Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and yes I realize this post is about 17 days past due. But life gets crazy, and that’s what its been like around here, just pure fu@#&*g chaos. But it’s here now, so please read, enjoy and then share, so others can enjoy it too!

So anywhooo..

We have several fun things going on, which, please feel free to get involved in. We love having new friends and old friends, and sometimes friends contact us and say hi.

Actually, we just like having friends in general.

 

 

We’re currently putting a massive amount of our free time into fundraising for the Down Syndrome Association of Miami, in hopes of reaching our goal to donate $2,000 to the Miracle Walk happening in Coral Gables, FL on November 3rd. Our link for more information is listed below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/downsyndromeawarenessfundraiser

 

 

We’re also inviting local members of our community, family, and friends to sign up for the Miracle Walk and to join our team. Logan’s Loud Loonies! You can sign up directly on the DSAOM website and choose our team.

OR!

You can buy tickets on our Eventbrite page, linked through our Facebook. Join our team, and the day of the walk you receive an official team t-shirt (as well as the official walk t-shirt), and the chance to add to our donation goal. Our link for more information is listed below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/336893087097040/

 

Anddddd Finally…

the bake sale!

In an extra attempt to really reach our donation goal we will be selling mom’s home-baked, with real love and real ingredients cakes and cheesecakes.

The proceeds of each cake will be put towards our GoFundMe goals!

Current favorite flavors:

Golden Oreo Funfetti cheesecake with homemade whipped topping
Dulce de Leche topped brown sugar cheesecake with Oreo crust
Jack Daniels Tennesee Honey with a buttery graham cracker crust
White Chocolate Raspberry with homemade whipped topping and a buttery graham cracker crust
Plain cheesecake with homemade strawberry topping and a buttery graham cracker crust

We are also accepting custom flavor requests, and offer size variations in: 4″, 6″, or 11″ options!

Simply Text (305) 490-9461 or email us jroque810@gmail.com

with your name and cake request for more information!

Don’t be shy about asking for details on how to get involved, and don’t pass on the chance of meeting this beautiful soul, and getting involved in our beautiful community.

Join us, and lets spread kindness around like confetti….

 

♥JG

When I Met You…

When I Met You…

When I first met you, I had no idea the impact you would have on my life. I mean we were literally babies. We don’t even look, speak, nor act like the individuals we used to be. We both turned 31 years this year (being as we’re only 2 weeks apart) and we met when we were about 15 years old.

After the math?

I’ve known you for more than half my short life.

img_4652.jpg

Sheesus! Who are these people?!

The only thing I can say is that if I knew then, what I know now… I would have done sooo many things differently. And yet, I still feel like maybe I wouldn’t change a thing. We’ve been through so much over the last sixteen years.

But let’s start at the beginning:

We met at the PetShop (and it’s pronounced just like that, all in one word). If you know the Roque girls, and you also know the PetShop, you my friend know of some hella crazy times.

So… boy gets arrested, boy does community service with the policemen. Policeman sees he’s a good kid and just needs a little guidance, offers him a job at the PetShop.

Yep, that policeman was my dad. So yeah, I guess you could say my dad introduced us. Although, I don’t think any of us understood the impact of those small events until now, years later. So he got a job at the Petshop, and it just so happens that where we spent the majority of our time. With our mom, playing with the pets and stealing the money out the cash box to spend at the dollar store or salon down in the same shopping center. We are girls, and we were bored.

Over the years we’ve cultivated a friendship that would surpass anything. We’ve been through extreme highs and extreme lows — when we were nothing but friends. I’ve lost count of the number of times over the years that my best friend (now my husband) has saved my ass. From being belligerently drunk, and from the brinks of suicide, from cocaine highs that lasted weeks at a time, and depression lows that would keep buried for weeks. He’s sat with me through hyperventilating panic attacks as my parents rushed me to the ER, and held my hand every second we welcomed our two sons into the world.

 

He knows me better than I know me.

He knows that I can be funny, cute and charming — but put one toe out of line and I’ll cut your jugular motherf*cker.

And don’t think that I won’t.

He knows each of the me’s I have created over the years, and now? When I’m just simple me, we can laugh at all of my previous antics. And we don’t just get to reminisce on small moments, we can reminisce on everything because he has been there for me through it all. 

And now? I can’t picture doing this crazy thing called parenthood with anyone else.

He’s my person.

 

 

Sorry for our absence…

Sorry for our absence…

Things have been like super hella crazy around here, and thus our site has been eerily silent. I don’t even know where to begin to describe what our life has been like for the past two months. Sooooo much has happened that it’s impossible to think of just where to start. We hit milestones, we went through extreme lows, and then we came out the other end better people.

The biggest milestone?

Logan turned One.

Over the last few months, he’s grown and learned so much, and yet I still feel like with him time stands still, and he’s going to be my baby forever. The way he crawls all over the house makes me so proud, I laugh when my mom calls him “una cucaracha mala”. He can now come up to a tall knee position and is crushing every obstacle course Diana builds for him. We’ve discovered how to bang maracas together, and honestly,  it is the most magical thing I’ve ever seen.

Over the last few months, we’ve also discovered so many new things such as bathtubs, the beach, and plenty of new public outings like aquariums and brunches. We’ve learned how to say da da da, to hold our own bottle, we’ve made so many new friends, and we’re beginning to experiment with soft solids.

Making huge progress.

In so many ways I feel like each day is the same and we are getting nowhere. Still no clapping, still no waving, still no walking. But then I think of how far he has come, how he can now respond to simple words such as “up” and “come”, how he loves playing with his brother, how he can successfully bang items together… and don’t even get me started on his feeding accomplishments!

The more days go by, the prouder I become of my little wolverine. He’s accomplished so much, and likewise given me so much to learn and grow from. He’s quite possibly the best decision I have ever made, and the most fun I have ever had.

Mom

Speech Therapy Evaluation

Speech Therapy Evaluation

I feel like lately, it’s just one doctor, and one evaluation, and another doctor, and another evaluation… referrals, prescriptions, and doctor visits. Round and round we go. I’m drowning in them. But that’s what this stage of my life is going to be like, right? I knew to expect this and I knew that at this stage, I would be dedicating myself to this sole purpose. For his betterment, because at the end of the day, when you’re a mom, everything you do is for your kids, and to put them forward.

Speech therapy, but my kid doesn’t even speak? I didn’t get it? I didn’t understand how he could already have a delay in an area I didn’t even know to begin practicing. But then I think back to Evan, and what that was like. How he communicated with me at this stage, and the radical difference I see in the development of both my sons.

Logan turns 1 at the end of this month, and there are many areas within his communication skills that he’s falling behind on. There was so much information I absorbed in the 60 minutes that Logan was evaluated.

At first, came the usual onslaught of questions about Logan, from pre-birth to birth, to first months… and so on until where we are today. We’ve been working hard with Logan’s ITDS to have him combine consonant syllable sounds repeatedly, for months, and so far we have no success.

And yes, we know how to tell what Logan wants when he wants it because we know how to distinguish his cry, but that’s about it. Otherwise, his communication skills with us are very minimal or like nil to none.

But I didn’t think anything of this. Why? Sometimes, I forget Logan is turning one because his milestones are telling me my baby is 6 or 7mo. old. He’s just learned to crawl, were just beginning to explore solids, and we can finally sit unassisted on our own. But we still have a long way to go in terms of keeping up with the delay.

He has begun to have exploratory skills in the 6-9mo. levels. However, in his own range, he scored very minimal scattered skills. There are certain areas and skills where he does have full competency, like in the 0-3mo. range.

Well, thank god!

But ask me if Logan can point out his momma?

-Nope.

Or does he understand simple words?

-Nope.

He also has difficulty bringing his arms together repeatedly at mid-line. In other words, no matter how hard we practice, he still doesn’t clap. And listen, I practice that clap…. every. day.

Every. Damn. Day.

We continue to practice all kinds of skills daily, as we incorporate books, photos, and images to help him start recognizing the language. We encourage hand signals like “up” and “bye-bye”, and what’s most important is that we continue to work as a unit, making sure Logan gets the daily stimulation he needs.

But, hey, were working on it! And eventually, as with all things, he will get there.

And that’s the most important thing that I have to keep reminding myself, and telling myself… repeatedly.

He will get there.

All things in life are a phase, and this too shall pass.

After our evaluation, the therapist is suggesting we go full steam ahead and do 30 minute sessions, 3x a week.

We are currently doing PT & OT for a combined total of 3 hours a week, with our latest recommendations for feeding and speech, we’ll be doubling that number to 6 hours a week.

But this is for him, his betterment, and his benefit, and really there isn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.

 

-JG

 

 

Feeding Therapy Evaluation

Feeding Therapy Evaluation

I like to joke that you would never guess Logan ate from a feeding tube for the first 5 days of his life. He’s a chunky monkey that likes to eat everything and anything you put in front of him. And if you’re eating something, you best believe, that yep you’re going to learn to share! So naturally, when feeding therapy was suggested, I was a little confused?

 

This fat guy?

He’s a champ at taking down his bottles lightning fast, which has come to require that we cut open the nipples (old Cuban traditions) — so that he can huff down the liquid mud we make his formula into. He’s basically drinking his oatmeal out of a bottle.

We even, maybe occasionally put his compota’s in there as well.

Cuban traditions die hard.

He also eats a whole bowl of Abuela Milly’s homemade purees, which contains all kinds of delicious goodness. Beans, meat, chicken, potatoes, rice, vegetables, spinach… you name it, he eats it.

Apparently, cutting the nipples is frowned upon by health professionals, and it’s time I let Logan learn to play with his food. Yes, it’s great that he eats well, and is of a healthy weight. But no, there are certain milestones he should be meeting which he is not. Primarily, we need to build the strength of the muscles within his jaw and cheeks, to give him the correct stamina he needs to chew. Right now, he’s a bit lax in that department.

Ask me if Logan can hold his bottle?

-Nope.

Can he chew soft solids?

-Nope.

Does he chew on puff cereal or children’s teething cookies?

-Nope.

-Can he drink thin liquids from a bottle?

-Again, nope.

These were things which were worrisome, but I didn’t think too much on. After his Feeding Therapy Evaluation, though, there are a few changes we’ll need to start making to his eating routine. Starting with new bottles, {eye roll here}. Ask me how many times I’ve heard this schpeel lol

The recommendation: we’ll be doing feeding therapy 2x for 45 minutes sessions.

 

Follow along to get updates on how he does!

An Introduction by Ordinary Means…

An Introduction by Ordinary Means…

Hello, and welcome to our page!

We’re the Galdamez Crew.

Our family of five consists of Mom, Dad, Evan, Logan, and Cooper (my bonus baby pictured below).

Allow me to introduce, from left to right:

Evan, Avery, Logan, and Dominic.

The funny part is, this all began with one big, OOPS!

I come from a large, predominantly strong (like insanely strong and confident) female lead family, being I’m one of four sisters. If you know one of us, you know all of us (that’s just how it works in this pack). About 4 years ago, there was one missed contraceptive pill, and a month later the doctor announced: SURPRISE! You’re having a baby!

Come again now? 

9 crazy months later, we welcomed our first boy into the Roque clan, as Evan made his arrival in September of 2015. 3 short months later, Dominic would grace us with his presence, being the miracle baby of the family. Coopie arrived just in time for Evan’s first birthday, before Avery made her arrival later that December.

Once you pop, you just don’t stop. 

I guess you can say I popped the lid on that one. Because now? We got these kids coming out of everywhere, and we’re quickly becoming outnumbered.

We welcomed Logan 2 years later, and throw in our 3 other nieces — the count is where now??

8 grandkids for Abuela and Abuelo… 

Throw in the fact that were not done procreating yet…

And our mom might not survive these multiplying kids

I come from a big family

That’s an understatement, it’s only getting bigger.

Add to that, these crazy kids experience everything together and get into all kinds of trouble together. Most of the time, they don’t realize that they’re not actually brothers and sisters, and that “yes you need to go to your own home little girl” and “no you’re not coming to my house today”. At “Abuela’s Day Care” there are three toddlers and one infant on any given weekday.

They tend to do aalloottttttt of crazy shenanigans together, and it’s always the most fun they’ve ever had. The chaos that unfolds daily at our home and on our combined adventures is nothing short of hilarious. As “work from home” mom’s we spend half the time laughing at their conversations and the crazy adventures they get into; and the other half ripping our hairs out trying to decide who to punish first — and honestly speaking, its usually Avery, (she’s the little firecracker!)

la inventora de todo los mal ideas

But at the end of the day, we wouldn’t have it any other way. They love each other in the same way I love each of my sisters. The relationship dynamics between them are eerily like our own relationships. Best of all? We get to watch them grow into miniature versions of ourselves, and we get to partake in all the fun of our childhoods — all over again, but this time with our own kids. We still feel like kids ourselves most of the time.

It’s both the most work we’ve ever done, and the best of times we’ve ever had.

#boymom

 

♥JessG.