Category Archives: Life Skills

The Boy Loves Proving Me Wrong

Guess who got himself dressed today all the way down to his underwear with nothing but a little up-front verbal prompting from Mom?

He even picked out all his clothes himself.


And to think, just last week I was commiserating about how he’s mastered helping himself to cereal at odd hours of the day when he can’t even put his own underwear on.

All the other kids were at the table eating breakfast, and I went to join them after I saw that he had gotten his nightshirt off and was starting to put his day clothes on.  Next thing I knew he was fully dressed with a big smile on his face, ready to eat.

Think there’s a connection?

The Carb King rides again.

Noah’s Courage – TMI

Don’t you just hate it when bloggers insist on sharing potty training experiences either out of pride or desperation?  It makes for  just slightly uncomfortable reading, don’t you think?

Well, phooey.  I’m going to do it anyway.

Noah (6 – with Down syndrome) got up from his nap today and I sent him to go potty.  He came back bare bottomed and headed for his underware drawer.  He pulled out a pair and signed “pee pee.”

I said, “Noah, where’s your underware?

He signed “dirty.”

I went and checked – no sign of the clothes.

“Noah, where is your underware?”

He took me to the washing machine, opened the lid, and there they were.

Sure enough his stuff was wet (not dirty).   Kinda strange cuz he never has accidents at nap time anymore.  For goodness sake, he doesn’t even go to sleep at nap time.  But that’s beside the point.

Back to his bedroom – he lead the way.  He put out new underware and shorts and was raring to go.

So, let’s review.

The kid had an accident.

He realized he had an accident.

He knew he needed to shed the old clothes and come get the new.

Not only did he know the clothes needed to go in the washing machine, he actually PUT them in the washing machine.  (Siblings, take note!)

He put the new clothes on all by himself.

And he communicated several times before, after and during this episode, everything from can I get up, to dirty, to I want to watch TV (all in gestures and sign).

It was like, well, a conversation.


And how about those life skills?  Impressive, eh?

(Don’t tell my other kids about all this – they know I’d be writing a much different post if I was discussing their potty training experiences.)

Oh, Christmas Tree – An Edible Craft For Little Hands



Cute, eh?

Forget the messy gingerbread houses when it comes to my little ones.  We’ll save those for the big guys.

For my Littles, this idea I found on Pinterest ( ) was the perfect answer to “How can we have some Christmas fun without blowing an entire afternoon with cleanup?”  You can find the original blog post here:

We mixed a little practical life skills in the kitchen with some fine motor stirring and sticking to come up with a very festive treat.  Since Noah is starting to approximate the word “tree,” (he says “ee”), this was just the kind of language-based activity I was looking for.

Activity:  Sugar Cone Christmas Trees

Supplies:  Sugar (ice cream) Cones, Candy Sprinkles, White Icing, Green Food Coloring


  1. Mix icing and green food coloring until you have the desired shade of green icing.
  2. Spread icing to cover the outside of an upside-down sugar cone.
  3. Either roll cone in sprinkles or place sprinkles on cone to represent ornaments.  (You’ll need large sprinkles if you’re going to place them individually.)
  4. Eat or place as decoration.  (These look great as decorations for centerpieces or buffet accents).

I started off this craft with the intention of just the Littles (Noah – 6 with DS, Bella 4, and Seth 2) working, but once the Middles (Leah – 11, Andres – 8 and Eden – 7) caught wind of what we were up to, our table was full of busy hands.  The fun was definitely worth the mess.  I find that keeping the kids busy really helps them enjoy each other.  Idle afternoons seem to take their toll on everyone.

We all had a sumptuous snack at the end of that activity, sans my husband who sat on the sidelines gagging at the thought of eating straight icing and ice cream cones.

He doesn’t know what he’s missing!