Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yay Joey!

Look what Joey started doing this week... I am so proud of him. He also will slap your hand if you put it in front of him and say "give me five." We love this little boy so much... he is just too cute!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (Birthday Boy)

These were from his actual Birthday (and one from the day before). His party is Saturday so more great pics to follow I am sure!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Joey's Photo Shoot

Joey had a photo shoot on Tuesday with local photographer Penny Silva for a special project being put together by the Sacramento DSIA. (more about that later) The pictures are gorgeous! Penny is truly amazing and we had so much fun spending time with her. Thank you so much Penny for the beautiful pictures and thank you to the DSIA. We are honored to be a part of this special project and appreciated the opportunity to work with Penny. Check out some of the pictures Penny took here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Letter To Joey On His First Birthday

Happy 1st Birthday my little Joey!

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since you came into our lives . I still get choked up when I think about your birth and the first time your little eyes met mine. I was not sure that I had the "maternal instinct" in me but from that moment on I was so in love with you that any doubts I had quickly dissipated.

The morning after you were born your doctor told us that you had Down syndrome. You also had a blocked intestine and you could not keep down any milk. You had surgery when you were four days old. It was a difficult start for us all, but I think that we are all stronger as human beings and as a family because of it. We also had a difficult time when we first found out you had Down syndrome. We are at peace with it now. While you are a baby first, the Ds is part of you and we love you just as you are. I just wish I had known then, everything that I know now. It breaks my heart that there was any sadness in connection with your first few days in the world. I hate that the tears I cried were anything but tears of joy but we were scared and sad that you were so sick. That is in the past now and the joy you have brought us this year is immeasurable. I never knew my life had been missing something until you came along. Nothing brightens my day like the thought of you, the sight of you and your little smile!

When you were two months old you were hospitalized with bronchiolitis. Your daddy and I were very scared. Especially when they put a tube down into your lungs and had a machine breathing for you. Your Grandma came and rocked you all night when you came off the machine and were having withdrawals from the morphine. This is what you looked like in the hospital.

You were in the hospital for just over two weeks. We insisted that they let us take you home for your first Easter, so they gave us an oxygen tank and a machine that kept track of your oxygen. You got through it. You are a strong, strong boy and you fought through this like you will any other challenge in life. I admire your strength. You were such a brave boy though it all. Here you were on Easter weekend with your little oxygen tubes but sooooo happy to be home.

You are a little angel. The best baby a Mom and Dad could have asked for. The first night we brought you home from the hospital (February 25, 2009), instead of crying when you were hungry in the middle of the night, we heard you making little sucking sounds. To this day, when you are hungry, that is what you do. It is the cutest face. I call it your "sucky face." In fact, you rarely cry. You have developed other ways of communicating with us though. One of them is the sucky face. The other is blowing raspberries. You especially do this now when you are frustrated or, in the middle of the night when you need a diaper change. The raspberry is also the first sound you make when you start to wake up in the morning, even before you open your eyes sometimes. You look so precious when you are sleeping. You have always been a good sleeper and began sleeping through the night when you were only four months old. Momma and Daddy appreciated it sooooo much.

You have greatly impressed me when it comes to eating. We were really concerned at first that you were going to have difficulty in this department, especially during the first week after your surgery while you wee still in the NICU. It was a very difficult time. It broke my heart having to go home each night to sleep without you. But I always was back by 7:00 am to feed you breakfast. The nurses wanted to feed you through a tube in your nose but I would not let them. Your Daddy and I made sure we were there for most of your feedings each day so that we could feed you ourselves. I would hold you and feed you while Daddy tickled your feet and wiped your face and hands with a cool washcloth to keep you awake long enough to eat. We knew you could do it and were very proud of you when you would finish those tiny 2 ounce bottles they would give us to feed you my breast milk. Here you are the day we got you home from the hospital showing everyone what a good little eater you had become.

You never took to breastfeeding but that was ok. I pumped milk for you and you were almost exclusively on breastmilk for 6 months. Then you started eating baby oatmeal. I pumped until approximately September 30, 2009 and because there was so much of it, you continued to have breastmilk until November 17, 2009 when all the milk I had frozen for you ran out. Here you are drinking your last bottle of breastmilk. It was a bittersweet moment for Momma.

Then you drank formula like a champ and continued to try new foods. Your favorites have always been sweet potatoes, squash, apples, banana's and yogurt. You love oatmeal in the morning with fresh banana mashed up in it. You also love to tear apart waffles, eat pizza crust and any other thing we put on your tray. We hope you are always so easy to feed.

You love all kinds of music and you love it when we sing to you. Your favorite song was initially "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" but then we came up with our own version of "You are My Sunshine" that goes something like this:

You are my Joey, My little sunshine
You make me happy, when I've had a bad day
I know you know punkin'
How much Momma loves you
Please don't take my Joey away!

You have the greatest group of little friends. It will be so much fun watching you grow up together. Here you guys are at the Ds walk this past October.

We are so proud of how far you have come this year. You are amazing and you are doing amazing things. You have the strongest little arms and legs and although you are not sitting much, you are moving very fast across the floor with mostly your arms. It is so cute how you get up on all fours and rock before you throw yourself forward. We are going to have so much trouble keeping up with you in the months to come.

I knew I would love you but had no idea just how very much. You give me purpose in life and I am a better person (perhaps even way better) because of you. Happy Birthday my little Joey! Your Momma and Daddy love you with all their hearts and we look forward to watching you grow over the years!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Funny Face

Joey's been making the funniest faces. They are hard to catch on film because he drops the face the second you raise a camera. But I managed to catch a few.

God this baby warms my heart! I just love that little face no matter how he contorts it. He is such a silly boy sometimes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (# 2- Joey On The Drum)

I know I already posted one of these today but I saw this picture from Joaquin's birthday party yesterday, on Facebook after I posted the snow pictures. It was posted by Jen (thanks Jen!). In addition to the snow picture below, which was taken by my Mom, it is one of my favorites. It is funny how the best pictures of Joey are the ones taken by other people. Either my camera stinks or I just don't have any photography skills. I really should take a class because I have no idea what most of the buttons or settings on my camera before

Wordless Wednesday (Snow!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Year Ago This Past Weekend...

It was a year ago this past weekend that we drove down to San Diego for my baby shower.

At the time we thought there would be another month before baby Joey would make his debut... He had different plans... but anyway that was the last time that we actually made the 9 hour drive to San Diego... that is until this past weekend when we drove down to celebrate Joey's first birthday (a week early) with my family. We have flown down to San Diego several times with Joey but this was his first drive down there.
Here Joey is all buckled up for the long drive down. We left Sacramento at about 8 pm Thursday night with the hopes that Joey would sleep the whole way down.
Although he perked up when we first put him in the car... he only lasted for about fifteen minutes before he was down for the count.
Like the little angel that he is, he slept the whole way there (which he did not do for the ride home).
While in San Diego Joey had his first taste of McDonald's Chicken nuggets (at Grandma's insistence). And of course he loved them!
Look at him opening up wide and leaning in for them!
And of course there was a birthday cake... the first of what will likely be several first birthday cakes. I was a bit disappointed that he did not dive right in. Oh well, maybe the next one.
Kickin back and having a little fun.
A year ago when we made the drive back up to Sacramento (after the shower) my car was loaded with baby necessities and Joey's bassinette. This trip we brought the bassinette back to my mom (as we will not likely be the ones to need it again next) and when we returned to Sacramento the car was loaded (and I mean loaded) with toys for Joey. My living room now looks like Toysrus exploded in there!
Here he is with some of the cool new toys he got for his birthday from my family. He got a cool ride on and push toy.

And an activity table that he can practice standing to play with.

And the silly town that encourages him to sit and play with (although here he was too tired and opted to play with it on his tummy).

Cannot believe it has almost been one year and that we have survived!