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               Several people have asked for an update on Landree. Where do I even start? That little toot is more and more fun every day!

                Landree is two years and almost three months old now. She’s looking more like a little girl than a baby. Her hair is growing & getting thicker all the time. She has a mouth full of teeth! She hasn’t had any sinus infections (knock on wood) for over three months! YAY! I don’t know if it’s her new allergy medicine or she’s growing out of a stage. Either way, we’ll take it! She’s definitely walking now. That child is everywhere!  If we turn our heads for 5 seconds she’s made it up 5 stairs! Our house is full of baby gates these days! Just the other day Landree was all over the place & Rick laughed and said, “Remember when we wondered when she would ever walk?” She gets around quite well now! Her physical therapist had us order special shoe inserts to help her walk a little bit better and strengthen the left side. Her left side is not quite as strong as the right but you'd never know it. It certainly doesn't slow her down any.  Her physical therapy and therapeutic riding have been great. She LOVES the riding sessions and usually cries when it's time to leave.

                Landree is very chatty (like her dad! Lol)! We only know what she’s saying a portion of the time but she loves to talk anyway. Her speech therapist says she likes the way her speech is more deliberate. She’s not just making noise. She’s saying specific words that she will repeat. We just don’t always understand what they are. Her last speech evaluation showed that she was on track with kids her age when it comes to understanding speech. She’s just a few months behind when it comes to speaking. She says quite a few words and can tell you what sounds some animals make. She can also call each of her cousins who live close, by name. (Although it’s usually when you’re not expecting it). She even asked her aunt where her cousin was and called him by name. That’s pretty good considering she has lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. She knows who belongs to whom. There are a few words she says with sign language too. You may have seen in previous posts that Landree LOVES cheers! The speech therapist has encouraged us to use cheers or songs to help with her speech since it captures her attention so well. She loves to do her cheers and she even adds the names of her cousins who play football at the end of the cheer!

                We haven’t started potty training because we don’t really feel like she’s to that point. However the doctor suggested we let her check out her little potty and sit her on it every now and then. She does tt on the potty when we set her on it in the mornings but I think right now it’s more that we have her at the right place at the right time. I’m not too worried about the potty training. It will come later. I can’t complain because her big brother is a “typical” child and wasn’t even close to being ready to potty train at 2 years old.

                Her independence comes out more every day, which is great. Although she’s not quite as well behaved in church anymore! She’d much rather wander up and down the aisles than sit quietly so now we take her to the nursery when it’s time for the sermon! Last week I tried to shhsh her a little because she was getting loud during a prayer. She bit my finger SO hard it left a little blister. She’s not usually a biter but she apparently didn’t appreciate me telling her to be quiet!

                She loves music. One of her new favorite songs is “midnight rider” by Willie Nelson. She’s definitely a Texas girl! We’re still not having much luck with her cowboy boots though. I guess it’s the low muscle tone in her feet but I can’t ever get her foot down in the boot. It’s like putting a shoe on a limp foot. Would someone please invent a flip bottom boot? Seriously. If the bottom could just flip open so I could reach up and pull her foot down in there and then close it up, we’d be in good shape!

                Let’s see….what else? She’s really into giving hugs now, which I LOVE. She’s also a big fan of wrestling with her big brother. I’m not a big fan of the wrestling but they love it. She’s also finally started liking pom poms & baby dolls. YAY!!!

                Thanks again to everyone who is interested in our baby girl! I’ll update again soon! She has a dentist appointment in November. That should be interesting!

PLEASE help us out and don’t forget to vote for Landree in the Stand up for Downs funny photo contest. It's super easy to do if you have a facebook account. The link is below. Be sure to vote before October 26th. The top three places win a donation made to the charity of their choice. We’re trying to raise money for the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas. She’s hanging on to third place but it’s been TOO close! Every vote counts! You can only vote once so it’s important to vote and then also share the link. Her pic is the first one (her feet her on her head! LOL)

http://sufdphotocontest.pgtb.me/wzMvMP/gFqhB?w=27905269&e=70642993

Atheist Richard Dawkins tweeted some really stupid & horrible things about Down syndrome yesterday. Here is the link if you want to read it. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-richard-dawkins-choosing-not-to-abort-baby-with-down-syndrome-is-i 

I was so upset after reading it, I couldn't stand to think about it. Then I decided I should do SOMETHING. I wrote this letter & sent it to Mr. Dawkins in a facebook message. I know he probably won't ever read it but at least I tried. I did have to try too! At first all I could think to write was "You're an ass!" but I was able to keep it together & write something a little more constructive I hope. Here it is.

Mr. Dawkins,

I read an article quoting your views on aborting fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome. Let me begin by saying I’m proudly the mother of a two year old daughter with Down syndrome as well as a Christian and pro-life supporter. I believe all life is precious & every child deserves to be born.  I strongly believe an unborn child is much more than just a fetus with no feelings. However, that isn’t the point of this letter.

I’d like to address the gross inaccuracies you stated about Down syndrome.  I noticed your facebook page is private, so I’m guessing you’re realizing just how inflammatory your comments are. My family and I have worked very hard to try to raise awareness about Down syndrome. I feel it would be doing my child a disservice not to attempt to set the record straight when someone makes such inaccurate and hurtful statements.

You stated that not aborting a child with Down syndrome would be immoral. Maybe I don’t understand what you use to gauge what is moral verses immoral.  Maybe we just don’t speak the same language on that issue. The Bible teaches me just the opposite of your statement. What do you base your opinion on?

I understand that you are an educated man. However, Down syndrome is an area where you are obviously lacking. In your comments on twitter you stated, “Reduce suffering wherever you can.” Down syndrome does not equate to suffering. People with Down syndrome are very capable of living happy, fulfilling lives. They work, many of them marry and they are all capable of contributing to society. Whatever information you’re basing that statement on is either seriously outdated or just wrong. I assure you my daughter has not “suffered” a day in her life, nor has the rest of our family “suffered” since having her. That is just absurd.

You also tweeted Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down syndrome fetuses. They are aborted.” Just because it actually happens doesn’t mean it is right to recommend something. Millions of children are starving every day. Would it make me a monster to recommend it? Yes!

The most infuriating statement you tweeted referred to people with autism saying they have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."  What do you consider abilities? My daughter may not ever have enhanced abilities in math or science (although I’m not ruling it out) but has enhanced abilities in so many other areas. Her social abilities have far exceeded those of any “typical” person I’ve ever met. She has the ability to bring happiness to anyone in her presence. She also has had the ability to reach millions of people in raising awareness about Down syndrome. That’s something I could never have done without her special “ability” to touch people. Perhaps you have spent too much time studying and not enough time experiencing. Abilities and life in general are about much more than academics. Not every ability can be assigned a percentage or be scientifically measured.

I hope someday you have the privilege of spending time with someone who has Down syndrome and can witness firsthand how inaccurate your comments were. My daughter doesn’t have one quality that the world would be better off without. Visit her facebook page, Life With Landree  or www.lifewithlandree.simplesite.com and see for yourself.

Mr. Dawkins, you have a large platform to reach people. I encourage you to use it wisely.

Sincerely,

Deborah Brooks (Landree's Mom)

Easter with some of her favorite people!

Latest comments

11.06 | 00:13

This is looking great. Thanks for sharing with us. I appreciate it.

Rich,
http://YourBabyBlog.com

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14.02 | 21:00

i go to Church with her Landree at Open Range Cowboy church in whitney texas and she is the Sweetest Little girl ever i love talking to Her

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06.08 | 15:30

I have been following your page on Facebook and every single time I see Landree I think I fall more in love with her. You have a beautiful family.

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20.05 | 15:06

Shes so cute

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