Life with a little something extra…

So close…

Nathan is SOO close to walking independently.  He is still not sure of his steps and balance, but he is letting go of furniture and hands and attempting to walk across the room.  This is, of course, terrifying for Erik and I, but we are SO excited!  We have waited so long to see him walk and I can’t believe that finally that dream is coming to fruition.  Going to PT for the past 2 and 1/2 years has definitely helped, and I am so thankful for both of our wonderful PT’s we have had…both named Jessica!  All of his therapists are so encouraging and have been trying to help him in all aspects of development, but I know they are all extremely excited that he’s so close to walking.

Only a few months ago he would barely even hold our hands and take steps.  Now, with holding only one hand (very loosely) he is going everywhere.  It is amazing how much progress he has made.  And you can see in his eyes how determined he is, when only a few months ago he hated anything to do with using his legs to walk.  He’ll pull himself into a stand on any piece of furniture and just takes off.  Thank goodness he has enough of a reflex to put his hands down when he falls, because he’s been doing that a lot  🙂  But even when he goes down, he crawls right back over to something stationary and starts all over again.  It is amazing to witness.

Unfortunately, without uploading to YouTube and going through a million steps, I can’t get the videos of him walking on here.  They are on my Facebook page, so make sure to visit to see them.  And of course I have no pictures of him standing/walking, but I promise I will get some and share them on the blog.

Such a great milestone and I can’t wait to celebrate when he finally chooses walking over crawling!


Has it really been that long?

The last post I wrote was at Easter time….EASTER!!  Where the heck have I been and why have I neglected this blog?  I love sharing things about Nathan with all of you, and I am not sure what happened.  I would love to promise that I will be a better blogger, but I can’t do that….I know how easily other things take over my life.

Wow, Nathan has really grown up since I last posted.  Facebook and Instagram are typically where I post new photos and videos, so at least I haven’t totally slacked off on sharing his accomplishments 🙂



IMG_0883For starters, Nathan turned 3 in May.  We had a party with pancakes (his favorite) and a bunch of family.  It was really nice and Nathan got a lot of cool things, like a car and water table.

IMG_0946At the end of May, Nathan became a cousin for the first time.  Here he is being a big boy and holding his cousin, Carter Paul.  They are both so cute together and Nathan tries to get Carter to smile all the time.  Other than that, he’s not too interested, but does get jealous when Grammy and Pop are paying attention to Carter and not him 🙂

IMG_0896We recently found out that Nathan will once again be part of the Times Square video for the annual NYC Buddy Walk on September 21st.  The picture above is the one that was chosen and we can’t wait to see him on the big screen again.  It was so great to gather with fellow Ds families and our own family and friends to enjoy this event last year.  If you’d like to join us for the walk, please click here and join Team Nuts about Nathan!  If you’re not able to join us on that day, please consider donating to the National Down Syndrome Society, which is a wonderful organization that works for and with people with Ds.  Our goal is to raise $1000.00.  We have raised $275 so far!!

As August comes to an end, Nathan and I are enjoying our final week together before I return to school next Thursday.  As much as I will miss him, I do look forward to going back and getting back into our usual routine.  What can I say?  I am a creature of habit.  Nathan will also love seeing his babysitter again and playing with his friend at her house.  He will also be going to a Montessori school three mornings a week starting the second week in September.  We are so excited and hope that he does well there.  We chose a Montessori school because of the way they run the classroom and the learning process and we feel he will benefit from that.  I will post pictures and updates as we get into that new routine.

I hope everyone’s summer has been great and I can’t believe September is almost here!  Good thing that fall is my favorite season 🙂





Easter Time

Easter time came and went so quickly this year.

We dyed eggs on Saturday, and naturally, we used the Sesame Street kit.  The colors actually came out beautiful and Nathan had a great time putting stickers on the eggs.  We also tried the method that I saw on Pinterest of putting an egg in a whisk so he could help color them without breaking/dropping any.  It really worked!

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We were lucky to be able to spend time with my family on Saturday and then headed to Long Island on Sunday.  After going to church, we went back to my in-laws for the remainder of the day and had a great time.  Dinner was delicious and dessert was great, too.

Nathan looked especially adorable in his button down shirt and khakis.


We got some pictures with Daddy and Mommy, too…



Easter day also happened to be our 6th wedding anniversary.  So after all of the festivities, we headed to Danford’s in Port Jefferson to celebrate.  It was a beautiful hotel and we enjoyed relaxing and spending time alone.  On Monday we walked around the village and also went to the outlets.  It was a beautiful day to walk around.

Erik and I ate at a great place in Port Jefferson called Toast.  We had some amazing omelettes and hash browns.



Back to the grind now after so many wonderful days off.  Nathan is enjoying being with his friends at the babysitters.  We are getting back to our regular crazy routine.  Life is good.  So many new and exciting things fast approaching and I am looking forward to all of them!

Time for a break

After losing my February break due to Sandy, these 10 days off were much needed.  I have been looking forward to spending quality time with Nathan and doing some fun things.  The weather hasn’t been the best, and it is still pretty cold outside, but I am determined to enjoy my spring break.

The week started off with Nathan having a low-grade fever, so naturally I began to panic and thought for sure that this would mean he would be sick the whole week.  After spending the last half of my previous break in the hospital with him, this was the last thing we needed.  Luckily, the fever disappeared after one day and we have been able to enjoy the time.

Sunday was spent relaxing and spending some time with Aunt Heather, whose birthday is coming up.  Monday and Tuesday had some shopping involved, mostly just for things I have been meaning to buy that I haven’t had a chance to get.  One thing that I am very excited about is a great closet organizer I found at Target that has made the bottom of my closet SO much better.  Yes, little things like that excite me.

Today, we decided to go to the Bronx Zoo.  Nathan has never been there (he has been to the Buffalo Zoo) and it is a nice day, and slightly warmer than the beginning of the week.  So after speech therapy, we were packed and ready to go.  Wednesdays are suggested donation days, so you can basically get in for free, besides parking and if you want to pay for special attractions.  Naturally, this means on a semi-warm day in later March, the zoo is a ZOO.  We got there right after they opened, and stayed until right after lunch.  It was a lot of fun and Nathan did enjoy seeing many of the animals….tigers, sea lions, fish, ducks, etc.  I was not able to take too many pictures because I was by myself with him.  But I did manage to get a few.

It was great to see how many animals Nathan knew and which ones he really liked.  Next time we go, we’ll have to bring Erik along and take more pictures 🙂

The rest of the week includes some quality time with Daddy, who’s taking off some days with us.  Easter down on Long Island with Grandma and Grandpa.  And Erik and I are celebrating our 6 year anniversary this weekend, and we are taking some time to just relax and spend quality time together.

Enjoy the rest of your week!!

The importance of community

On this World Down Syndrome Day 2013, I realized how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many supportive and wonderful people.  When our journey began, I never thought that I would have these kinds of communities in my life.  I made that plural for a reason…I am surrounded by multiple awesome communities.  I continue to feel supported and enjoy advocating with my Ds community online.  I have an amazing community of co-workers who always give support. And then I have a great circle of family and friends that I couldn’t do without.

On days like this, when we celebrate things that weren’t even in my vocabulary five years ago, I realize how much I need and cherish all of these people.

The co-worker that e-mails you because she feels guilty she forgot to wear blue and yellow or the one who throws an extra Buddy Walk shirt over her own.  The ones who stop into your office to show you how they are supporting and cheering you on (and for food, of course :)).  The family members who wear their Buddy Walk shirts to work.  And the Ds moms who post awesome and inspiring things on Facebook, blogs and Pinterest and truly make you feel proud to be a part of their community.

This post is for all of you.  You’re awesome!  Your support and love is much more than I ever expected and my whole family appreciates that.

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!!


Coming Soon…

Thursday is World Down Syndrome Day!  3/21 represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome in people with Down syndrome.  I’m not going to spew more facts about Ds or talk too much about WDSD, but I am going to ask you to spread the word.  Tell people, wear blue and yellow, say “hi” to someone with Down syndrome.  Do something to show your support of WDSD.

In the Graybosch household, we will be wearing our Buddy Walk t-shirts, some crazy socks, making cupcakes and just in general, celebrating our beautiful boy.

Coming up on three years of this journey, it is definitely a time to celebrate and I look forward to sharing information and spreading the word about Ds.  I hope you do, too!

Going to School

As May is fast approaching, it is starting to hit me that Nathan is going to turn THREE!!!  I simply can’t believe it was almost three years ago that he was born and we have been on this journey.  Time truly does fly when you’re having fun…or when you have kids.

One of our goals for Nathan when he turns three is to have him go to school, at least part time.  This will help him adjust to a school schedule, setting, and interacting with multiple children on a daily basis.  Luckily, he has had two other boys at his babysitter’s house for the past few years, and that has definitely helped with his socialization.

After spending a morning visiting various preschools, we decided on a Montessori school.  This model of schooling makes the most sense to us because Nathan will not only focus on academics, but he will focus on life skills.  To us, that is much more important for him when he turns three.  There are many things he does know how to do…he’s a great cleaner!!….but there are many things he doesn’t know how to do.  When we visited the Montessori school, their method and schedule seems to be the one that will fit Nathan the best.  They have a routine and are expected to know, learn and follow this routine on a daily basis.  Nathan will be going to school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  We believe this is the best way to transition him into a different schedule.  He will continue to go to the babysitter’s for the rest of the time.  Our hopes are that Nathan will flourish in this setting and continue to learn new things, as he has been doing all along.

The next step in this transition process is waiting for the school district to contact us about Nathan’s CPSE (Committee on Preschool Education) meeting.  This will establish what the district will provide for him during his preschool years.  We are hoping to get a special instructor to accompany him to the Montessori school, in order to aid in daily tasks, help him if he isn’t potty trained, assist him in walking, etc.  We are also hoping to continue at the same physical therapy place because he is doing so well there.  Hopefully he will also receive occupational therapy, speech and feeding.  These may now be integrated into his school day, but can also be done separately.

I have to say that I am getting nervous about this upcoming meeting.  I want to make sure that I push for what I think Nathan needs, and that I don’t let the district tell me what is going to happen.  I have done my research, and spoken to other parents who have gone through the CPSE and that definitely helps.

And just for those of you who come to the blog to see pictures of Nathan….here you go!

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Piano Lessons

Over the weekend, Erik brought Nathan down to his parents so I could have a girls weekend with my crew from MCLA. I had a wonderful time, but so did Nathan…playing the piano!! He loves opening the keyboard and playing away. And it doesn’t even seem like all he’s doing is banging on the keys. He seems to have a real knack for rhythm and sound. I know, I’m his mother so I’m a bit biased, but I’m seriously considering starting piano lessons this summer. I think he would enjoy them and he has always loved music. Thoughts?


Check out my Facebook page for an awesome video of him playing, too.

A little bit famous?

A few weeks ago, a representative from the National Down Syndrome Society contacted me about a company called “Nuby” that wanted to use a photo of Nathan and I for their Ds Awareness campaign.  At first, I was a little reluctant because once Nuby posted this photo, with my quote, on their social network sites, it could be stolen by anyone.  Then I thought that this could already be happening with other photos I have posted, and wouldn’t it be cool to spread the word with a wonderful picture of my beautiful boy?

I consented to let Nuby use our photo and was told that we would be made aware when it was published on their Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter pages.  That day came this past Tuesday, and I was so excited.  I was sent an e-mail with the link to the three pages, and we already had 100 likes on their Facebook page!  It really made me take a step back and realize that my life is not at all what I thought it would be.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I just think it’s amazing that my son has truly inspired me to be a better person.  A person who advocates for the respect and rights of others.  Who thinks twice about what she says and how her words might be taken.  A person who has come to realize that judging others before you know them is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.  Nathan has opened my eyes to the joy and humor in life that I didn’t see before.  Yes, three years ago I would not have pictured my life being what it is, but I am glad that my life has taken me down this path.

With World Down Syndrome Day coming up on March 21, I am glad that we have become part of another aspect of spreading the word.  Continuing to help people understand that different doesn’t mean bad is one of the most important goals that I have and I don’t intend to stop.  Please check out the links below to see our ad for Nuby and their Ds campaign.

It’s a New Year!

I can’t believe it’s already January 21, 2013.  I do not know where these last few months have gone, but they have FLOWN by.  This blog has been completely neglected and I apologize.  Lots of things have gone on while I was M.I.A. from updating.  Here is a recap of the last few months with as many pictures as I can patiently wait to download before Nathan has to go to PT.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family this year and had a nice time.  Of course, I neglected to take any pictures, and so I have no proof that we did anything on that day, but I assure you, we did.  Soon after, my grandma in Texas passed away and I headed down there by myself to celebrate her life and spend some time with my family.

After returning from Texas, where it was nice to not have to wear layers of clothing for a change, we made our way into the Christmas season.  Spending Christmas Eve with Erik’s family and Christmas Day with mine is a nice tradition we have been honoring for the past few years.  Unfortunately, this Christmas also brought Nathan a fever that started on Christmas Eve and landed us in the hospital for 8 days.  First, here are the pictures from our Christmas celebration…

After fighting a fever and then congestion during the Christmas week, Nathan had some trouble breathing on the Saturday night after Christmas.  We called his doctor and she recommended we bring him to a place in Mamaroneck that’s open until midnight. Once we arrived there, they determined that he needed to go to Maria Farreri’s Children’s Hospital because of his breathing and virus.  After sitting in the ER (luckily in our own room) for 15 hours, we moved to a room in the “Literature Center”.  Nathan had a parainfluenza virus that they believe induced an asthma-like attack.  He was on oxygen for quite a while, and his numbers ended up dropping almost every night we were there.  That’s what kept us there for so long.  So after many conversations about taking oxygen and a pulse ox meter home, getting a sleep study, etc., we finally left 8 days later.  We were sent home with oxygen and a pulse ox and continued to monitor his progress at night.  Fortunately, the stats got a little better and his own pulmonologist did not think it was necessary for him to be on oxygen.  He truly believed it was the virus and thinks that if he had sleep apnea, we would have known it already by his snoring or breathing during sleep.  I am still going to seek a sleep study to completely rule it out, but it makes me feel better that his doctor does not think that is the issue.

Of course, after we returned home from the hospital, Nathan got a stomach bug THAT NIGHT!!  It was only 24hrs and he was fine very quickly, but it did make it’s way to Erik, which was unfortunate.

Now, we are all healthy and back to our regular schedules.  We are in the process of searching for preschools for Nathan next year and making that transition from EI to school district services.  Nathan is doing well in all of his therapies and learns so much.  His has a lot more signs and is trying to say a lot more words, like uncle and help.  He recently got his new orthotics, which are helping with his standing and walking.  I can’t believe he will be three in May!?!?!

On a side note, Nathan is going to have a cousin in May!!  Carter Paul Smith is due May 20th and we are so excited.  Congratulations to my sister Heather and my brother-in-law Bryan.  Can’t wait to meet that baby!

I hope you are all enjoying your new years and making the best of each and every day!