My {13} Month Old with Down Syndrome

One year ago, I was posting about my {1} month old baby and life was significantly different than it is now.

my 13 month old with down syndrome

Kara is 17.7 lbs, 27.5 in & has 2 teeth (though she currently has three more trying to break free).

They say you’re not supposed to compare one kid to another, instead I compare Kara to herself. I love to see her progress from one month to the next. Because it shows me just that – progress. If she’s not doing the same things as a typically developing baby, so what? She’s going at her own pace and she’s doing much more than she was last month. I am happy that I get to watch every little phase of her development.

Now, I can even look back a whole year! This time last year, I was literally just trying to keep her alive!

There is definitely more of a routine these days and it does everyone some good.

6:30 a.m.

We wake early while Dad attempts to get some rest after his night shift. This is when Kara likes to practice her most obnoxious sounds; therefore, I practice my shushing again and again. Kara has really taken it to the next level these days. She’s graduated from dinosaur growls and blowing raspberries to “DADADA BABABA BLUHBARABA” at the top of her lungs. I am confident that a soft & sweet “mama” is right around the corner (send up a prayer for me).

Kara teething on her crib

8:00 a.m. 

Breakfast with her is my favorite. I am the farthest thing from a morning person, but as long as I have my coffee and this cutie across the table, a distinct smile finds my lips by 8 a.m.!

While she finishes off her morning bottle, I’m making scrambled eggs and diced avocado. I toss them with coconut oil and oregano. This is her favorite meal so I make it every morning and she knows it. Her excitement shows all over her face as I walk it over to her high chair. (Almost) every bite is shoveled into her mouth as I sit down to eat with her.

Kara at a summer barbeque, looking adorable as usual and adding more people to her fan club.

9:00 a.m 

Afterwards, we get cleaned up & dressed for the day. We pick out a darling outfit (usually centered around her headband) and then hit the sidewalk.  We love to explore our new neighborhood. We stop to look at the trees and wave at the houses & every dog behind every fence.

Kara waiting outside for The Great American Eclipse of 2017 that ended up being covered with clouds.

10:00 a.m.

By the time we get home, Dad is up and that’s when Mom becomes old news. This is why my usual sayings are: “She’s a mama’s girl unless her dad is around” and “She might be mama’s bestie, but she’s her daddy’s girl.”

The bond that her and Jacob have is awe-inspiring. If I’m holding her when her daddy comes into view, her face will light up before she shyly buries her head into my chest. They give each other butterflies. Can you get any cuter?!

Nap time then comes easily with lots of cuddles.

Kara laying down for her nap

12:00 p.m.

She wakes up from her nap and welcomes lunchtime with a groggy smile. She enjoys another 5-ounce bottle while I’m preparing something like sweet potato & hard boiled egg sprinkled with nutmeg or even banana & cinnamon (pictured below). She practices using her utensils and is getting so good at using a fork!

Kara eating some yummy banana and cinnamon for her snack

1:00 p.m.

Before we know it, it’s time to work on Kara’s exercises. We’re focusing on making consonant sounds by utilizing an exercise ball and tuning up those fine-motor skills with smaller toys. We’re also helping her to be more mobile and I know that the second she starts to care, she will start to crawl. Until then, she is perfectly content sitting and observing. She ding-ding-dings on her xylophone, plays with her wooden blocks, shakes her shaker or searches for her newest obsession: shoelaces.

Kara playing with shoelaces

5:00 p.m.

Then I blink and the day is almost done. Another 5-ounce bottle down the hatch and its time for a snack. I bring out dissolvable crackers or puffs so she can practice her fine motor skills once again and I can have a break from a messy cleanup.

Around now, we are kissing Jacob goodbye and telling to come home safely. The door closes behind him and I look at Kara. We are on our own for the rest of the night.

Kara giving the camera a cheesy grin

7:30 p.m.

Finally, she takes her very last bottle of the day. By the time 7:30 rolls around, she has red, tired eyes, banana in her hair, and has a breastmilk stain on her shoulder. Oh wait, that’s me. 

Regardless, she is the one who gets the bath. If she’s cranky, bath time will turn her cries into giggles that will last us until her next favorite part of the day – her bedtime story.

I absolutely love sinking into our rocking chair, book in hand and a fresh smelling baby on my lap. I always let her choose between two books. I hold them next to each other and read her the titles. She cracks me up because she studies each one very closely. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Suddenly, her little hand pops up and she taps her fingertips on the winner.

Once her story is over, we have a nice little conversation about our day and our plans for the morning. She replies with a distracted “buh-buh-buh” so I turn the lights out and sing to her instead.

Kara holding one of her favorite books, On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

8:30 p.m. 

I realize that I’ve somehow made it through another day. I also realize how full my heart is. I start to miss her and do everything I can to resist turning the doorknob to peek in and check on her just one more time. 

Of course, Jacob only sometimes works his “regular” schedule, Kara only sometimes lays down for her naps on time and I only sometimes am able to resist laying down with her.

We have therapy appointments three times a week and two dogs thrown into the mix as well. I didn’t mention the part-time job I work, the errands that we run, or how full this little girl’s social calendar is.

We live a busy life. A lovely life. I have never felt such happiness.

“Without you, all I have is reality.” 


5 thoughts on “My {13} Month Old with Down Syndrome

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