Sometimes I Forget ~ Never Underestimate

Sometimes I Forget ~ Never Underestimate

So early this morning I woke up at 3:00 and could not go back to sleep. I began thinking about my Charlie girl.  Of course I feel compelled to share with you what has been going on this past year with our little muffin. 
Last year was a big year of transition for us as we moved from a birth to 3 “Help Me Grow Program” into Pre-school.  Our experience with "Help me Grow" was amazing and we loved all of our intervention helpers, especially Ms. Heather. This momma was a nervous wreck making that transition.  Charlie is very shy and has only been with Ms. Chris her sitter (aka our newest family member) since she was born.  We knew she needed to be with other kids but I wasn’t sure how it would go.  Of course we had the most perfect teacher for her, Ms. Maryann.  She was my daughter Mollie’s preschool teacher.  She sings, dances, and plays, so we knew she was a perfect fit for our girl.

First day of school with Ms. Maryann
Let me tell you, it took three days and little Charlie was waving off Ms. Chris and heading into school like a rock star.  I couldn’t believe it at first. Then I reminded myself to “QUIT UNDERESTIMATING THIS CHILD”!
Her year in preschool was exceptional.  She went from saying one word labels to longer phrases.  She is more social when meeting strangers and her academic growth was AMAZING. 
BRAG ALERT: She is three and can count to 13, Identify her name, Identify most letters in her name mixed up and can identify numbers 0-10 out of order.  
Of course I’m sure most typical children can do all these things too ~ Confession: I have never been good at keeping track of milestones.  When I had the triplets, my BFF, who had the same age twins, always kept me on track. 
Although these academic things are exciting, they are truly insignificant in the whole picture.  As I tell my first graders, we are all at different levels.  The important thing to know is that we all want to reach a goal eventually.  Once that goal is accomplished you can own it.  It really doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there.
What I do want to share is how this child teaches our family to never underestimate her!  You see, sometimes I forget she has Down Syndrome and thats ok.  It is something she has but truly does not define who she is. 
Everyday this child does something that makes Brian and I look at each other in disbelief.  It is DAILY that she reminds us how amazing she is.

(By the way, she has the BEST daddy ever!  He plays with her, reads her books, sings, and dances with her. She also loves her daddy to put her to bed.)

This past year our family had a birthday party at a skating rink. I told Brian I was going to stay home, that it would probably be boring for Charlie.  We thought it over and I decided to go.  When we got there her Grandma asked if she wanted to put skates on.  I looked at her like she was crazy.  Of course Charlie said yes.  That little stinker skated around that rink “with assistance” over 8 times.  Those skates were so heavy but she didn’t care, she was doing what her sisters and brothers were doing.  I was so MAD at myself when I got home. 

Grandma & Charlie

This summer we decided to potty train her.  The child sings the entire potty song, spells potty, wants her diaper changed immediately, so why not.  I literally thought it would be all summer long just getting into the routine.  Not this child!  By day 2 she was getting the hang of it.  Not to say we haven’t had a few accidents here or there but it was WAY easier than I had imagined it would be.
So as I laid in bed last night I was thinking of these milestones we made this year.  Most importantly, the lessons she has taught me and our family. 

Sure no one wakes up and wishes their child be born with Down Syndrome. However, I wouldn’t change her for the world.  I’m forever grateful for this “little surprise blessing” and all the things she has brought to our family. She teaches me everyday to never underestimate her! 

A BLAST from the past year...
First Hair Cut

Sesame Street Halloween

We can never get everyone looking at the camera..

Charlie's Fan Club... Mollie, Hunter, Nate, Maddie, Haley & Hannah

Christmas Morning
Silly Picture

"Beary Special" Valentine Cards

Trip to Mexico~ She wanted her face painted: MOM WAS SHOCKED

My Easter Bunny

Just because I LOVE this picture.

Charlie's two favorite people Jake & Ellie
Thanks for reading about our journey!


  1. Charlie is an inspiration to us all and so lucky to have such amazing parents and family. We love you all!

  2. Thank you for sharing! I have a little one with DS too- he is now 4-. Just a couple weeks ago I realized he was recognizing words- especially ones he was commonly seeing at school, like "I want milk." I couldn't believe it! Thank you for sharing your experience. I haven't yet faced the potty training challenge, he is probably more ready than I am-. Thank you for your inspiration!

  3. I loved reading this so much. Our son, Joe has D.s. and at 15, was Toto, a munchkin and a monkey in the Wizard of Oz. He actually was potty trained the day before first grade, but he also started reading sight words then too. Everyone is so unique and ready at different times for life. He is our little love and everyone's personal FAN. He opens people's hearts and invites them to love his imperfection and at the same time, teaches them to love their own.