On November 18 2009 at 4:02 am William Alan Bartosch was joyfully welcomed into our family. He weighed in at 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 in long. We were stunned to discover that he was born with Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome. We love him unconditionally from the top of his toe-head to the tips of his toes. We know that this diagnosis will not define him. He is a happy, healthy little boy that just happens to have an extra chromosome.

Follow us on this unexpected and exciting journey as we learn how to live life Will's Way.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Grandma Spoils Me

Grandma Sandy was on her way to come visit me when she got a call that my cousin was being born.  So she went to meet him and she sent down a lot of fun stuff with Aunt Amelia! 
She made me a sleeping bag and I really like it!
She got me rain boots so that I can 'jump up and down in muddy puddles'!

She made me the most beautiful blue and yellow blanket.  Blue and yellow are the colors that designate Down Syndrome.  You can't see it in the picture but the pattern on the blanket is an awareness ribbon!  What a special gift:)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Week!

Will has been getting goodies from family and friends all week!  Now that I don't work in the cut flower world, I kinda like Valentine's day and week too:)  I had a teacher/therapist conference this morning with all of Will's 'team'.  They are happy he is making progress in areas of therapy but also in social/interpersonal ways in the classroom.  I believe Will has a hard time interacting because of his inability to communicate.  He has been more willing to join in play with others by bringing a toy to play with and has been singing and dancing more each day during music time...as long as no one is looking:)  His teachers know him so well...they told me that if he is dancing and they look at him or comment about it, he says 'no' and sits down.  Oh Will!?!  My stubborn boy:)  His therapists all said that he has been more willing to work with them lately too, which with Will is half the battle!
Will is on a one month break from his thyroid meds to see if he still needs them.  At age 3, doctors often try this to see if the hypothyroidism was a temporary thing that the child grew out of and then retest the blood in a month to see if his TSH and T4 numbers are where they should be.  Now that we have figured out how to get the medicine in the kid, it is no big deal to give it to him each day, but I guess if I didn't have to that would be one less thing for me to worry about.  So we will wait and see.
He also went to the ENT recently to find out one of his tubes is dislodged.  Another wait and see approach.  His 3 year check went well too.  Growing slowly, but growing still and otherwise healthy.  His pediatrician is his (and my) favorite doc as she entertains all of my laundry list of questions and rarely does anything invasive.  I try to limit my Google searches and check with her instead because otherwise I would have Will doing all kinds of crazy stuff:)   I also think she checks in on Will's blog, so I am hoping I got some 'points' for that one! 
I am getting excited about some new possiblities for speech and other therapies, including music therapy.  I hope to try some new things to get this kid motivated to communicate.
Will got a package from Grandpa Ron and Grandma Susan with popcorn and other goodies.  Luckily he shared with Lillian (and mom and dad!).
Opening (or spectating) the box of crafts and candy from Gaga and Papa.

He did NOT want me to take his picture with his Valentines for his class.
Circle time at school. Everyday they sing 'Will came to school today, we're so glad lets shout hooray!' and the kids get a turn to hug the duck. He loves to take his turn:)

Snack time with Valentine's goodies and CHD treats!  This week also celebrates Congenital Heart Defect awareness.  Many of Will's Buddies with Down syndrome have CHD as do other friends at school.

Playing and sharing valentines today with friends.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Circles and Seesaws

Will's OT skills have been picking up!  He absolutely loves his private OT.  He never hesitates to go 'play' with her and always comes out bouncing and jumping with excitement!  Usually with a sticker an a sucker in hand:)  She has seen a lot of progress in his drawing skills.  He has been drawing more circles lately when he scribbles, which is a key stage in development of hand skills.  He loves to play with her bug game where he uses salad tong type scoops to grab bugs.  He also loves her pirate ship game that involves putting swords into these slots.  She also works on crawling, climbing, balance  and timing exercises on the swing.  His scissors skills are emerging, but I can wait on that one as we have had lots of friends that have given themselves unwanted haircuts lately.
He is also still very ambidextrous at the this point.  Prefers right slightly, but still uses left as you can see in the top picture.  According to a blog I follow that did an informal survey, 'While 13% of the general population is left-handed, our (non-scientific) poll showed that 41% of people with Ds are left-handed and 10% are ambidextrous'.  I learn new facts about Ds everyday!

He is so vocal in his bed every morning.  He sits in there and babbles to himself while he waits on one of us to come get him.  I try to let him go as long as possible because the babbling is so good, and also to squeeze in a few more moments of sleep or me time!

Will and Jonas have been playing so nicely together lately.  I know they will be good buddies for life.  Here he is showing Will how to use the iPad:)

Sharing the chair while watching cartoons, and with cheesy smiles!

Jonas is going to be 5 in a few weeks and he is becoming such a good helper and playmate.  He can be a stinker at times but can also be patient and helpful moments later.  The other day at the indoor playground my sister and I got a huge laugh at him trying to help Will get on to the seesaw.  He wanted to play on the seesaw with Will but could not figure out how to get Will up there.  He tugged and pulled and lifted Will as much as he could, but when that didn't work, he went to the other end of the seesaw and got on his hands and knees and wedged his back under the seesaw to try to lower it on Will's end.  It is hard to picture maybe, but it was unbelievably sweet and heartwarming!