Kay July Blog 3

July 13th was my mom’s birthday. We spent most of the day relaxing, and later, my parents went out to dinner with friends. After dinner they all came back to celebrate with ice cream and a red velvet cake!   One of Kay’s favorite songs to sing is “Happy Birthday,” which I find so funny!…

Kay July Blog 2

This year, we had a quieter Fourth of July. The extreme heat has been challenging, especially since Kay’s diabetes diagnosis, so I’ve been keeping her indoors as much as possible. We haven’t gone swimming either, as I’m concerned about her Dexcom reader falling off, which provides constant glucose readings. Although other parents have reassured me…

Kay July Blog 1

On July 2nd, we celebrated my birthday! My dad surprised me with coffee from Dutch Bros, and I was thrilled because they had brought back my favorite seasonal drink – the cookie dough freeze! Kay also helped my mom bring me my birthday card and gift. Kay loves having a task and takes pleasure in…

Kay June Blog 10

Kay and I attended our second Leaps and Bounds program at our local GiGi’s Playhouse! I volunteered for this exciting program. Unfortunately, we had to miss the second session because it was just a few days after Kay came home from the hospital, and we had a lot going on. The theme for our last…

Kay June Blog 9

We had a relaxing day at home for Father’s Day this year. Lately, we’ve been keeping things low-key, preferring to stay home to ensure we’re prepared if Kay needs extra care or if her glucose levels change drastically.   Just when I think I’m getting the hang of things, Kay always throws me a curveball!…

Kay June Blog 8

Before the end of the school year, I signed Kay up for ESY (Extended School Year). This program runs from the end of June to the end of July, differing slightly from her usual Monday-to-Thursday Pre-K schedule by running Monday through Friday, but maintaining the same duration of two hours and thirty minutes.   Kay…

Kay June Blog 7

On Thursday, June 13th, Kay had her first appointment with her endocrinologist. I eagerly anticipated this visit, hoping it would bring new opportunities, provide a wealth of knowledge, and alleviate some of my anxiety. (One can hope, right?)   I was grateful my mom could accompany us to this crucial appointment, as having an extra…

Kay June Blog 6

Kay had a follow-up appointment with her pediatrician on Tuesday. They were sympathetic about Kay’s diagnosis and emphasized that this would be a significant learning experience for all of us. I couldn’t agree more! There was no additional news from the pediatrician regarding next steps, as we are scheduled to see Kay’s endocrinologist on Thursday.…

Kay June Blog 5

On the afternoon of Monday, June 9th, Kay was finally discharged from the hospital! We were both more than ready to be home and back in our own beds. While I felt nervous, I was confident I could meet Kay’s needs, and I reassured the hospital staff that I would bring her back if anything…

Kay June Blog 4

Kay stayed in the hospital from Thursday, June 6th, until Monday, June 10th, when we were finally released late in the afternoon. It was a rough few days, and neither Kay nor I got much sleep due to the nurses and doctors frequently checking on her.   During our stay, Kay and I had two…

Kay June Blog 3

Kay and I had a lot of plans last weekend, none of which involved a hospital stay! On Thursday, June 6th, Kay had a pediatrician appointment. I had scheduled it due to a persistent rash on Kay that over-the-counter creams couldn’t alleviate. Given that she had recently been on medication for an ear infection, a…

Kay June Blog 2

Kay had the wonderful opportunity to meet her great Aunt Marylin, her second cousin Tavis for the first time, and reunite with her second Cousin Kenny! Aunt Marylin was visiting her two sons, Kenny and Tavis, and on her way back home, they decided to stop by for a quick visit. Although brief, any time…

Kay June Blog 1

I love that GiGi’s Playhouse offers open play every Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Families can drop in and enjoy free playtime with everyone. Kay and I decided to spend our morning there, hanging out with our friends. As a mom, it’s wonderful to have a safe place where our kids can play…

Kay May Blog 10

Another new program launched at our GiGi’s Playhouse this past Thursday, and I’m thrilled to be one of the volunteers! The program, called Leaps and Bounds, promotes social, emotional, and motor skills development. Children engage in fun activities that require movement and interaction with their environment.   We practiced standing in line and waiting for…

Kay May Blog 9

I know I write about GiGi’s Playhouse a lot, but I truly cannot say enough great things about it! I’m so grateful to have a place for Kay and her peers to play and hang out. The other day, Kay and I spent the entire morning at GiGi’s, enjoying time with friends. It’s wonderful to…

Kay May Blog 8

We spent Memorial Day swimming and basking in the sun with my parents. It was the perfect, relaxing day, and I’m grateful for moments like these while remembering the sacrifices made for us to have this day and its significance.   Kay loves the pool and swimming, though I’ve had trouble finding a floatie or…

Kay May Blog 7

As Kay’s first school year comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the journey. When I took Kay to her first day of Pre-K back in January, I was worried. I feared that the other kids might not treat her as one of their own because Kay is a bit different. She doesn’t…

Kay May Blog 6

Recently we celebrated my dad’s birthday. My parents went out for dinner, and then we continued the celebration at home with cake and ice cream. Kay loves birthday celebrations, especially because “Happy Birthday” is one of her favorite songs to sing!   The rest of the night was spent relaxing at home together. Kay had…

Kay May Blog 5

This Mother’s Day brought a unique twist for my mom and me as we found ourselves spending most of it with Kay, navigating airports and airplanes from Oregon back to Las Vegas!   For this trip, I decided to tap into available resources to ensure a smoother journey. A friend mentioned TSA Cares, a program…

Kay May Blog 4

The DSP Summit 2024 was just as memorable and extraordinary as ever!   Despite Kay’s initial lack of enthusiasm upon arrival, she truly shone after lunch, revealing her outgoing and cheerful self.   Kay and I seized the chance to have a few photos taken by the talented photographer capturing the Summit’s remarkable moments. I’m…

Kay May Blog 3

Kay, my mother, and I recently embarked on a brief but memorable trip to Oregon! Though our time there flew by, we packed it with loads of fun.   Our journey began with a flight on a Thursday, though Kay, being a tired toddler, made it a bit challenging with her discomfort from the change…

Kay May Blog 2

Sunday rolled around again, marking another eagerly anticipated LMNOP class for Kay and me! Our visits to GiGi’s Playhouse are always a highlight, with a plethora of activities to explore, and the promise of even more as new programs are introduced.   This session, our focus was on celebrating moms ahead of Mother’s Day, delving…

Kay May Blog 1

Kay absolutely loves her time on the T-Ball field, and with the season winding down, she’ll surely miss it. Just two more games left, and then we’ll have to wait until next year rolls around for more fun. Luckily, the timing of T-Ball season couldn’t be better, as our weather heats up, making it tough…

Kay April Blog 10

GiGi’s Playhouse National has just launched an exciting contest inviting submissions of personal stories about the significance of Down Syndrome. The prize includes both cash and a donation to your local GiGi’s Playhouse chapter – an opportunity too good to miss! While the winner has yet to be revealed, I couldn’t resist the chance to…

Kay April Blog 9

Another Saturday means another afternoon of T-Ball excitement for Kay! As the eight-week season progresses, I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness at the thought of it coming to an end. But seeing Kay’s infectious smile, hearing her laughter, and witnessing her sheer joy on the field reaffirms that signing her up was…

Kay April Blog 8

Kay and I had a wonderful time at a family engagement event organized by her school, this time featuring “Breakfast and Books.” These events are such a testament to the care and commitment that Kay’s school has not only for their students but also for their families.   The breakfast spread was impressive, complete with…

Kay April Blog 7

Kay and I recently attended an event called “A Little Extra PT,” hosted by Down Syndrome Connections, a non-profit serving our community. We’re fortunate to have not just one, but three outstanding organizations dedicated to supporting individuals with Down Syndrome.   One of the standout features of Down Syndrome Connections is their diverse range of…

Kay April Blog 6

Kay and I attended our second LMNOP session at GiGi’s Playhouse! I appreciate how each session brings something new, keeping both kids and parents engaged and eagerly anticipating what’s in store for the next week.   This session’s focus was on the beloved book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” – a personal favorite of mine! Regardless…

Kay April Blog 5

My parents organized a street potluck with some of our neighbors from around the area. Dad smoked pulled pork while Mom prepared a variety of sides. We set up tables and chairs, and as our neighbors arrived, they pitched in, helping arrange seating and placing dishes on the table.   More neighbors soon joined in,…

Kay April Blog 4

This weekend overflowed with activities! From sports, to playtime, classes with friends, and a delightful dinner gathering with loved ones.   Our family and friends feast featured two varieties of mouthwatering smoked ribs expertly crafted by my dad, complemented by an array of delicious sides prepared by my mom. It was heartening to share these…

Kay April Blog 3

Kay and I had the pleasure of joining our first-ever LMNOP class at GiGi’s Playhouse since its opening, alongside our friends!   LMNOP, short for Language Music N’ Our Peeps, is a dynamic program designed to facilitate parent-child learning through basic sign language and other communication methods, all set to the backdrop of music and…

Kay April Blog 2

This weekend marked a significant milestone for Kay as she participated in her very first t-ball game! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and I’m immensely grateful for organizations like Miracle League that offer Kay the chance to engage in enjoyable activities alongside her peers.   The sheer delight on Kay’s face upon arriving…

Kay April Blog 1

Kay, my boyfriend, and I decided to dedicate a day to pure enjoyment and bonding! It had been a while since Kay had visited Wally Wombats, so I thought it was time to let her revel in the fun. Wally Wombats holds a special place in both our hearts as it’s a haven where Kay…

Kay March Blog 10

March hasn’t been too kind to our T-Ball plans! Despite having one event and two games scheduled this month, all of them had to be postponed because of the weather. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that April will bring us better luck and we can finally kick off the T-Ball season!   Last Sunday…

Kay March Blog 9

Kay’s recent visit to her ENT for her routine 6-month check in was reassuring. Given the smaller ear canals often associated with Down Syndrome, individuals like Kay are more prone to ear infections, along with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. At just a year old, Kay underwent surgery to address her enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which…

Kay March Blog 8

Sunday marked the 3rd annual GiGi’s Playhouse GiGi Fit Acceptance Challenge, a vibrant event featuring a 5k Fun Run, a 1-mile inspirational walk, and a Kids Dash for Down Syndrome.   Each year, I eagerly anticipate this wonderful occasion. It’s a chance to wear playful attire like tutus and whimsical socks, along with shirts bearing…

Kay March Blog 7

Saturday was supposed to be Kay’s debut T-Ball game, an event eagerly anticipated by both of us. However, Mother Nature had different plans, leading the league to call off the game due to inclement weather. While disappointed by the cancellation, I agreed that it was better for the kids not to endure unpleasant conditions on…

Kay March Blog 6

Last Friday, Kay’s school organized a family engagement event for the Pre-K students. Since Kay doesn’t usually have classes on Fridays, these special activities are a treat for her from time to time. The focus of last week’s gathering was a hands-on pizza-making session!   Pizza happens to be Kay’s absolute favorite food, and she…

Kay March Blog 5

On Thursday, March 21st, we celebrated World Down Syndrome Day! Each year, I find myself deeply thankful for the opportunity to honor this remarkable day because of Kay. It’s a time when we rally our loved ones to sport silly or mismatched socks, symbolizing chromosomes, in celebration.   The significance of socks in representing chromosomes…

Kay March Blog 4

Kay’s weekly therapy sessions have transitioned from Friday afternoons to Tuesday afternoons, a change I believe will greatly benefit us. By tackling therapy early in the week and maintaining the same schedule, it feels like a seamless transition.   Witnessing Kay’s growing independence has been a remarkable experience. As she confidently walks hand in hand…

Kay March Blog 3

Excitement fills the air as Kay prepares to embark on her T-Ball journey with The Angels. From the thrill of picking up her jersey and hat to envisioning her walk-out song, every moment is a testament to her eagerness to hit the field.   Kay and I recently had the joy of picking up her…

Kay March Blog 2

On Saturday, March 9th, a momentous occasion unfolded as Las Vegas GiGi’s Playhouse opened its doors! This achievement was made possible by our incredible community, whose unwavering support has been instrumental since the project’s inception in 2019, long before Kay came into the world. Spearheaded by a group of determined mothers, undeterred even by the…

Kay March Blog 1

This Sunday, Kay and I had a blast attending the 6th birthday party of one of her friends at Chuck E. Cheese! It had been ages since my last visit, and things were a bit different, but Kay and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Kay dove into games, even taking a shot at a driving game,…

Kay Feb Blog 9

Kay recently underwent another hearing test through Child Find, an organization I highly appreciate for its abundant resources and useful tools. Typically, Kay meets with her audiologist every six months. During these sessions, the audiologist ensures her Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) is in optimal condition, making any necessary updates to maintain its effectiveness. Following…

Kay Feb Blog 8

Kay’s love for school remains unwavering, evident in her newfound independence as she confidently strides into the entrance without even a backward glance when I drop her off.   Receiving spontaneous pictures from her teacher is always a highlight for me. These snapshots capture Kay in various scenarios, whether it’s on the playground or in…

Kay Feb Blog 7

Taking advantage of Kay’s day off from school for President’s Day, we decided to embrace the beautiful weather and head to the park for some fun. As we arrived, it became apparent that we weren’t the only ones capitalizing on the day off and favorable conditions to enjoy the park.   Kay’s enthusiasm for the…

Kay Feb Blog 6

Kay recently had the pleasure of meeting her second cousin, Kenny! We seized the opportunity for a brief visit with my cousin, who managed to squeeze in a short trip to Las Vegas. It had been a few years since I last saw him, and he hadn’t yet met Kay, so I’m thrilled that he…

Kay Feb Blog 5

Last Saturday, my parents, Kay, and I had the pleasure of attending the 2024 Super Fest organized by the Matthew Foundation. Super Fest is a unique Football, Cheer, and Sideline Reporting Camp that embraces inclusivity for individuals of all abilities – a truly remarkable initiative!   Kay had the opportunity to step into the world…

Kay Feb Blog 4

One valuable lesson I’ve grasped is that there’s often a purpose behind every occurrence, even when it’s something you’d rather avoid.   In a twist of fate, just within a week of showcasing my new car in the previous blog, an unexpected incident unfolded. While Kay and I hurried into a store, it appears that…

Kay Feb Blog 3

Exciting news on the horizon – Kay and I have a new set of wheels! The car I purchased brand new in 2016 was starting to feel a bit snug for both Kay and me, prompting the decision to explore our options.   While our initial plan was just to browse through cars, as many…

Kay Feb Blog 2

This weekend brought a delightful experience as Kay, my parents, and I indulged in a pancake breakfast with princesses, courtesy of the annual event organized by Down Syndrome Connections, a local organization dedicated to supporting individuals with Down syndrome.   It’s heartening to have various organizations providing opportunities for our kids to attend such fantastic…

Kay Feb Blog 1

Kay recently had her routine 6th-month checkup with her audiologist. Living with severe hearing loss in her right ear since birth, Kay relies on a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA), a headband equipped with a bone conduction hearing device that significantly improves her ability to hear.   These checkups are crucial to ensure the proper…

Kay Jan Blog 10

Saturday night brought a delightful surprise for Kay and me as we attended a friend’s birthday party together. Typically, Kay’s bedtime is around 7:00 pm, but the party conveniently started at the same time, giving us the chance to join in on the festivities. Kay, dressed in her pajamas, was all set for a night…

Kay Jan Blog 9

After a couple of months filled with holiday festivities, visitors, and a series of unavoidable disruptions, Kay and I finally had the opportunity to attend music class on Saturday. Our usual weekly routine had been interrupted, but we were eager to get back to the familiar and enjoyable activity.   Despite the recent chaos, music…

Kay Jan Blog 8

On Friday, Kay returned to her weekly therapy session, and there was a noticeable improvement in her overall well-being. Encouraged by this positive shift, I decided it was worth giving the sessions a try and seeing how things unfolded.   Recognizing that the therapy might not be as productive given Kay’s recent recovery from a…

Kay Jan Blog 7

Life with Kay is a rollercoaster of events. There are days filled with appointments and exciting moments, while other times it’s pleasantly uneventful.   This month, however, has been far from uneventful. It kicked off with Kay starting preschool, exposing her to a whole new world of germs. Little did we know that this month…

Kay Jan Blog 6

I can hardly contain my excitement—Netflix just released a new season of “Love On The Spectrum”! If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend giving it a go.   This remarkable show delves into the world of dating while being on the Autism spectrum, offering a unique perspective from every member of the family.…

Kay Jan Blog 5

January has been quite a whirlwind, marked by unexpected events that have kept us on our toes. It feels like we’re getting all the challenges out of the way early in the month, and I’m optimistic that the rest of the year will bring brighter moments.   Unfortunately, our household wasn’t spared from the chaos.…

Kay Jan Blog 4

Life has a funny way of showing you signs, and on that fateful Saturday, January 6th, it became abundantly clear. As Kay and I headed to her beloved music class, an unexpected detour led us down a path we never anticipated. Little did I know, this deviation would soon become a pivotal moment in our…

Kay Jan Blog 3

Navigating Kay’s annual blood work has always been a challenging ordeal. It’s a heart-wrenching experience to witness your child in distress, especially when the objective is essential for her well-being. My search to find proficient lab technicians who can perform the procedure efficiently and with minimal discomfort for Kay has been ongoing. The last thing…

Kay Jan Blog 2

Navigating Kay’s yearly eye exam, especially with her having Down Syndrome, has always been a significant part of our routine since she was merely a year old. This commitment stems from the increased health risks she faces, including potential eyesight issues.   As Kay matures, these appointments’ present new challenges. It’s a tough balance—trying to…

Kay Jan Blog 1

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024: Today marked a significant milestone for our family – Kay’s first day of preschool! As we approached the school, I could sense her mixed emotions. While excitement bubbled within her, there was a hint of apprehension as well.   Upon reaching the cafeteria, where her teacher and new friends awaited, Kay’s…

Kay Dec Blog 10

2023’s New Year’s Eve unfolded as a tranquil and intimate affair. Our agenda was simple: enjoy the comforts of our home, indulge in delicious snacks, and immerse ourselves in a movie marathon.   Initially, I pondered with the idea of allowing Kay to stay up until midnight. However, as the evening progressed, fatigue began to…

Kay Dec Blog 9

Kay’s third birthday on December 30th was a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of time, especially considering how swiftly it has passed since Kay entered our lives. Ever since her spirited entrance into this world, Kay has consistently showcased resilience and strength, leaving me perpetually amazed.   Our morning began with a trip to…

Kay Dec Blog 8

Kay’s Christmas was brimming with delightful activities! On the Friday preceding Christmas Eve, Kay and I briefly joined my dad at his union’s Christmas party. Kay was excited that she had another chance to see Santa. After sharing her Christmas wishes with him, she chose a toy to bring home. Her selection? A cuddly Bluey…

Kay Dec Blog 7

In December, Kay completed her final month of therapies with Nevada Early Intervention Services. As she turns three on December 30th, she’ll transition out of this remarkable program that has been a cornerstone since her birth.   We’ve been fortunate to have some of these therapists by our side since Kay’s newborn days. Their kindness…

Kay Dec Blog 6

Recently, I was watching one of my favorite Christmas movies, called “The Family Stone.”   In a poignant scene, a son introduces his girlfriend to the family during Christmas. As they gather around the dinner table, the conversation takes an unexpected turn when the topic of one son being gay arises. The mom, in a…

Kay Dec Blog 5

We celebrated Kay’s third birthday a bit early on Saturday, December 16th. Her birthday celebration was filled with friends, laughter, and a special surprise guest – Elsa! Since Kay was about a year old, Kay has adored the movie Frozen, making it the perfect theme for her birthday party this year.   The joy on…

Kay Dec Blog 4

Last month, Kay underwent an evaluation with Child Find, a program that assists in placing children with diverse abilities in appropriate school settings. Child Find extends its services to children aged three or older, even those not yet enrolled in school. Due to Kay being born with Down Syndrome, she qualified for Early Intervention Services.…

Kay Dec Blog 3

Kay has had a packed holiday season so far! On Saturday, December 9th, Kay got to see Santa again! My parents and I took Kay to a local coffee shop called Dig It! Coffee Co. I first learned about Dig It when Kay was a year old. I can’t recall exactly how I discovered it,…

Kay Dec Blog 2

On Saturday, December 2nd, Kay, and I joined my boyfriend, Spencer, and his son, Ethan, to witness a delightful Christmas parade! Kay had a blast, reveling in the diverse characters and lively dancing. The organizers even added a touch of magic with fake snow, although Kay seemed a bit uncertain about it. Kay’s affection for…

Kay Dec Blog 1

December. Can you believe it’s already December? This year has truly flown by! Kay has resumed her weekly therapies! We took a little break previously, and now Kay is back at it, engaging in Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy every week. You should see the enthusiasm with which Kay walks into the building…

Kay Post 10

On Sunday, November 26th, my mom, and I had the pleasure of attending the 35th annual Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada’s Festival of Trees and Lights gala! Being able to attend such an amazing event this year, while being a board member of this organization, made everything even more special!   The evening was…

Kay Post 9

Being a board member of the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada has been such an eye-opening experience these last few months. I haven’t been a board member for long, but it’s really helped open my eyes even more than they already were. My role as a board member of DSOSN includes overseeing the welcoming…

Kay Post 8

Why do we advocate? That’s such a broad question. You’ll come to find that I write about advocating and the importance of it quite frequently. We advocate to ensure that our kids can live a quality, happy life that they deserve – a life like yours and mine. We advocate so that those with different…

Kay Post 7

Thanksgiving 2023 proved to be an eventful affair! Kay, my parents, my boyfriend, Spencer, and I gathered for lunch at my parents’ house, where a delicious spread awaited us-smoked brisket, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, and mashed potatoes. Kay, being a somewhat selective eater, stuck to mashed potatoes and rolls. Toddlers, right? Lol. After enjoying…

Kay Post 6

On November 14th, Kay had her meeting with Child Find, an organization dedicated to supporting children aged 3-5 with disabilities. Their mission is to assess these youngsters and ensure they are placed in an optimal environment for success in school. Kay and I are collaborating with Child Find to set everything up for Preschool! The…

Kay Post 5

If there’s anything that Kay loves, it’s playing with her friends! Kay adores kids in general and thoroughly enjoys playdates and activities that involve seeing her friends! Recently, Kay went to Wally Wombats, which is a super cool indoor playground for younger kids where they can safely run around and play with friends and other…

Kay Post 4

On October 27th, my mom and I had the privilege of attending the inaugural GiGi’s Playhouse Be Our Beginning Gala. The night was filled with delectable food, delightful entertainment, heartwarming stories, a silent auction, and exciting announcements about the future of GiGi’s Playhouse in Las Vegas. Although Kay was unable to attend, her picture served…

Kay Post 3

What is the reality of parenting a child with special needs? It involves hearing remarks like, “There’s something going on in there. I can tell!” when someone observes your child. It means attending numerous specialist appointments being asked by the doctor to confirm that your child has Down syndrome, and when you confirm that they…

Kay Post 2

Becoming a first-time mother is a journey filled with challenges and unexpected twists, especially when faced with medical complexities and the ongoing pandemic. Navigating the web of doctors, specialists, and the transformations in your own body to welcome a new life can be incredibly stressful. My own experience of pregnancy, amidst the lockdowns and heightened…

Kay Post 1

Hello, I’m Jessica, and I’m Kay’s mother. Welcome to Kay’s world! Here, you’ll get to know Kay and her family as time goes on. Kay is 2 ½ years old and was born with Down Syndrome. When I first learned of Kay’s diagnosis during my pregnancy, it left me in shock, filled with fear, nervousness,…