We have been taking Liam to swimming lessons off and on since he was about 9 months old and he just loves it! He has become quite the little fearless swimmer and he is so proud to show me his skills. Here are a few videos I took from his lesson today with coach Beth Scruggs! She is amazing… and I am one proud mama!
This one is my favorite! He had just noticed where I was sitting and wanted to show me his skills… melt my heart!
Liam is getting really good at floating on his back! At first he wasn’t a fan but now he is a little pro and even kicks his feet.
Coach Beth has this great water platform. Liam opens his mouth really big and smiles and squeals as he anticipates his jump off! Too cute!
It was a beautiful day in TN on Thursday last week and Jeremy took the morning off so that we could take the kids to the zoo for the first time! I’m pretty sure it was more fun for Jeremy and I but the kids had fun too.;) It’s just so exciting to be able to see it through their eyes. Liam was given a Baby Animals DVD from my grandparents a couple years ago and it features animals from the San Diego Zoo and Liam has watched it least 50 times! On the DVD there is a song that describes each animal, so as we saw the different animals of course I had to sing all the songs and I’m pretty sure he loved it! Liam also received a tiger shirt for Christmas last year (he loves tigers mostly because he can growl like one whenever he sees one) so he wore it and I couldn’t take enough pictures of him.
Liam loves meerkats and I think it’s because I sing the song about them from the DVD all the time. 😉 He also has a book with meerkats in it so he enjoyed smiling and pointing at them as they ran by us.
A few weeks ago I mustered up the courage to pull out the finger paint and let Liam explore its wonder. Needless to say, once he figured out it wasn’t food, he played in it for quite a while and didn’t want to quit. Now, whenever something remotely close to liquid falls on his tray (ie. ketchup), he thinks it’s finger paint and smears it everywhere. Oh well, at least he’s not afraid of it! He was enamored with his colored hands and kept pointing to his right hand with his left and showing me. Then he would talk to his right hand like he usually does and hold it above his head and stare at it in amazement. It was pretty cute! I managed to get Liam’s hand print on a couple of Valentines in the process, as you will notice in the picture below.
Liam’s left handprint isn’t like most hands which is why this Valentine is so special to me! If you look closely at his left hand you will notice he has one line going across his hand, whereas most people have 2 lines just like his right hand. The one line is fairly prominent to me on this print especially since I know what to look for. Let me know if you can see the difference! This mark of distinction was pointed out to me the day of Liam’s birth by the pediatrician who informed us of some of the noticeable characteristics Liam had of Down syndrome. It was those characteristics that endeared him to me even more! This one in particular (the line on the hand) is common in DS and is technically called the transverse palmar crease or simian line. It can be found on one hand or two, but for Liam it is only on his left hand. The single line doesn’t affect his ability to function in any way. It’s just uniquely Liam and I love it!!
Every night after bath-time Liam and Karis enjoy listening to music while getting ready for bed. It’s actually become a necessary part of our routine. When it’s time to get ready for bed they both head straight for the CD player and do the sign for music. We’ve had the same CD playing for a while now so they are able to anticipate each song and dance along. Liam is starting to pick out the words he knows the sign language to and sign along. It’s pretty cute. And Karis likes to dance along too! Liam also enjoys conducting some of the songs. Here is one of his favorites!
My husband Jeremy travels with a band called downhere as their drummer and road manager. This past year he was gone for roughly 150 days! Yes, you can have some pity on me. Last year was the hardest year of my life just trying to be a mom to two babies who didn’t walk at the time and help Liam reach some key milestones while nursing a new baby who doesn’t sleep well. Motherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job and I’m blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but to have to do it with only part-time help is draining. Don’t get me wrong… I truly believe in my husband and his line of work! He gets to play music for a living while ministering to people all over the world… and he is good at it if I do say so myself! I believe God has called us to this right now and that is why we are making these sacrifices.
He has been in town for the past month and has been a HUGE help for me! Thank you, Jeremy!! I need to brag on him because he really is such an amazing Daddy to these babies and is very helpful around the house. He has made sure I have some away time from the kids, so I don’t go crazy which nearly happened several times last year. We’ve had a couple date nights… I always treasure those! We’ve been able to reconnect with some friends and actually attend church together! We even took the kids out to dinner with us one night which we have never done before just as a family, and we actually had a conversation… a rare moment even during dinner at home! It was a pleasant experience but not one I would recommend doing regularly for several reasons. We also took a trip to Peek-a-Boo Playtown for special needs night where they give discounts to people who have extra special kids, sweet deal! 😉
Even though he has been in town this past month he still had to do some work for downhere since he advances the shows and is their merchandise manager, so he’s been able to stay working from time to time. He has also picked up a second job a couple days of the week to help supplement income. Thank you again, Jeremy!
This past week downhere started recording their next album, so he was busy in the studio and we really missed him since we were spoiled having him around so much the previous weeks. I took the kids and joined some good friends of ours and we went to the studio one night and got to hear Jeremy lay down some drum tracks for a song. Liam loved it, of course! I took some pictures so you’ll see them below!
I love you, Jeremy! Thank you for all your help! You are an amazing husband and father to our babies!
One of my mother’s many creative outlets is painting. When I was a little girl she painted me a watercolor with Proverbs 3:5-6 on it and hung it above my dresser in my room. It read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I remember reading this painting on my wall over and over and it soon became ingrained in my mind. It became my life verse. I wish I would’ve kept the painting – I don’t know what happened to it.
Now that I have my own children I want to “give” them a verse. A life verse, like the one my mom painted for me. God’s word is eternal. I want my children to have His truth imprinted on their hearts and have it be a prayer over their lives. After Liam was born my older sister gave us a set of Veggie Tales books, and the verse at the end of every book was the first part of Psalm 139:14. The NIV (New International Version) translation of this verse says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” But the version on the Veggie Tales books says, “How you made me is amazing and wonderful.” At the time we read these books to Liam over and over (and still do). That verse really touched me because of the unexpected surprise of Liam’s Down syndrome. It fit him quite well and so I made that his life verse using the version from the Veggie Tales books. I also wanted to find a way to display it in his room so you will see what I did below. This picture was taken just about a year ago.
I am currently in search of Karis’ life verse. Her name is the Greek word for ‘grace’. The word ‘charis’ is used over 170 times in the New Testament – needless to say there are plenty of verses to choose from! We want to get her dedicated at our church in March at which point we will share her life verse, so I have some time to keep praying about it. I’ll keep you posted as to what we decide.
I don’t know if my mom expected me to memorize that particular passage or even make it my life verse when she hung that painting in my room. But she gave me a gift of truth that I will never forget and I want to pass that on to my children.
I am still exploring all the options my camera has to offer. Here is an example of what the monochrome setting looks like. Liam and Karis like playing in one or the others crib together, but only for a few minutes at a time and usually after their naps. Then they decide it’s time to explore and need to get out. I was able to capture those fun few moments yesterday.