Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The more we learn the better we become

Dear readers,

Today marks the end of Down syndrome awareness month 2018. As I have written before, it’s not just one month that matters but what we do every single day. Talk to your kids, talk to families with babies that have Down syndrome, talk to adults that have Down syndrome. We welcome the opportunity to educate and also get educated. Here are pictures for each day of October to highlight some misconceptions and some concepts that need to be highlighted.  Share with your loved ones and help create a more inclusive and more kind world.
































                                    

 
                                      











   


             





























I feel that people with Down syndrome were sent from above to help all of us become better people, andwould like to thank you all for the support you have given us and the love you have showered on Laksh. We are extremely grateful to be on this journey with Laksh and because of him, learn a new kind way to be a member of the society. So thank you for the understanding and sorry about spamming your timeline for the past one month. Please continue to be just as awesome as guys have been to us and everyone around you. Happy Halloween ๐ŸŽƒ

Monday, October 8, 2018

What is normal?

Dear readers,

For as long I can remember, all I wanted to do was fit in. All I wanted was to be normal. Being an overweight child, you always became the butt of the joke. I remember as a child, I would wish I would just look like the other girls so no one would joke about me. It took me most of my life to understand my body is different as I am unique. Even if I would lose all the weight, I would still not look like the other girls. I would be me, I would be different.

Once I had Laksh, and after most of the medical concerns were tackled, my biggest concern was this. Laksh is going to stand out, look different, and will that make him the butt of joke? Will that make others want to make fun of him or bully him? It might take him longer than other kids to learn things, will that make people lose patience or their faith in his abilities?

Even now, I sometimes find myself looking for that comfort of "normal", that comfort of "familiar" but then I tell myself,  God has planned a great and grand life for us and Laksh. God wants us to  help shatter the stereotypes and break the invisible box of restrictions that the society puts us in. And anyway, what is normal? Isn't that just a perception? Not long ago, unfortunately, there was a rule in India which said having homosexual relations is unnatural and not normal. But we know that is not true. One can't chose who one loves. Similarly, one can't chose what abilities one can be born with. So as normal it is to be Gay, why can't we as a society accept that it as normal to have different abilities (I am not saying being Gay is the same as having a disability but just trying to make a point). And it is okay to look different. All we need to do is always chose kindness.
I recently  watched  the movie "Wonder" (which is amazing BTW), in which the sister Via tells Auggie, that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out (I am para-phrasing). That sentence resonated with me a lot and I think isn't that something one should live by?  We should just take a minute to think, why do we want to blend in with others? Why do we want to mix in the with crowd? Why are we scared of looking different? Why are we worried that people will stare? Just remember, you were meant to be you and just be-youtifully-you. Thank you for reading.



 

Monday, October 1, 2018

How to celebrate down syndrome

Dear readers,

October is down syndrome awareness month. The entire month, we celebrate people with down syndrome. We celebrate being different yet being the same. We celebrate triumphs. We celebrate failures. We celebrate life. 

If you love someone with down syndrome or if you just love people and want to show your support, here are a few things you can do.

  • Talk about Down syndrome with your kids. Create a dialogue. Create awareness. Most of the mean comments come from ignorance. Help break that cycle and educate people about what down syndrome is and how you can co-exist and flourish.
  • Down Syndrome Awareness is represented by the colors blue and yellow.  Consider wearing the colors, and if you're on social media, post stories using the hashtag #DownSyndromeAwarenessMonth to spread the message online. Tag us as well, using the hashtag #livelifelakshsize.
  • Remember positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
  • Watch movies, and TV shows which helps see people with down syndrome just the way they should be and create an understanding which in turn helps break stereotypes. 
  • Because every family deserves the opportunity to be blessed with a child with Down syndrome, consider a donation to Reece’s Rainbows VOICE OF HOPE FUND.
October is a month where everyone is encouraged to participate in the campaign against discrimination of people with Down syndrome. You can do this through financial contribution, writing of awareness articles and sharing them to various places. You can also contribute by participating in buddy walk. In addition, we hope that people accept them in the society and understand that inclusion benefits everyone.



"Remember that this is a very important month," wrote the NDSS. "We have to spread awareness about Down syndrome and learn more about ourselves."  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Everything happens for a reason

Dear readers,

It's almost down syndrome awareness month, and we couldn't be more excited. Thanks to our precious Laksh, this is our second year celebrating the unique and talented people with Down syndrome.

The more I think, the more I feel like Laksh and us were meant to happen no matter what. I know its silly but I always keep looking for omens, like God is trying to guide me through these signs. I am sure, you guys are aware that Down syndrome is caused by a third copy of the 21st chromosome, which incidentally happens to be my husband (3rd) and my birth date's (21st). If this isn't God telling us he got it, then I don't know what is.


God's favorite child

In today's time, children and adults with down syndrome are achieving so much and paving the path with success for all of us to follow. They are giving us "hope", something that unfortunately most of the medical world never does. You may have heard some doctors saying that your baby will always be happy, which some how paints them to be different than other kids. I have heard so many parents with typical kids telling me their kid is a happy child. How is that different from a baby with down syndrome being happy? And most importantly, your child will experience an array of emotions, just like anyone else. It is just that they might be easier to forgive you and move on. Live in the present and be kind. 

One thing that irritates me the most is how doctors let down syndrome define your child's life. Anything I say Laksh is feeling, the answer is because is has hypotonia. I remember once I asked his doctor about excessive salivation and she said he has low tone in his mouth, but in reality it was because he was teething. You have to remember that this news will not over power your life. In fact, in a while it will slide into the background and you will just have good and bad days like anyone else which has nothing to do with down syndrome and everything to do with having a baby. You may have heard of Mikayla Holmgren - the first Miss USA contestant with Down syndrome, she once said in an interview that she has down syndrome on the side. I absolutely loved that and feel that is the best way to make people realize how it is not what defines you but just something you happen to have.
Also, more recently a 19 year old with Down syndrome won an international beauty pageant. Read more about her here:

Could become a teacher, you never know

To mention a few more to make us see the ABILITY and not the disability in people.


Angela Bachiller from Spain became the first person with Down syndrome to ever be elected as a councilwoman

Sujeet Desai from USA plays seven muscial instruments including the violin, piano, saxophone and trumpet

Megan McCormick from USA is the first person with Down syndrome to graduate with honors from a technical college

Pablo Pineda earned a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and has gone on to be a writer, speaker, and actor.

Ruby Plachta is a 7 year old awesome kid living with her parents and older sister in Texas and has already helped so many adults with down syndrome to attend college. 
https://rubysrainbow.org/

Madeline Stuart is an Australian to become  the world's first professional model with Down syndrome. 
http://www.madelinestuartmodel.com/

Isabella Springmuhl Tejada is a 20-year-old fashion designer from Guatemala.
https://aplus.com/a/fashion-designer-with-down-syndrome-isabella-springmuhl?no_monetization=true

John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome is a co-founder John’s Crazy Socks
https://johnscrazysocks.com/
Laksh walking towards success while rocking his ponytail

These are just a few examples of how these young adults are shattering the image of what or how someone with Down syndrome should be. These talented individuals have so much determination that nothing can keep them down. Nothing can stop them and my Laksh from succeeding in life. All we need to do is believe. Thank you for reading. Remember to always be kind. 






























Monday, September 17, 2018

Life is simple. Eat. Sleep. Swim.

Dear readers,

Swimming has  been something we have always enjoyed as a family. In fact, my hubby, sisters, and my niece always sort of gravitated towards water, be it the ocean, sea, lake or a man made pool. Swimming has always been a wonderful experience. Apart from giving me a sense of freedom, as we all know, it is a great exercise. Swimming not only builds endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness, it also tones muscles without actually having to strain it by being weight bearing. Swimming is one of the few exercises that use mostly all of the major muscle groups.   



We recently enrolled Laksh in a group swimming class. I don't know if you guys remember, but sometime back we took him swimming for the first time and he loved it. After that, we had decided that we want Laksh to get comfy in water and probably pick up swimming as a skill early on. So, we started looking for classes online, and after a lot of research chose this one. This class is once a week for 10 weeks and has around 15 kids in each class. They offer two 30 mins classes called "Water Angels (6-19 Months)" . In these classes through songs, fun and instructional games, students learn to be comfortable in the water & learn basic water skills. As all babies are pretty young, an adult has to accompany them in the pool. 





At one point, all babies were given ducks that they had to throw into the water and then swim towards them in order to catch them. This is Laksh completely focused on the task given to him.




 Just want to share some videos (that I was able to edit to hide the faces of other kids) I took during the class.  So much water, so little time.

   

                                                                                 

With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination. 
 Michael Phelps          
                                                         















In related news, sometime back I read about this team of boys with downs syndrome that were competing along typical kids in the swimming pool. If that doesn't give us hope, then I don't know what else can. Its an amazing time to be alive and always strive to be better tomorrow than you are today. If you want to read more about these boys, please read the story here: 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/humankind/2017/03/21/swimmers-down-syndrome-find-empowerment-pool/99442832/


Leaving you guys with a couple of Laksh's swag post swim photos. Lots of love ๐Ÿ’“






























 












Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Long time coming

Dear readers,

It’s been a while since I was motivated enough to write. Life has been great. Laksh has been great.  But somehow, in all the craziness that’s life I just lost the will to write. My husband kept me going through it all by reminding me why I started this blog in the first place; to share with the world what a blessing our precious son is. And it’s for him that I write this blog and its for him that I shall strive to continue.

Laksh is one. Yes it’s been a year since God blessed us with our first born. This one year taught us so much. When Laksh turned one, I shared this post on our Instagram and Facebook page where I wrote a few lines encompassing my feelings.


This one year, I have learned so much. 
This one year, I have grown so much.
This one year. I have embraced so much.
This one year, I have loved so much.
This one year, I have felt humility.
This one year, I have felt grateful.
This one year, I have felt divinity.
This one year, I have felt complete.


Happy first birthday my precious Laksh. Thank you for making me a Mumma.





We had a pre-birthday celebration at our apartment a couple days before Laksh turned one and were lucky to have lots of loved ones come with their family. It was our first time hosting a party and I am proud to say it went well with only one adult tantrum (me) and zero baby tantrums.

                                     




On the day of his birthday, we had a cake smash photo session for him and it couldn't have gone any better. I will let the photos do the talking.










  














Things Laksh has always loved and has grown to love:


1) Daddy





2) Mommy




3) His big sisters (he loves them both but has only met one so far)





            






4) His aunts (all 0f his family actually)


             



                       








5) The beach


        

   





















6)The pool















   










7) The swings



























8) Seeing new places and meeting people



                                                           


                           






           
   

      

                  














9) Making a mess of his play area


                                




10) Standing:





                                        


                                 






Things Laksh hates:


1) Napping


2) Napping




3) Napping







Thank you taking the time to read about how Laksh's first year has been. I am going to try to be more regular with blogging. Do write in your comments what you guys would like to know and I will try to blog about that next time. Always be kind folks. It is a great time to be alive.








Let's bust some myths for October is Down syndrome awareness month

Dear readers, October is Down syndrome awareness month and in honor of Laksh and other amazing people just like him, we are having a cel...