when I was touching him but was sad again when I stopped. We were very thankful when we arrived home and could give him some cuddles.

Signing 'help'
Felix was so unsettled at bed time tonight. He cried when we put him to bed, which is very unusual for him. We decided to let him sit with us for a while until he settled down. He kept signing for a drink, and seemed really thirsty; drinking much more than he usually does. I think he's probably still rehydrating from when he had a fever. I'm going to be listening out for his breathing again tonight (although it's not as easy through the baby monitor). I imagine I will be up and down a bit checking on him through the night. I think we may be heading back to the Doctor again on Monday.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Still very tired
So much has happened over the past couple of days. I feel like I'd like to run away to somewhere quiet and dark and just sleep for a couple of days; nothing fancy, just to catch up on sleep.

Felix woke up yesterday morning, after an unsettled night, with a really high fever and completely listless. Thankfully we were able to get him in to see our Doctor before lunch time. Our concern for him was due to these strange fevers he seems to be spiking every so often, coupled with the nose bleeds he's had recently, his loss of appetite, not putting on weight and some swelling in his ankles. The Doctor agreed with us that we needed to do a blood test to rule out leukemia and, although we were fairly confident it wouldn't be that, it still meant a nervous wait for the results. The thought of leukemia being even a remote possibility, makes me feel sick inside. The Doctor had difficulty looking inside Felix's right ear (the one the surgeon had problems with when he put the grommets in), and he couldn't see the grommet and his ear looked infected. He put him on antibiotics and it looks like he may need another surgery to replace it.

Those eyes......
I had to take Felix up to the hospital for his blood test. Usually he's so good when he has them and has never cried but, this time it broke his heart when the nurse put the needle in his arm. I think he was feeling so sick and so exhausted, it was just too much for him to take. He cried and cried, but still sat perfectly still. He was really brave and I was so proud of him. I took him straight home and he slept for 5 1/2 hours before I went in and woke him up to get him to drink something.

The blood test results were available by 4.30pm and the Doctor gave me a call to let me know what they were. His white cell count was 18,000 which, although fairly high, indicated that his body was struggling to fight off an infection and nothing as serious as leukemia. Although I wasn't surprised, it was still a massive relief to be able to cross that off the list.

Felix had a get well visit from his nephew
Today, Felix woke up a little bit better. He still has a fever and hasn't had much to eat or drink, but he played a little bit and had a lot more strength back than he did yesterday. I took him back to the Doctor and he was happy with the way he has improved. He said the fever will still hang around for a few days, but he should start to pick up now. He had another 5 hour sleep this afternoon and I'm sure he only woke up because I kept going in to check on him. He was still pretty warm when I put him to bed, but definitely not as hot as yesterday.

In amongst the lack of sleep from a sick toddler, and visits to the Doctor and the hospital, we have been running around getting last minute stuff sorted out for our son, Joshua, to move to the city tomorrow. We needed to get a bank card for him, a haircut, school shoes and other bits and pieces. We have spent time online working out what uniform items he's going to need for school and, to top it off, today he decided to go and sit his driver's licence test (he's pretty pleased that he passed). So, of course, amongst my crazy day I had to make time to take him for his first driving lesson. With Joshua, go his frogs and the aquarium they are in. Anyone who has kept an aquarium will understand the work involved in moving one. We have spent tonight scooping gravel into a giant container for the trip tomorrow and cleaning it up.

I feel emotionally spent. It's been hard having Felix so sick, on and off, for the past few weeks. Having to say goodbye to my best friend was difficult and, tomorrow, we move our precious son (number 3) to his new home over 400km away from us. Next week our beautiful Mel, along with our Grandson, Noah, also move four hours away. That being said, there are so many positive things happening with our older kids at the moment. They are all happy and settled; their jobs and study are going well and Bekah has just moved into her first apartment and is over the moon. I've always known that, even with 8 kids, they would all eventually have to fly the coop, but it doesn't get any easier to say goodbye. I'm just so thankful that, despite the distance, our relationship with them is closer than ever.

Monday, 14 January 2013

A Fever Again!

You're so cute, Felix
Today has been a weird day. Felix woke up, as bright as a button, this morning. He seemed really happy for most of the day; eating, signing and chatting away but, over a period of about 20 minutes, after dinner tonight, he started burning a fever, became very lethargic and fell asleep. Strange, because he has been fine all day.......

Felix hasn't had the greatest success with his potty training today. Although he did a tiny wee every time he went to the toilet, he then soaked his jocks soon after. He went through four pairs today. However, I bought him a potty, to keep up the other end of the house and, although he was skeptical of it at first, he was happy to alternate between that and the toilet for the rest of the day. I like it when he embraces changes to his routine, and I'm so glad he seems happy to use the potty because it will be much easier to take with us when we travel. A potty seat isn't much help when you have to stop on the side of the road and there is no toilet. The potty will be much more useful. I also bought some 'pull ups' for when we travel; it will be much simpler to not have to do an entire wardrobe change if he wets his pants.

Not feeling well :(
Nathan and I went to do the food shopping tonight and decided to take Felix with us. Anyone would think he is a member of the royal family, the way he waved at all the other shoppers. We let him walk for most of the time at the supermarket, with Nathan following behind him to make sure he didn't get run over by a trolley. Felix was quite the charmer; any time he made eye contact with someone, he gave them a shy smile and waved. It's great to see, even the most serious people, suddenly smile when they see his little face looking at them, trying to get their attention. I love seeing the joy he brings to others.

Trying to escape
This brings me to tonight. We got home from the food shopping and Felix 'helped' me unpack the bags and then ate some dinner. Almost immediately after, Nathan went to pick him up and noticed he was hot to touch. When I checked, it was really obvious that he was running a fever......again! Nate stripped off his clothes and, within minutes, he was laying slumped over the couch nearly asleep. We gave him Panadol and put him to bed, where he went straight to sleep. I'm not they type of parent who panics. Our kids rarely go to the Doctor or have antibiotics. I've never used teething gel and barely ever give Panadol, but I'm a little bit worried about him. Every time he has a temperature, the Doctors can't find any sign of infection. He had nose bleeds for 4 days in a row about a fortnight ago, he hasn't put on weight in about 6 months and the last few days he has been sleeping for hours at a time during the day. My gut tells me that he is probably fine; kids get viral things all the time, but my head tells me that I would never forgive myself if I didn't get him checked out and something was seriously wrong. Anyway, tomorrow I am going to try to get him in to see our (ridiculously busy) Paediatrician. Failing that, I'm going to take him to the GP and request some blood tests. Leukemia is something which lurks in the back of my mind sometimes. Kids with Down Syndrome have a slightly elevated risk of having it and, although that risk is only marginally higher, it's enough to cause concern (for me anyway). I'm sure it will end up being nothing, but Felix is too precious, so we're going to get him looked at again to put our minds at rest.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Learning All the Time

Walk down memory lane...a brand new Felix
Woo hoo! When I signed 'I love you' to Felix today, he signed it back! It was one of those moments which made me melt, yet again, with the love I feel for our beautiful little boy. He has started using so many new signs over the past couple of days. Yesterday, when I showed him a photo of my Facebook friend's new baby, he signed 'baby asleep'. To see him rocking his arms back and forth was so adorable. I always sign, 'good boy' when Felix does a wee on the toilet. He doesn't sign 'good' yet, but he's started to sign 'boy'. He will do a little wee and then sign 'boy'. Such a cutie!

So precious!
Felix is making more and more early speech sounds. He has been making some really good attempts at saying things and, although he isn't using the correct sounds yet, it's great to hear him try. He's such an animated little boy and his new sounds just add even more character. He's still stubborn when it comes to the word 'Dad'; although we've heard him say it lots of times, he still refuses to say it when we ask him.

Felix loves the song Gangnam Style. It's one of those songs that people either love or hate and, thankfully, we can tolerate it. Nathan found an app called 'Gangnam Booth' for Felix's ipad. You can take a photo of anybody (we even took one of the dogs), and add their face to the body, provided on the app. After you press 'play', the little person you've created dances to the song. Felix absolutely loves it and plays it over and over. He's always done some of the moves but he's learnt even more since watching the app. He now wiggles his hips from side to side; such a little groover. Love that kid!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Healthy Boy

So what if my slippers are too small....
Our little man is completely better; his runny nose is clear and he isn't coughing any more. To see the light back in his eyes and to watch him getting into mischief again is fantastic; busy, but fantastic! He has a new day time sleep routine since he's been sick. He doesn't go to sleep until about 11.30am (used to be 10.30), but he sleeps for three or four hours. When he wakes up, it's way past lunch time so he eats then, but continues to snack until dinner time, and then eats dinner as well. It's great to see him eating again, especially things other than bread and rice. Tonight, Nathan was cooking and had cut up some tomato and baby corn. Felix pointed at it and signed 'eat'. I reluctantly gave him some, not thinking he would even taste it, but he ate it and then signed 'more'. I couldn't believe my eyes!

I've been doing lots of cleaning out at home lately; cupboards, drawers and the shed. Our plan is to move house at some point this year so, I figure, I may as well get a head start and cut down on some of the clutter. Felix thinks the whole 'cleaning out' thing is great fun; there have been lots of new things for him to discover. Yesterday I went through his clothes and sorted out the things he had grown out of. He found a pair of tiger slippers he had outgrown, but he insisted on wearing them anyway. He also found a couple of hats, which he put on his head, and an old tshirt which also went on his head. Satisfied with his outfit, he left the room and went off to play. Such a fashionable little man.

With his buddy, Atlas
Today, we spent most of the day in the backyard cleaning out the shed. I took some toys outside for Felix to play with, but he much preferred to spend his time playing with the dogs and other little 'treasures' he found in the shed. He ended up covered in dirt, but he had so much fun. Felix found some screws and washers while we were cleaning out the toolbox and he played with them for ages; lining them up all in a row. After that he found a couple of pieces of steel wool. He sat and unravelled them, stretched them and pulled them apart. I think the steel wool kept him entertained for about twenty minutes. It's amazing how kids can have so many toys and yet prefer to play with the odds and ends they find around the place. I love his curiosity, and the way he can keep himself entertained with simple things.

Happy and healthy :)
I woke up yesterday morning to lots of beautiful news. Another precious little girl (prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome), was born safe and well. I have got to know her Mum through a Facebook group for parents of children with Down Syndrome. She became a member of the group after her daughter's diagnosis. The members of our group have all been like a bunch of clucking hens, excitedly awaiting news of her arrival, and are now celebrating with her. The baby is doing really well and has the sweetest little face and chubby cheeks. She's an absolute doll and her family are madly in love with her. The other awesome news is that two families, each with adorable little boys who have an extra chromosome, are expecting their second child. I am so happy for both families and know that their sons are going to make amazing big brothers. All this baby news is tempting me to have another one........