Archive for July, 2008

This does not bode well….

July 31, 2008

So Toby and I are walking through Target today, he’s babbling away (as he does). Suddenly I hear a “HELLO!” calling from my purse, of all places. I think I must be overhearing something in another aisle. Then there it is again…. “Hello?” I pull my phone out and discover that, in playing with my purse and it’s contents, Toby has managed to autodial my parents, and my mom is trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
I think this does not bode well for my future.

*There’s been a request fore more pictures, and I have lots, I’m going to get right on that. Sorry for my slacking. 🙂


Back in the saddle again

July 30, 2008

What we did today:

July 29, 2008

Today was “take your kid to work” day at my sister’s company, and Toby and I went along to check out the scene. There was much cheek pinching, and since my sister’s firm used to handle the advertising for Michelin, lots of comparisons to the Michelin Man…

Toby is looking for a job:

King of the Baby Frontier

July 27, 2008

Camping, sitting, standing…where do I begin?

Directly after my last post, Toby suddenly decided it was time to start sitting. So now he is a sitter. It’s amazing…it was really a very sudden thing. He cannot stand to be laying down to play now, even though from time to time as he sits up, he gets tired or off balance and keels over to the side…sometimes crashing into random toys or baskets of toys. He’s a pretty tough kid, though, and tends to shake it off. Thankfully…. I would hate to manage the waterworks each and every time he falls…and I know that he’s going to fall a lot…Toby tends to shake such things off and move along. 🙂

Toby’s first stay in the tent, at the family reunion, was pretty uneventful. He enjoyed waking up between mom and dad in the morning, and the ensuing cuddles and playing. He loved meeting his cousins and swimming in the lake. All in all, it was a fun but unremarkable weekend…just like we like it. 🙂

One thing I love about being at home all day is that Toby and I can go and do anything we want, any time we want. If we want to go do something, generally we just pick up and do it. This week I wanted to put him in a sandbox to see what he did, so we went up to Hess-Hathaway park. They have a fantastic playground there that is “all access”…any child can go and be able to have a good time. I used to love to take Ben there because even before he could sit up they had swings and things for him to play on. they also have a big sand pit in the middle of the playground. Well, the swings and sand were fun for Toby, he enjoyed looking around at the farm animals that are there…it was all okay. But then we came home and the GARBAGE TRUCK was in front of our VERY OWN HOUSE. It thought Toby would just explode, he was so excited. When the truck took off, the driver tooted the horn for him, and the ensuing shreiks and giggles were enough to alert the entire neighborhood that the coolest vehicle on earth was right outside our door. Good to know that entertainment is really as close as the end of the driveway and we don’t always have to go to these fancy playgrounds and all.

Yesterday we went to the zoo, and I think that even though we had a great time (we met some friends for the day), Toby was a bit young. He had fun, and noticed a couple of things, but on the whole he really just enjoyed being outside for the whole day. I can’t wait to take him next year when he’ll notice all the animals and hopefully have lots more fun. 🙂

Don’t forget to sign up for the buddy walk, time will go faster than you think. If you sign up soon, I will be able to get your Tshirts for you ahead of time and have them before the walk.

Buddy Walk

July 21, 2008

Some of you have already seen this letter, but I know I missed some people. It’s Buddy walk time again. I set up our team page a few weeks ago, and it was more difficult than I thought it would be. Here is the invite to come and walk with us:

Dear Friends,

In the past, about this time of year, you have received a very upbeat Email from Scott and I inviting you to come and Buddy Walk with us during the Buddy Walk sponsored by the Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan (DSG), formerly Parents of Children with Down Syndrome. It has been far more difficult this year to set up our team page and write this invitation to you.

In February, after Ben’s death, it was our intention to join another family’s team and attend the Buddy Walk. We thought that maybe the two of us, and our parents, would still want to go so we could honor Ben and support the group we have come to love so much. Then as we began to tell people about this plan, we got this response “Well, we’re coming…” It dawned on us that we can still have a team for Ben, to honor him and come together in his memory.

The Buddy Walk, over the past two years, has come to mean a lot to our family. It is a time to celebrate Ben and how much we love him, to reaffirm that it is not his difference but his “sameness” that we adore. I know that this year many of you gave to some wonderful charities, including the DSG. Although donating to the Buddy Walk is something I would not discourage you to do, this year we feel it is more important than ever to come together and WALK; to affirm with our physical presence and attachment that we remember the miracle that was Ben, and the miracle of all children and people with Down Syndrome. We appreciate everything you have done, given, felt and come together for this year. We want to ask you to make room in your heart and your schedule to come together with us once a year to remember and honor Ben, not on the day of his death, but on a day that celebrates ability, love, acceptance and everything else that Ben’s life stood for. Please come Buddy Walk with us this year, above all others.

The walk this year is at Kensington Metro Park. The path is paved, and it should be a wonderful day. After the walk we will be having a picnic lunch, so bring something to eat and we can all sit together and have some fun. If you have given to the Buddy Walk in the past, you probably received a flyer in the mail. DON’T THROW IT AWAY….you can use it to get into the park for free on the day of the walk. This year’s walk occurs on October fourth. You can join our team by going to Please be aware that when you join our team, you will be asked to create your own fundraising page. If you want to donate, you can do so from that page or from the original “Ben” page…either one will work and both will count towards our team goal. Again, it is so important to us that we come together and walk. That is our fundraising goal for this year.

Thanks and we’ll see you on the fourth of October,

the Randalls

July 10, 2008

The height of summer, for a kid like Toby, is a magical thing. Every day we go outside and he LOVES it. Toby really likes to be outside. We have to bathe him in sunscreen, because he’s so fair, but he’s willing to tolerate it because he loves the sunshine.
Last weekend we went to a friend’s cabin for the fourth. We had a good time hanging out on the boat, swimming, fishing, and relaxing. There are a few pictures at the end of this entry of Toby learning to swim. You’ll see that he has a really cool little float that allows him to putter around on his own, and despite some initial reservations, he was hard to get out of the water at the end. He also spent time playing in the sand, which was fun…but not for mom and dad as we had to remove the sand from his many folds at the end of a long day.
We’re still working on Teeth, and it’s coming along. It’s just going to be awhile, I know. He’s sleeping okay…but sporadically he’ll be up at night or not wanting to eat. Today I gave Toby a frozen bagel, and he really enjoyed that. We’re working on what he wants to eat, and I’m starting to offer him some things that are finger food-ish, like the Gerber puffs, bagel pieces, and biter biscuits. He really enjoys the biter biscuits, but they are so messy that they necessitate a bath when he’s done, so we save those for outside treats when lots of clean-up time is available.
This week Toby had a pediatrician visit for a check up. He weighs 20 lbs, 7 oz and is 29 inches long. We were taking bets on his weight, I was the closest with 21 lbs. Most of the family thought he would be much heavier. I think he’s growing out, though, not so much weight wise but length wise. Each day he looks a little different to me. We also switched to the “big boy” carseat. It’s a convertible one that will face the rear of the car still, but stays in place, unlike the infant “bucket” carseat. He’s just too heavy to be carrying around in the bucket any longer. AND…Toby has recently learned the joys of sitting up in the grocery cart, marking a passage into “big boy-hood”. He’s really coming along on sitting in general, and will sit propped up on his hands for almost a minute now, and he enjoys pulling himself up into a “real” sitting position to play. I can’t believe how fast he masters new skills and trys new things.
It’s been hard the past few weeks without Ben. I think that because we are so busy in the summer and have so many memories and so many big events it makes doing them without him harder. I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks here. This weekend is Scott’s family reunion, and we will be seeing many people we haven’t seen either since last summer or since Ben’s funeral. There will be lots of talking and remembering…though I enjoy this, it is very difficult to go through. It makes being there without him that much harder. I watched some home movies of Ben this morning, and instead of being difficult, it made me feel better to see him again. To watch his facial expressions and mannerisms made me remember good things instead of miss him. That’s a nice feeling. I’m so glad we have so many movies and pictures.
Some things about being without Ben are getting easier. We have moved a few things out of his room, and then left the rest of it pretty much as it was. Today I moved most of the toys and the toybox into Toby’s room, along with the rest of the books. It felt right. In their place is a large pile of garage sale things (we’re having one later in the summemr). There are still a few things in there of Ben’s, as well as my scrapbooking stuff. I want to work on Ben’s second year scrapbook in his room, not only because I can spread out, but because I like to feel that closeness to him.
Finishing on a positive note, Toby will be sleeping in the tent for the first time this weekend. You know we’ll have pictures and stories to post when we return. 🙂

Pictures of Toby swimming are here