Welcome to Our House - The Analogy ©

Having a baby is special. For some, it’s a lifelong dream, for others, a wonderful surprise. Either way, many of us have thought about taking this journey and whether it’s planned or a pleasant surprise, we all have preconceived ideas about what our child will look and be like. But what if it isn’t what we planned or expected? This is a short story I have written for parents who have or are expecting an exceptionally special child.

Welcome to our House – An analogy

After many months of dreaming, you finally decide it’s time. You are going to build that perfect house of your dreams. You have saved and saved, and now it’s time to put your plan into action. You find a wonderful, perfect piece of land in the city. It’s exactly what you are looking for – because it’s the plan that everyone talks about. You envision the all brick house sitting on luscious green grass, surrounded by a white picket fence. Inside is a marble foyer leading into a family room with beautiful oak hardwood floors. Granite lines the kitchen counter tops and there is an island sink in the middle. Upstairs has four perfect bedrooms and the master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and an enormous walk-in closet, of course. It’s truly a dream come true, and it’s only a matter of time. You purchase the land and think to yourself, in nine short months, you will have it all.

But suddenly your agent calls to tell you, the land is not properly zoned, and the city has not approved it for building your perfect home. They have instead, given you land in the country, where an old country home sits. You are absolutely devastated, your dreams vanishing right before your eyes. You know you can’t back out now, you need a place to live, and despite it not being what you wanted, you know that somehow you will manage and that you can continue on.

You tell everyone what has happened, and everyone is disappointed, some even offering their condolences. You know that everyone else has a nice city home, and that was what you had planned, but you have to come to terms with the fact that you must learn to live in the country.

You go to see the property every month until closing and something funny happens. You start to fall in love with the place. The air is fresh, it’s peaceful and serene. There’s a pond on the land, and the house, though not a new all brick home, is quaint, and has lots of hidden potential. You soon realize it’s not a awful place, it’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than the city, less noisy and flamboyant, but it’s beautiful none the less. And in the process, you soon realize you may even get to meet some new and wonderful neighbours.

Its closing day and you suddenly find yourself full of anticipation, but you are still a little worried. After all, it isn’t what you had originally hoped for, and the house may need some repairs. But you are determined to accept it, and tackle everything one step at a time. You open the front door, and suddenly you are thrilled with what you see. The house is lovely, and has lots of character. The rooms are smaller but it’s decorated with beautiful attention and detail. The kitchen has marble instead of granite, and the bathroom has a soaker tub instead of a Jacuzzi. There isn’t a walk-in closet in sight, but the rooms all come with an indescribable view. Somehow, you just know that it was always meant to be and that this is now home.

This is my analogy of what it will be like for people who discover that they will be caring for a baby with Down syndrome. For us, it is not a terrible place to be, it is a journey full of surprises, milestones and discovery like any other child. And as the story suggests, sometimes it’s only a matter of ‘point of view’, and surprisingly, once you have been there, you don’t want to be anywhere else. The journey, like all others doesn’t come without some bumps in the road, but once you find your way, it’s all about the place you discovered, in most cases - quite by random chance
Author: Sandi Graham-McWade, Copyright

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Journal - Week 101 (31Jul11)


I am beginning to think we will be making Cayuga (Toronto Motor Sports) a yearly event since it is one of Daddy's passions which suddenly my children have inherited!  I love watching cars go fast, but believe you me - I have had a much different opinion of car racing over the last 14 years of policing.  I guess I am just used to being in another vehicle going just as fast, only I am chasing them down instead!

This time around, Hunter wasn't as cheerful to sit tight and watch the event.  He would have rather (had he been allowed) to roam freely at the bottom of the stands, run up and down and stop every so often to cheer wildly at a pair of cars racing down the 1/4 mile track.  Hayleigh on the other hand, took over the quiet child routine, sleeping through every single race!

We had a great time - even though this year the tickets were not free (as last year John won them).  This year was TV shows "Pinks All Out" iconic host, Rich Christensen's last year doing "Arm Drop" racing and so for Daddy (and a few Hundred other people present there), this was a milestone event. 

It took us a crazy 4 hours to get to Cayuga on a Saturday afternoon and a silly 55 minutes to get home Sunday.  There was a fatality on the Burlington Bridge however, hindering our timely arrival to the race event.  Either way, we arrived and had a fantastic time watching the races.  We then made our way into Hamilton to the Sharaton Hotel and room (which was also wonderfully large), relaxed with dinner and fell soundly asleep... EXCEPT for miss Hayleigh (who's internal clock is all wrong) who kept me up all night (not crying) to be fed and entertained.  Oh well.

Enjoy the photos - we certainly had a super time.

Daddy... I think I remember this place!  It looks familiar....

Wait, Wait a minute... I know!  It's the car racing place... Right??!

Yay!  I was right!  Car racing!!  We got here during intermission after Qualifying!

Here we are at intermission!  A family photo at Cayuga!

Just behind the grandstand, a field for me to play in during intermission!

Mommy and I are in the sun, covered in sunblock & waiting for intermission to end!

Ohhhh a doggy!  What a nice Sheppard!  Hey Doggy - do you like the races too?!

A beautifully restored vehicle just raced and lost in Qualifying round #3.

Believe it or not, here is your 2011 Arm Drop winner... a GSXR1300 (Suzuki, like my old bike)

My little sister Hayleigh is sound asleep... even with all the noise!

What a beautiful car.  Just like Eleanor, this is "HELEANOR"!!  ALL done up.

It was so warm out, Daddy got me an ice-cream cone!  Yummy!

Another family photo at Cayuga's 2011 Arm Drop Racing Live.

I loved watching the races today!

This is our Hotel Room, mommy even got a crib for me.  Humm, I'm not too sure about it...

A great end to a great day!  Happy Anniversary Mommy & Daddy!!
Yes, our weekend get away was for our wedding anniversary.  Though it was actually on the Monday past (25th July), it was a great reason to get the family away for the weekend and enjoy a bit of racing too!

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Journal - Week 100 (29Jul11)


My apologies everyone, it appears in my haste yesterday (and literal sleep fog) I forgot to actually include Hunter's swimming lesson videos!  I know not everyone wants to see them every week, but there are many family members who have asked to see his progress.  Since he will be doing a new progression (later today) we are told, I figured it would be appropriate to have his last lesson here to compare.

Please enjoy the videos and by all means mute the volume.  I didn't have the time (as if I ever do) to do a serious editing session and voice over of the clips.  I do have the means to do so as well as the machine (iMac) but it's just one more thing I don't really have the time for.  Add smirk, as I sit here with miss Hayleigh in my lap and glance at Hunter on the baby monitor asleep in his crib.  At least most people in this house are asleep!!!  It seems that every time I video events, people love to chatter away with me (and in all honestly I love to chatter so it isn't like I advise people not to talk to me) while I film.  Perhaps as moms of younger children, we have lots to say to those who can speak and converse at the same level of intellect and IQ rather than baby chatter all day long - not that we mind toddler chatter of course... but we all need distractions at some point.

I have been spending a lot of time editing my Ds resource website, including a fabulous Icon on your browser tab (if you haven't noticed - take a glance at the tabs when you open my other website).  This tab will show a bright orange B (for Blogger) and my site has my blue Ds advocate ribbon (which is my magnet creation) as the Icon.  I have added more sites and resources (as promised) since I have made my website a continuous work in progress rather then leave it unpublished.  Thank you all for checking it over and over when you can.

And without further ado, the 4 short swimming lesson clips:

Part 1 of 4:

Part 2 of 4:

Part 3 of 4:

Part 4 of 4:

Check back later today or tomorrow for the new video with new tummy swimming!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Journal - Week 100 (28Jul11)


One thing I noticed when Hunter was born was how quickly time flew by.  It appears when you have a second child, time flies by two times as fast.  I can hardly believe that Hayleigh is 6 weeks old as of this Wednesday.

Website updates:  My website www.welcometoourhouse-ds.com is up and running and has been doing well.  It appears many people are visiting and using my resources.  I have also added an Icon to the tabs to show how unique my site is.

Durham Down syndrome Association updates:  28th August is our Family Picnic date!  Join us at WindReach Farms 12-4pm for loads of fun, activities and BBQ.  Hayrides, Petting zoo, Farm Animals, Stables, and Sensory room - plus family acitivities!  How could you not want to come!  All DDSA members can enjoy the event for free (entire household) and guest adults pay $4 and children outside the members household are $10 each.  Feel free to bring other family or friends.  RSVP to me before 15th August if attending.  Also, the next DDSA General Meeting "Meet & Greet" is 14th September 2011 at 7pm (Iroquois Sports Complex Garden Cafe, Whitby)

Hayleigh updates:
She now weighs 10 pounds!  What a cute chunky monkey!  She no longer needs supplementing (that's for sure...).  She still suffers with gas - I could call it colic... but what's the point.  Let's just call it what it is.  I'm used to it, having gone through it with Hunter, it makes me believe my breast milk has higher than normal amounts of Lactose (which foremilk is naturally full of and both Hunter & Hayleigh would fall asleep before getting the rich (less Lactose filled) Hindmilk).  Gripe water seems to be our best friend these days along with Oval.  Not to mention both my children are lactose intolerant as is our whole family including Daddy....
A red mark I noticed on Hayleigh's upper back (which I thought was a scratch/mark she aquired in the NICU somehow) turns out to be a birthmark (which I figured after 6 weeks must be) called a "stork bite" or more medically known as a Infantile Hemangioma.  These marks usually are superficial and do not require any treatment and are not health issues.  Luckily, Hayleigh's mark is so small and looks more like a scratch AND is is a location that is not obvious (on her back) that it wont cause her any grief.  Many Hemangiomas can appear on the face and extremities and as a result can cause life long emotional scars.  The good news is, (not that she really will be affected by its location though) is it can disappear by the time she is 18 months old BUT sadly the flip side to that is, it can grow to a larger size - which would happen from the 3-9 month time frame.  I will have to keep a diligent watch on it.
Hayleigh's stork bite (Infantile Hemangioma) oddly enough looks like a swan!

Hayleigh smiles everyday!  While Hayleigh (like Hunter, smiled and laughed at the age of only 2 days old) she continues to smile on a more regular basis now.  When she gazes at me and I smile at her, she will smile in return and coo.  She loves to do this, when she is not gassy and fussy upset.

Big toothless grin for my Mommy!

I smile when Mommy or Daddy smile at me!

Hunter updates:
Swimming is going really well.  It would seem that we are back on track.  The return to a more normal state (given that there is a new baby in the house) is showing at swimming.  Bonnie (Hunter's swim instructor) noticed this in his last lesson and has advised us that she will be starting him on his stomach next lesson!  How exciting!  I wonder how he will take that progression.  I had decided that a private lesson every other week with Bonnie (where Hunter doesn't have to be removed from the pool to wait until his turn and have 15 minutes straight with her) would be beneficial and it would seem that I was right.  He has had one lesson so far (private) and it was from that he seemed to make the most progress and was the happiest.  I am posting his last group lesson where Bonnie decided that he will move to his next progression.
Speech is coming along but is confusing for all of us at the best of times.  Hunter has his "clear" words which there is no doubt about what he's saying but then he also has his baby babble which he uses in long sentences with hand gestures and all!  On top of that there's his sign language, which he can be very lazy about using.  With the onset of running around, I know his language has somewhat taken a back seat - as it's far more interesting to run and explore the world around him rather than focusing on speaking.  I'm not worried yet about any delays per say but after his last EI visit with Jenn, there are definitely many things we can do to help him (not to forget) what he can do.

Things to encourage speech (and lessen his frustration):
1.  Set up a photo album with photos of his favourite or recognizable items (such as his shoes, ball, book, cup, juice, milk, food, favourite toy etc.)  Set up a second duplicate photo album with the same photos but labelled.  Ask Hunter to point to a specific photo.  Ask him to tell me what it is.  Post the photos on the fridge.  Ask him to point and tell me which food item he wants, or for example - Milk versus Juice. 
2.  Give Hunter new signs (sign language).
3.  Be patient and encourage him to speak or point out what he wants, discourage the negative reactive behaviours (like grunting or slamming hands down on tables etc.).

These are just some of the ideas Jenn gave us to encourage Hunter's speech along.  I keep in mind his private speech pathologist Jill, advised that Hunter is fine and needed no help at the time he had his assessment.  We do however have a group assessment coming up in September through "Grandview" which is covered by the Government, thank goodness as private speech pathology is quite expensive.
I am curious what they will tell us at Grandview and also curious what they will add or suggest to help if he needs or requires any at his next assessment.
Jenn and I are drawing on my report!

I'm just having too much fun to pay any attention!

Daddy and I are walking with Hayleigh at the park!
More to come - keep watching!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Journal - Week 98 (16Jul11)


It's a reality.... FINALLY!  I have finally published my Down syndrome resource website.  It took me a year to put it together (and for no other reason other then lack of time) and finally press the "GO" button!  Now, the site is not totally completed, and I have so much to do, but I realized it was silly of me NOT to allow the public the opportunity to use, read and gain knowledge from it while I still work on it.  It was pretty unrealistic of me to think I shouldn't unveil it with more work to be done.  Like my book, I still have much to do with it - it's definitely still a work in progress.  I still must add the stories and photo's of the many people who contributed work that I requested and then gathered, which is also to be published in my 4th book.


I hope everyone who reads my blog will take the time to visit my resource website.

The site houses Down syndrome resource information, medical information, personal views, websites, blogs, personal and other family stories and of course my books and magnet.

I hope as members of our community get the chance to visit it, they will advise me of their thoughts, ideas and suggestions.  I certainly would love to reference the many blogs that pertain to Down syndrome - so if you would be interested in having your blog listed on my website, please send me a contact message either through this site or the new website!

Keep watching (here or there) for updates to the site, daily.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Journal - Week 98 (15Jul11)

THE 1st and 2nd FIFTEENTH... Girl vs. Boy.

Today, miss Hayleigh is 1 month old - 4 weeks exactly as of today the 15th!  Hunter, is 23 months old today also the 15th.  I have no idea where the time goes when you have children.  I don't recall time ever going so quickly in my life, but indeed here we are.

I had been promising and promising to post Hunter's newest swimming videos, and finally I uploaded them.  The one you will see here is from last week - July 8th.  It was the first video taken since Hayleigh's birth AND boy can you tell....

Noticeably as time flies by, we see the small progressions in Hunter's swimming lessons.  Unfortunately in this particular week shown you can see Hunter is slightly agitated and grumpy.  This is due to two very important reasons.  One, he is lacking his usual nap before swimming and two, (and much more importantly) he is struggling with a new change at home - having his new baby sister!!  BUT either way, he still loves his swim time with Bonnie and it's still a fun break for Mr. Hunter!  The newer progression we noticed this week is Bonnie being able to pull Hunter by his head without supporting any other part of him, while on his back.  The contributing distraction for Hunter that we noticed is that his usual pool deck supervisor (Cindy - the older Asian woman) is gone for the summer and Hunter was so comfortable with her and he's obviously missing her.  It's a change that Hunter doesn't like or accept.  Just today while at his lesson (which I do not have uploaded yet), he was terribly upset with his new young deck supervisor who he would look up at and get so unhappy that he actually cried!  This "crying" is a first for Hunter.  He has never cried during or at a swim lesson, so he's obviously distressed with all the changes.




Despite the sadness and changes, one thing we know for sure is that he still loves his swimming.  When you ask him about going to swimming, he laughs, smiles and rambles on at a mile a minute!  Also, he can't wait to get going and into the truck to go.  So, knowing that is still comforting.

On a "Sandi note":  I have been thinking of some personal changes in my life which I would like to explore and possibly make.  Due to my policing injuries, work has been out of the question for a few years now.  Though I have been an officer for over 14 years and any change at this point sort of seems impossible for me to even contemplate, one idea has been gnawing at me for a while.  My family doctor and also family members have often asked me, why don't you study (go back to school) and become a doctor?  Now, if I wasn't nearly 40 - I would consider doing it.  I love medical science, helping others and teaching.  But turning 38 in a few months makes me realize, going back to school for approximately 10 years wouldn't make a whole lot of sense at this time in my life, at least for me.  Not to mention the tuition costs....  But, with Hunter being my child and my strong advocacy stance for Ds, as well as my recent appointment to the Durham Down syndrome Association, I have been thinking about areas within the "special needs" more and more and as time goes on.  I realized that this might be the area I want to move forward in as I found it very satisfying to have created a Play to Learn group through the YMCA for families and children with any special need. 

Also, when we took Hunter to the renowned Ds speech pathologist, Jill Clements-Baartman of the TLC (Talking Language and Communication Inc.) for his first speech assessment, I realized that there was something about being a S-LP (Speech Language Pathologist) that appealed to me.  Now, it's important to note, Hunter's "speech path" Jill (the same renowned S-LP that the DDSA uses) advised us that Hunter's speech was fine and at the time, was not in need of having a Speech Pathologist work with him as many many children with Ds do often require.  In working in the DDSA (Durham Down syndrome Association) as an Executive Board Director, we had put together a Summer Literacy Program (which we chose to run with Jill) - that directly focused and would target speech and language skills of children/teens or adults with Ds.  So, while it would certainly be helpful for Hunter (should he ever need a S-LP) I just happen to realize how much of a difference it could make for those who need Speech/Language Therapy in their lives, should I pursue that "career" avenue - not to mention Hunter.

I always like to be able to do for Hunter the same things that professionals do (to help him along in the best way possible) and becoming a Speech Pathologist would definitely do that.  Not only for Hunter, but I have ALWAYS enjoyed teaching, and this definitely falls into that category - specifically to and for Ds.  Not to mention that a Speech Pathologist can make an awful lot of money since it is so specialized....!  It would mean though, Sandi must return to University.  I still have 26 university credits which are not applied to any major or masters degree so it would definitely work out if I chose to go through to become a licenced S-LP. 

Would you believe that the other thing I would love to do some point in my life is learn how to Tattoo people??!!  Well, that's another story all together....  That's for my creative/artistic side.

Next (and more importantly for the moment) on the agenda, is the planning of Hunter's 2nd birthday party!  Details to come - it's going to be wild & fun.  It's a personal "Mommy" planned party with awesome activities and lots of cool things to do.  More on this, next post.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Journal - Week 98 (12Jul11)

After the storm, Comes the calm.... Right?!

A week after the massive meltdown, Hunter seems to have turned over his new leaf.  I really believe that Hunter needed to get his "tantrum" out.  It gave him the cleansing that he needed.  It also gave him some Mommy & Daddy understanding to how affected he had been by this new addition.  I am happy to report that life has been much better and while we still have "hicups" here and there, (a few minor growls but nothing more than that) Hunter has become quite the loving big brother that we had hoped he would want to be.
While I am still quite observant of Hunter's actions with his sister, for example - he has no idea of his own strengths, he's happy to be around his sister.  He's concerned when she cries - displaying a face of questioning such as, "Mommy, are you going to fix her?" or calling "Mommy??" when she starts to cry.  But, on observation (which Hunter does very well) he has lovingly tried to help me on many occasions to burp his sister, by patting her back (sometimes a bit hard...) but rubbing and patting nonetheless.  A video I will have to shoot for you all to see.  There has been no more swatting of his sister, and no more attempts to chomp on her, much less myself or Daddy.  Perhaps this is due to the fact (also) that he has three teeth that have come in all at the same time, and only one molar left of all his baby teeth.  Hunter now lovingly strokes his sister's baby soft hair, and gazes into her eyes (when open...) with a chuckle of a response just for her.

This new leaf and acceptance definitely has lessened my stress, since worrying about Hunter's feelings had made me very weary and worried.  It's not that I don't expect blips to happen along the way, or new pangs of jealousy as time goes on - but I am happy that there is an effort and a calm these days.

One place that it was noticed that Hunter was having difficulties or was quote unquote, "more grouchy" was his last swimming lesson.  His instructor Bonnie did happen to comment that she noticed that Hunter was unusually grouchy during his lesson... which was not only affected by his lack of a nap that day, but my forgetfulness to tell her that he now has a new sister!  After the explanation, she fully understood.  We anticipate a better outcome this Friday.  And as I have promised, at some point I will get the lessons on.

So, it has been said that miss Hayleigh is a tiny representation or little version of myself.  Affectionately now known as, Sandi 2.0 or Mini-me!  Where Hunter was born with blond hair and blue eyes, Hayleigh seemily was born with dark brown hair and dark eyes with some odd concoction of blue/grey/brown and green in them?!!  As the weeks go by, her eye colour is definitely starting to lighten up.  One interesting thing I recently noticed is that when I take photos of her, (and her eyes are open) I get red-eye for her.  I had leared quite a while back that people who produce red-eye are those who have lighter pigmented irises.  Those who have dark brown eyes do not experience this phenomena.  It has to do with they layer that covers the lens and also the colour of the iris.  So, I guess in conjunction with time (as it goes on) and what I am observing in her eyes, she will liekly have lighter coloured eyes.  Maybe not so 2.0 after all?!!  And with the fact that she was born with her eyebrows a blondish/reddish colour... while her hair on her head is dark - the question will remain.  So, I guess it will be a while before we learn exactly what her hair and eye colour will be.

I thought it would be prudent for me to post some newer photos (thus also proving wrong to those who said I would probably not take as many photos of my second born...) of the children.  Funny, I am not getting much sleep (since Hayleigh is a night owl...) but I manage to get rest here and there.  Thankfully I have my family to help.  There are many days where they can't though, and it's often trying to have young ones close in age but I know it's worth it.

Canada Day Fireworks - I am showing everyone how I shave, just like Daddy!

A wonderful blanket-bear gift for Hayleigh from friend Haedyn!

I am eating Mommy's left over pepperoni's that she doesn't like!

I'm staring at my Mommy... and she's staring at me!

Daddy's got us both... and we are sound asleep.  Daddy's not too far off either!

Hunter: I am now loving my sister.  She's not that bad!!

Hayleigh:  I'm trying to give Mommy a smile but Mommy cut off some of my face!

Hayleigh: Ahh, this is the life!  Lying here in Mommy's lap!

Hunter:  The front porch is so much fun in summer!!  Wanna play?!

Hunter:  Mommy says I am being such a good boy!!  It's because I am happy!

A Father/Daughter moment.  A kiss for both Daddy & Daughter.

So, next post I should probably upload some videos!!  Hang in there... I will get there.  Some day....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Journal - Week 97 (05Jul11)


Today we had quite the day.... And in all honestly with Hayleigh's arrival, we've had quite the last two weeks.  I think (rather I knew) at some point Hunter was going to have a complete MASTER-MELTDOWN.  And today was the day.  I was very close to videoing the Meltdown itself, but I decided it would probably not be the best thing to do while he was "engaged" so to speak.  So, after an hour of screaming, (and when I say screaming, that doesn't do it justice...) crying, growling etc., Hunter finally retreated into a more "Hunterish" type of personality.  By midnight, he was back to the Hunter we are more accustomed to.  This is the boy we hadn't seen in over three weeks.  I just hope he's back to himself on a more usual and regular basis... as opposed to the meltdown monster that we have been seeing as of late!!

I suppose it's one of those things where if I had the time to worry about Hunter & Hayleigh's behaviours (having taken them both to YMCA Play to Learn group today) I wouldn't have likely ventured out of the house.  They both were actually wonderful and calm while out today, no screaming while out at the group, no hitting or biting (which as of late had become Hunter's somewhat newer adaptive behaviours to having a permanent visitor called a sister).  All these "good" behaviours lasted until we got home (and with no nap, new things and a SISTER) it was a recipe in the making for a huge disaster.  It was just a mater of time before the bomb blew.  Only, I had no idea that the bomb would be that big - and if anyone want's clarification of exactly how big - or what I mean, just ask one of the three other adults in this household who had the privilege of hearing, seeing (or trying to soothe) Hunter.  After our ride home from playgroup at 5:00 pm - Hunter had fallen asleep but awoke once we arrived home (five minutes away).  I managed to get him back to sleep after about 2 hours of up and down, for a total of one whole hour, when he suddenly awoke, from what I can only guess was a bad dream.   If anyone has ever been woken up after only an hour of sleep when they needed at least eight, you can imagine the mood....  Just add everything else to that and BAM - you have an INSTANT CORE MELTDOWN.   I realized it was going to take some serious Mommy love and our own space (sans Hayleigh) for me to get Hunter to come back down to Earth.  He cried, screamed and literally tantrum-ed so hard that he could hardly breath, much less scream or cry.  Short of him throwing himself down on the floor (for the classic hands and feet banging while having said meltdown) he whipped himself back and forth, flinging his head wildly around, requiring me to just hold him tight, remove him from the area which seemed to provoke more (our play room) and take him away to a more quite location.  After an hour, he finally just melted (to finish the meltdown).  I then literally had to force his milk into his mouth (sounds horrible) because he couldn't stop for even a moment to realize I had his milk for him.  Once he got a taste of it, he calmed down (just enough) to drink it.  We sat holding onto one another for what seemed like an eternity until he was able to tolerate being awake!  At that point it was 9:00 pm.  The reason I have added a video and blog today was because this newer refreshed attitude I was seeing (after the meltdown) was the long lost Hunter I have been missing since we brought little miss Hayleigh home from the hospital.  I just hope that it's a sign that Hunter is starting to cope.  Trust me, whether Hunter is able to verbalize or not, he makes his feeling known.  It's up to us as parents to help him sort through these feelings, frustrations and insecurities.  At least (and I say that with a raised eyebrow) he's calm now and back to a chittery chattery self.  It seems my newest challenge/goal work with Hunter will not be so much about physical milestones, as they will be about emotional ones, and rightly so at this time.

Oh, don't mind the sleepy Daddy, he's been working his usual crazy hours and we are all physically tired and worn out with having a newborn home and sleeping reversed hours!

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