Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quick Update on Dashlyn!

The following is what I posted yesterday on Dashlyn's blog! Way overdue, but I finally put together a quick update on our girl!

It's so easy to make a post a day when you're bored in a foreign country and there's lots of time to kill!

I have lots to "report" but not enough time to write a decent post! So, here's a quick update:

Ther first few days Dashlyn slept. A lot. Not interested in eating. Finally we remembered we had some Pediasure out of a sippy cup and she loved it (very warmed up though). She got less sleepy as the week went on and by Fri I decided she was gonna eat (they said she ate great in the orphanage) and we tried oatmeal for breakfast. A hit! I think it helped that I had a booster seat for her and she, Jack, and I were all sitting at the table like it was serious eating time! Lunch and dinner went the same way and now (almost a week later) she eats like there is no tomorrow. She cries when we say "enough" which we have to do because she doesn't stop. I hope this a one of those stages, and when she realizes, yes, there will be another meal, she will stop the endless desire for food.

Her first bath was a disaster. After that, they got better. She smells so much better than she did at any time we visited her. She must have only had sponge baths; I'm sure she'd never sat in water before. She wants to be held all the time. I think it's like the food & when she realizes we aren't going anywhere she'll be okay not sitting on my lap or being carried everywhere. I'm humoring her as much as possible - she's been here 2 weeks tonight!

She has no clue what to do with toys. She doesn't stack anything, or look at books, or "play". She throws. We're saying "nyet" and trying to show her what to do with toys, but this will take some time. Also, she has no concept of "no" or "nyet" or "shtoy" or "stop". She laughs and smiles when we interact, she rides in a cart at Wal-Mart or the grocery store like a pro, she waves bye and blows kisses when grandma and grandpa leave after a visit! She cuddles. She accepts kisses and hair bows and getting her picture taken a hundred times per day.

She is AWESOME!! We are very thankful to have her, and still getting used to the fact that she is HERE!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Check this out!!

I heard about a wonderful opportunity to promote shutterfly!  You’ve heard of them, right?  You upload your photos to them and can get prints, enlargements, or almost unlimited special gifts featuring your own photos!  I found them a couple of years ago and have since made several cute photo books from their photo gifts section.  I’ve made one for each year of Jack’s life, and made a really cool one after we went on vacation last summer.  You can get soft covers or hard but I love the hard cover ones – they look so professional.  My dad always borrows them to show to his friends ;).  I plan to make one that shows what all we went through adopting Dashlyn.  It’ll be all girly and pink (because I love pink ya know!).  

You can make all kinds of personalized gifts.  Calendars, Holiday cards, and address labels are only the beginning.  This year I’ve been looking over the amazing collection of Christmas cards and found a few I want to send out.  Since we have a new kid at home this year (hee hee) it’ll be fun to have her included on a card that I can personalize by adding our photos and whatever message I want to.

The awesomest part??  Shutterfly is giving 50 free Christmas cards away to anyone who will blog about their fabulous and fun site. So, thank you Shutterfly for offering this opportunity to share about your company while also giving such a great gift!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gee, I’m just a little behind here

But I have a good excuse!  Ever since we got our travel date for Dashlyn’s country, I’ve been running around like a mad person.  (Go see what we’ve been up to here.)  First there was the packing and prep for Allan and I to go.  Then before we left there was the little matter of a certain little boy’s FOURTH BIRTHDAY!! 


It happened to be the same day as his class Fall Party.  The kids got to dress up in their Halloween costumes if they wanted.  Can you tell what he was?  We didn’t waver much from the “Jack” theme because we said he was “Jack Skeleton”, not Skellington.   I found the cutest little skeleton jammies that work great as a costume.  (Someone else got cute little matching pink skeleton jammies!)  His teachers were nice enough to let us combine his birthday with the fall party so that was fun.

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There was cupcakes and games and music time!  How cool is that for a party??  And we even got a sneak peek of a sweet little bumble bee even though she really isn’t in Jack’s class:


(She snuck her mommy in the picture with her!)  Then after school we took the kids to eat lunch out at a Dairy Queen with a play place!

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Kiki was there too, just not real excited about getting her picture taken.

After naps and the big kids came home from school, we had the family celebration.  4 years, I can’t even believe it.  Since we wanted a Costco cake and didn’t order it in advance, we had to pick what was available.  We were going to add SpongeBob and yellow sprinkles so white icing it was:


Little man’s big gift was a scooter!  Hopefully we’ll have some nice weather so he can ride outside.


Then the next day was Andrew’s last high school football game. :(  How did we get here?  4 years of practice, work-outs, and games.  It was truly fun to cheer on the team and watch my son grow into a young man.  It was really hard for the guys to be finished, and hard for us moms (and dads) too.  The last game happened to be Senior Night, where all the senior sports players are recognized.

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How quickly it’s gone by.  How quickly this little baby has grown.  And how very proud his dad and I are of him!  I tried to warn him that this year, his senior year in high school, is going to be very emotional for me and he just needs to accept that his mom is going to be a puddle of tears all year.  Everything he does will be emotional – the last football game, the last Christmas concert, the last dance, and then……….graduation.  How will I ever get through that??

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 17


Somebody is jealous of his new sister’s new clothes!  (I should be saving these for a wordless Wednesday, but maybe I’ll start that next month!)  At least he has good taste!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


On Fri, I found out we have an appt to accept our referral for Dashlyn’s adoption!  This is what we’ve been working toward all these months!  So we need to be in Dashlyn’s home country on Nov. 1st!  I’ll make travel arrangements this week, plus gather all the other paperwork we need, plus pack, plus plan for the kids here at home, plus talk to M’s school about her going back with me, plus plus PLUS!!  I’m overwhelmed today but that’s okay.  It will all get done, and what doesn’t, oh well!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 15

I am soon to be the mother of 2 children with Down syndrome! 2!! This is so amazing to me. I really didn't think I was mom material at all, let alone mom to anyone who had a little something extra.

When we found out about Jack, it took a few days to sink in, but the thought of not having him wasn't a consideration. I remember when the dr called to give me the results of our amnio, he was very kind and gentle, but he did say we could discuss "options" if I wanted to. As he was saying those words, I could feel Jack moving and kicking inside of me. I almost laughed in the midst of my sadness, when I replied "no thanks" as I imagined Jack in there saying hey now, I'm here, and I'm real, and I'm really too busy for your options! So that began my journey into the world of parenting a child with special needs. I honestly didn't allow myself to wonder if I could do it. I knew Allan would be a super good daddy to ANY child so my job was to keep up! I tried to learn about Ds and access as many resources as I could for Jack. Keeping in mind that when he would be born he was going to be a BABY, was the most helpful thing of all. I already knew I loved babies and could deal with that. Falling instantly in love with his little face helped too!

Less than 2 years after Jack's birth, I learned of Reece's Rainbow, the ministry that helps to find families for children born with extra challenges in other countries. These children live in orphanages, and since I've discussed this before, we won't re-visit, but the thought of adopting fascinated me. I never considered it for our family. We have 4 kids already, we live in a tiny house, we don't have a lot of money. I thought the families that did adopt were so brave. I read their stories with interest, supported their efforts, and was amazed at their ability to step out in faith.

Last Christmas, I fell in love with a picture on Reece's Rainbow. A little girl, not yet 2, blonde and blue-eyed like my boys, drool on the front of her shirt like my Jackson, and an orphan in Eastern Europe without a family. A seed was planted. It grew all winter. By the end of January, I was asking Allan - "do you think we could...." and he reminded me of all the reasons we could not. By the end of Feb, the seed was growing within him as well, and we knew that sweet little girl belonged with us. It still doesn't seem real. We're only weeks away from holding her in our arms (17 days!) and I can't believe it. This is the way it felt to be this close to giving birth. The evidence is there; the preparations have been made; the reality has yet to hit. And I will be the mother to 5 beautiful children, 2 who have the kind of special needs that scare the bejeebers outta most people, and I am so blessed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 14

Another interesting fact about Jack – he likes to dress up.  If it’s not his stuff – even better.  I found Ty’s Halloween costume and guess who wanted to wear it??


Can you guess what he is?  Yep, he’s a ninja!  The mask is great, right?!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Difficult post….


This is why we feel such a pull to go get our beautiful Dashlyn.  Do you see this lovely doll in the pic above?  She lived in an orphanage in EE.  She was waiting for a family to claim her.  Waiting for a mommy and daddy.

Her waiting is over.  Sweet Anne Marie has passed away.  I’ve been broken hearted all day.  There are not enough words.  Please read more about her here

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 12

So here is a little essay that someone posted on one of the forums I enjoy. You've probably read it before as I have but it's totally worth reading again. :)

Who Mothers the Children with Disabilities?
By Erma Bombeck
This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of children with disabilities. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with disabilities are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over the earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs his angles to make notes in a giant ledger.

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a child with a disability."

The angel is curious. "Why, this one, God? She's so happy." Exactly smiles God.

"Could I give a child with a disability to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel." "But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it.

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has his own world. She has to make him live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you." God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that."

"This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that virtue?" God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. is a woman whom I will bless with a child less perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word'. She will never consider a 'step' ordinary. When her child says "Momma" for the first time she will be present at the miracle and know it!"

When she describes a tree to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creation."

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

...Erma Bombeck

I would very much love to be that woman. I'm still working at it. Good to know that God didn't expect me to be perfect! I'm good at not being perfect. Hard to believe I was blessed with our little man - I must have done something right.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 11

So today I'm thinking about sign language. Jack uses many signs, enough that I lost track of how many. We learned most of them from various Signing Time videos, either ones that we purchased, or rented from the library. Also there's several signing websites that I look at when we want to find a sign. I like this one because you can look up words pretty easily and a little video accompanies each sign.

One of our favorite things to do when Jack and Braska were a little younger was sit them side by side and have them sign words - so cute! You can see a little of that on Braska's blog.

Jack is starting to use more spoken words, but he still doesn't use words that are understandable all the time. Today he signed water to Andrew while holding his cup, and when Andrew asked "you want water?", Jack started to sign milk and corrected himself to sign water. He's really getting it! So for us, signing has been an excellent way to bridge the gap between no communication and spoken dialog. AND, it's been fun and so cute to see him sign words!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 10 - the birth!

So I was under the impression I had posted yesterday because I sent a post from my phone and it said my message had been sent. But here I am and there is no post. How annoying! Anyone have any ideas? So I'm skipping Day 9 for awhile until I find out where that post went.

Here is Jack's birth story for today. I actually wrote this a couple of years ago, but it's that month again so I'm re-posting! I skipped the shower story and may go back to it. But I think this is more interesting for now.

Okay, so we had the baby shower and I'm thinking I have about 4 weeks 'til our little guy makes an appearance. However, he was in a big hurry, and I ended up going to the hospital, Fri., morning on Oct.27th. About 3 weeks early. This was after I called another mom to take over the Halloween party in my daughter's class, after I called my mom to tell her to drive the 3 hrs here, after I was freaking out 'cause I wasn't ready, and after I called my MIL who wanted to come with us and was out of town. They tortured me for awhile, and then sent me home. I won't specify what sent me there in the first place because really, it's TMI. So my mom came in town anyway, my MIL came home and we sent her back, and M (who wanted to see Jack being born) missed her Halloween party. I called my friend Jenny and we all went to lunch. Now, I'm sure anyone who has given birth at least once will back me up and agree that when you're in labor, you're in labor. So while we're having lunch I'm thinking, "yep, there's something going on here" but I held out as long as possible so they couldn't send me home again (HA) and finally at 8pm I announced it was time to GO. We packed everyone up, dropped the boys at Jenny's, and drove off to the hosp. I got all hooked up to all that crap they hook you up to, and then things really started happening. My first 2 babies were born while I had an epidural and Ty wasn't (he was the 9lb 5oz-er!) so I had been planning no epidural with Jack too but the pains became pretty darn intense so we called for the epidural, but before the guy showed up, it was time to push. Actually, it was time to NOT push 'cause they weren't ready (again, HA) but Jack came out anyway! The Dr. was the one on call and she came in putting on her gloves, and only got the one on before she had to catch! We got a neat pic of Allan cutting the cord.

(M took it!) Then we got to hold him while they were looking for a room for me. My MIL finally showed up (she had gone back out of town) and we all congratulated ourselves on having a gorgeous baby. Yes, we saw (well, I saw) the Down Syndrome right away. The thick neck, squinty eyes, big space between the big toes and the rest of the toes - it was all there. But you know what? I didn't care. Not one bit. I wanted to hold that teeny little bundle of warm baby and stick my nose in that space between his jaw and neck and just nuzzle. It was great. We got to keep him quite awhile until they took him down to the nursery to finish cleaning him up and all that. That will be the next installment - the trauma of finding out your tiny, little, sweet, yummy new baby would need open heart surgery.

Next time - brand new baby pics!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 8

What's Jack doing now?

Jack can run and jump. His jumping is great. He can come straight off the floor and goes several inches into the air! He jumps off curbs and lands with both feet. He jumps off the couch too (which I'm not too crazy about). These are his strong points. He's starting to say words and use them appropriately. I don't know if you would recognize them if you heard him, but we do! He still eats well and uses a fork and spoon. It occurred to me the other day that we should be trying an open cup so that'll be fun. We spend lots of time with Braska and Kinlee. Hopefully he'll like his little sister as much as those 2!

He started school again. He goes 4 days per week, 9 to noon. 2 days are "big" class days and 2 are "small" class days, when only kids with IEPs go. On small class days there are only 2 kids in the room! How cool is that? Unfortunately, Miss B is not in his room this year :(. But since both classes are pretty small on small days sometimes they get to see each other anyway, on the playground or for activities. Last week Jack's classroom buddy was sick so Jack got to spend the whole day in B's classroom!

They do so many fun things at school! I need to make a list of all the things I've seen this year. (IEP post coming soon.) One day when I dropped Jack off they had this big tub of spagetti on the table. Some of it was cooked, some not. I had to take a pic since I thought that was such a neat idea! He loved it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 7


We named Jack after Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. But since the other kids have names that can be shortened, he got one too. So he's Jack and Jackson. Also there are a lot of names that just happen. Bub, Munchkin, Goofball. I've been calling him Ubu a lot too. You know, as in "sit Ubu, sit". We also call him stuff depending on what he's wearing or doing. Milk boy, snot boy, hat head, all those kinda things. All of them are given in love. He's busy, he's funny, he can be a royal pain (like when he's digging the dirt out of my flower pots on the deck). But he is so loved! And no matter what we call him, we call ourselves lucky to have him!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 6 - How we found out

Since this is Ds awareness month, and the month of Jack's birthday, I thought it would be a good time to re-hash some of my favorite posts about finding out that Jack would have Ds and his birth story and stuff like that. The is the first I'll do. I thought about just linking it but decided to copy/paste it. Pics next time!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I wanted to start this blog to write how we felt and what happened when we found our baby would have Down Syndrome. That seems like an overwhelming job now. Maybe I'll just do it in bits.

Installment #1 - How we found out

At about 12 weeks pregnant (right after we found out we were pregnant), I decided to do that nuchal fold test, where they measure the back of the baby's neck (via ultrasound). There's some magic number that is a marker for ds. With every pregnancy, I took pretty much all the tests because I like to be prepared. This sounded like an easy one, so I took it. They couldn't get our little one to be in the exact right position, so it didn't work. That was on a Fri. We tried again on Mon., still with no results. I don't really remember what made me decide to have the amnio; I just remember having the appointment and my friend Sherry telling me she would come with me because she didn't want me to go alone. This was really a big deal 'cause she lived a couple of hours away. We found out Jack was a boy while getting prepped, and the actual amnio really wasn't bad. That was on a Wed. On Fri., while I was home, my ob called. "I really hate to tell you this, but your test shows Down Syndrome." I know he said more stuff but I sure don't know what it was. I called my husband at work and told him to come home. He did, and we cried together. We had plans that week-end but cancelled everything. We didn't tell anyone for almost 2 months. I just needed that time to be okay. It was really hard. People kept calling to ask if we heard anything yet and I lied. I said "no news must be good news, ha ha" knowing the whole time I would have to tell them at some point. It's an emotional thing. I honestly wasn't worried that anyone would be mean or anything, I just needed to get to the point where I was emotionally okay telling people because I knew I would be the one reassuring others. I thought no way can I start talking to people about this if I'm breaking down every time. Even my closest friends and our parents. For some reason, I needed to be strong. My dr. was great. He said, at the first visit after we found out, that we wouldn't dwell on the ds unless I had questions or concerns. He wanted me to feel like this was a regular, fun, miraculous pregnancy, just like it was. We finally told our other kids. They decided at once no one would ever make fun of their baby brother and were protective right away. They made me cry in a good way. We then told my parents; I kind of chickened out and told them when I was literally on my way out the door to go 3 hrs. home from a visit with them. After a quick hug, I ran away quick so they could be upset and cry. Then I wrote a big long e-mail to all the friends and family I had an e-mail address for and even asked them to forward it to others. The response was really positive. Sounds anti-climactic, but that was it. I have one friend that I'm really close to and everyone was saying to her "wow, you sure kept that quiet" and she has to say "yeah, cause she didn't tell me" which I feel a little bad about but I just couldn't yet. The rest of the pregnancy was okay; I had gestational diabetes (special diet, blood checks, and even shots in my tummy!) and lots of ultrasounds and non-stress tests and an echocardiogram for Jack and everything came back great. Everyone acted very excited to see our new guy. We had the BEST baby shower. (That'll be another story!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5

First off - Happy Birthday Lori! I won't mention how long we've been celebrating b-days together - but man it's been a long time! Here we are when we were so cute - college sorority dance. Hope you had a super day!

Now onto the Ds awareness portion of our post -
I wanted to post some interesting little fact about Down syndrome. But I'm too lazy at his very moment to look something up. So the only thing that comes to mind is the way I spelled it - Down syndrome with a capital D and a small s. In the US, that is the preferred spelling. I believe in other countries it could be spelled with a capital S too, but we don't want to give our syndromes more credit than they deserve here, so small s it is. And there we have it. Maybe during the rst of the week I'll "borrow" a post from someone else, or actually look up a fact, or just send you to someone else's interesting blog!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 4

Someone posted on fb that their child ate a crayon. My first thought was "hey - my kid ate a crayon, and I need a blog post!". So even though I did post this pic before, you get to see it again because it cracks me up and, after all, this is my blog!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 3

At some point, I will do a post that lists 21 things about Jack. Why 21? Anyone that reads this blog I'm sure, already knows, but just in case it's because Down syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21. Most people have 2 copies of each of their 23chromasomes, and Jack has 3 copies of the 21st.

Until that big post - here's a little fact. I tell Jack every day, "I love your face", and usually it comes out when he's just done something that he thinks is clever and he gets this very delighted grin. It just makes me happy! It's hard to capture on film, but I'll see if I have a pic of that expression to share later!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 2

My older son plays footbal for his high school team. This is his senior year, so his last year. His dad and I, and Jack and M & Ty, have gone to pretty much every game. Last year he played down on the JV squad so we even doubled up on games. The point is, Jack has a fan club or a following so to speak, at the games. There are other parents who sit in the stands with us that say hi to him every week. Some of them don't even know our names and we don't know theirs but they know Jack. How cool is that?! It makes me wonder if maybe he's been an ambassador for Ds at the games. Maybe he's given a positive image of Ds to people who may not know anyone else with Ds. He gives high-fives and knuckle bumps; he smiles and laughs and cheers; he waves and says "Hi" and "Bye - see ya" when people walk by. Everyone has responded to him so positively. I'll miss it next year. Or maybe we'll still go, at least to home games. Jack will be 4 on his next birthday - he's gone to games since before he was one. Everyone has watched him grow into a little boy, and hopefully thinks of cuteness from now on when they think of Ds!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 1!

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I thought I would start out Ds Awareness month with a pic of my cuties!  Capn Jack is sportin’ his very cool “Don’t Dis My Ability” shirt with I also thought was appropriate!  And Dashlyn, well, hopefully I’ll have new pics to post of her soon, after we get to travel.  Although I love pink, it will be so amazing to see her in a shirt other than that one :).   

Thursday, September 30, 2010

31 for 21!

Grab This Button

Guess what tomorrow is?!

The first day of October! So we all know what that means - Down syndrome Awareness Month! So, once again I'm going to attempt to blog once each day in honor of this month. Hopefully, I will make it.

Enjoy all the other blogs!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ds Forum Meet-Up!

What a lovely week-end I just had.  Many fun people that I know mainly from Ds forums came into my town, where I live, and we had a blast!  We had a small group for pizza Fri night.  Kids played and parents met.


Sat morning we all met at an indoor playground where there was more playing and chatting.



Look at that little man!  Isn’t he just precious?  His name is Micah.  We had a wonderful time together.  I will add a link to his mom’s blog in the next post.

We split up into smaller groups for lunch and naps, then met up at a very accommodating restaurant for dinner.  That was our biggest group of the weekend.  After I steal a decent pic from someone else, I will post one of that group.  After dinner, we split up into smaller groups again, some at the hotel and some other places.  RK graciously let a few of us invade her house For a little while.

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Jackson was very much in love with Ellen!  That pic doesn’t show it well, but he couldn’t get enough of her hair, and hugging her.  (Don’t worry Braska!  He will soon realize the age difference is too big to make it work between he and Ellen!!)

Sunday morning a few of us went to church, then McDonalds for lunch.  I wish I had pics of that!  Then again, we split up for naps, and met for dinner at a nice large room at RK’s church where we assembled sandwiches, ate salad and watched the kids run crazy and have fun.


Here’s beautiful Sienna and her mommy Lorene.  More pics coming soon!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First day of school pics!

001 Andrew and Madelyn leave before Ty and Jack even get up, so I had to take 2 sets of pics this year (3 really, ‘cause Jack started his school a week later).  A is a senior, M is a freshman.  HOW AM I OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE KIDS THIS AGE???  Weren’t they just babies?!?!

006 My sweet Tyler and little brother Jack (Holly had to get in there too).  Ty is off to 6th grade.  I have them in 6, 9, and 12 (hee hee).

018And here is my precious guy on his first day, along with best buddy Braska and lil sis Kinlee.  RK has better pics so that you can actually see that B is Thing 2!  Kiki coordinates with them but she’s not a thing this day, she’s just cute!

Something I’ve been meaning to explain

I keep getting those weird comments full of chinese symbols.  Sometimes there are words too but clearly they are complete spam and I know many of you have complained of getting them too.  That’s why I changed our comments to “moderate”.  No one was rude.  I just didn’t want to have them on there since there’s no telling what they said.  It’s not worth it to translate.  Thanks for leaving comments anyway!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

They Went to School….Waaaaah!

I hate when they go back to school.  Get up early, fight to get ready and get out the door on time, fight to do homework, fight to get ready for bed, and go to sleep on time.  Remember to buy lunch food ahead of time, get dinner ready on time.  No more movie nights, sleeping late, hanging at the pool all afternoon, eating popcorn for dinner.  I took pics of their first day, but no downloads tonight.  Gotta get ready for the grind again in the morning.  Have I mentioned I hate this??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slot machine, or little boy??

Here's a story I meant to post awhile back:

2 weeks ago this Thurs Tyler came running upstairs with Jack saying "he's choking". So I looked at him for a fraction of a minute and knew he was breathing, but clearly there was something in his throat. We debated calling 911 but since he was breathing, and the ambulance house is right close to the hospital, we decided to run him to the emergency room ourselves. Allan drove and M & I watched him all the way there (less than 10 mins.). When we were in the parking lot getting out, he started coughing up lots of clear mucus-y stuff so Al ran him in and M and I grabbed our stuff and followed. They put him in a room pretty quick and took an x-ray. Guess what was in there???

Can you tell what it is?? Yep, it's a quarter. Look at it from the side (it's a real faint up and down line in front of his spine):

That's why he didn't choke to death and could still breathe.
So the doctor decided to send us down to St. Louis Children's Hospital to be checked out and have surgery to remove the quarter since he couldn't swallow it down and he couldn't throw it up. Lovely. He was pretty pathetic, real sad looking and quiet. Just wanting to be held. After we'd been there about 2 hours the dr. came back to tell us the ambulance was there to take us to Children's and asked "how's he doing?". We had literally just remarked that he suddenly perked up, and was talking, and seemed more like himself. So the dr. says "hmmmmm, let's take another x-ray before we send you down there". Guess what?? No quarter!

He managed to swallow it! Yay! So surgery! The guys that showed up with the ambulance (hi Andrew and Kevin!) waited so patiently for the xray results, chatting with us and entertaining Jack. They even took Jack on a little tour of the "bus" because he wouldn't ge to ride in it. He loved seeing the lights on top (he's into lights lately so that has super special). Then we went back in, spoke to the dr. who told us to watch for the quarter (ewwww) and that it could take up to 2 weeks to see it again. We've been waiting, waiting, waiting ever since. But guess what happened last night? We have quarter! (the black one on the right is Jack's, the other one I pulled out of my wallet for comparison. Can you believe the color change? Interesting.

So all is good, and now you know what happens to a quarter after going through the digestive tract of a little boy for 2 weeks. I was glad it came out - all the jokes about where the soda comes out or where does the change come out were getting repetitive!

The saddest day of the year.......

The day before the first day of school. I hate it. I hate the stress of homework, short amounts of time with my kids, fighting about going to bed, doing homework, getting up......BLAH!

We went through all the school supplies this morning and everyone picked out what they need and loaded their backpacks. Even Jack got in on it.

M got a notebook she's happy about. We love Johnny Depp even when he's bizarre!

Say a prayer for me tomorrow. I'll probably buy a coffee drink to ease my sorrows and thank goodness for Jack's company, but I'll still be sad and lonely and pathetic. Maybe I can channel some of this boredom to clean out the house. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jack's School Issues

Okay, a couple of posts ago I was ranting about Jack's school. I am not going to take back anything I said because I still think it's accurate. However, I do have an update. The problem began when I was given a call to say that Jack would be placed in the afternoon class when school starts. My immediate reaction was, "hmm, that may not work, he still takes a nap in the afternoon". So I called the person I thought could help me and told them I didn't think his placement would work and although very nice, I was basically told "oh well". Now we all know that Jack's good buddy is in his class as well. Initially, we didn't want to compare notes because we don't want school to think we are ganging up on them and what good would it do really, but I knew they were having the same issue. But for health and performance reasons, they were more than happy to pull her from school (she learns better at home anyway). (Yes, at some point we had compared notes and analyzed every conversation either of us had. But like I said, we were tying not to.) I was surprisingly hesitant to pull Jack, but after thinking about it for awhile, I was looking forward to keeping him home. I was a little concerned because that meant no professional therapy (no our insurance wouldn't be helpful), but I was ready to give it a go here on our own.

Now keep in mind, all this is happening on the verge of and at the beginning of our vacation. (We went to FL for the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention, and a few days of fun in the sun. More on that later.) So I wasn't quite as invested or po'd as if I'd been at home. But surprise, surprise, I got a call from buddy's mama (yes, you all know who it is), who said school had been calling my house and I should call them back. Guess what? They had some staffing changes and Jack is now in a morning class. Very interesting. I don't know why, but we're back in business. I was a little sad that I don't get to keep him (but c'mon, he's still 3 and it's pre-school soooooo they can count on Jack not having perfect attendance if ya know what I mean). But it will be nice after Dashlyn comes home to have some time to spend just with her, and Jack will have his therapies, and he will get to hang with some friends which he does enjoy.

Bottom line - once again I realized how much I HATE other people telling me what to do with my own kid, but things have worked out quite nicely. Next week may be a completely different story.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I can't blog and think through my issues at the same time. There is a huge wrinkle in Jack's school life right now and I'm so unhappy about it I can't think straight. I'm unhappy (very) with his school right now. And I'm sorry, bur IEP apparently means "we can do whatever we want and you have no say even though you know your kid the best and we if we say that's appropriate, you can suck it". Yes, that's what I'm hearing, even through it isn't quite in those words. More later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We just got back from a camping trip. Our annual camping/float trip with hubby's family (and a few friends), to be more precise. This year, we had 39 people in attendance and we floated in 2 rafts, 12 canoes, and 2 kayaks. We stayed in 6 campers, and set up a huge awning, or pavillion-type thing over 5 tables set end to end where we ate and played games and hung out.

I have more pics I can post, but here's just a couple. We had a great fire made by Andrew and my nephew Nick:

There's a funny story behind this photo. My MIL wanted a pic of all of us. A friend was taking the pic, but there were gumpy teen-agers and distracted little ones so another friend decided to MOON us! Yes, he really did it! I think Tyler is going to need therapy for the next 20 years! This isn't the funniest part.....

After seeing the mooning, as we were walking away, Jack decided to give it a try! Allan saw him first and nearly cried he was laughing so hard. I managed to catch a quick pick (Jack didn't get as far as actually removing his bottom covering which would have been WAYYYY preferable to the one we did see!).

More pics coming...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jack - Summer 2010

Thought I should do an update on what Jack is doing this summer.
-He walks very well and is even running (not with long stretched out legs yet, more like a fast walk. But those strides are getting longer every day - just give him a cookie and then try to get it away!).
-He goes up and down stairs standing. Still mostly one step at a time (due to short legs, I think). But he's starting to do it without holding onto a hand or railing. So that's good.
-He eats. Just about everything. He uses a spoon and fork mostly appropriately. If it's peaches that will not be stabbed, he uses fingers. And we're working on eating a popsicle from the top down, not side to side :).
-Words continue to elude him. Not completely, I guess. He has a few words and a few more word "approximations". I can't possibly type it the way he says things, but he says down, catch, and several others that I can't think of now that I'm trying. He says Daddy and TyTy (for Tyler) and those we think sound like it. I still haven't ruled out apraxia. Sometimes he'll say something and we can't get him to repeat it. Or he'll say "bussss" (he likes to draw out the "sss") but when he repeats it, it'll sound like "dus". So we'll see. But he IS trying more, and we often hear something new.
-He loves water. The pool, the tub, makes no difference to him. If it's water, we must splash it!

-Jack is going to summer school (or ESY - extended school year). We just finished week 2. He seems to enjoy it, and is ready to go. But if it's not a school day, that's okay too.
-Potty training. He actually went #1, once. He isn't fond of sitting on the potty - there are too many other things to do. I'm not exactly pushing it. When he cooperates, we give it a try. But from experience, I know when he's ready, it will happen.
-He opens doors. He can open the front door (the dead bolt unlocks when you turn the knob) and leave. He can unlock and escape through the back door. Our summer home improvement project is finding Jack proof locks. (You wanna see him run? Wait 'til he gets the door open and gets out. Then try to get him back in.)
-He still loves his blanket and it goes where he goes. So cute.
-He still has cute little yummy toes, and fingers, and cheeks. Especially right out of the tub.
-He's loving books right now. We read often. He'll bring me a book, or before nap and bed time we read, and he settles right down, pays attention, and points to things when I ask. It's cool.

That may be most of it for now. We couldn't love him more. He has such a neat relationship with his brothers; I love watching them interact and play.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


If you read our adoption blog, you know we held a picnic/potluck as a benefit for Dashlyn's adoption fund. You can read about it here if you would like. I was hoping for a big turnout, and we tried to have a couple of games (like a 50/50 raffle) to earn some money. It was fun; my sister and brother in law provided burgers and hot dogs and grilled them, my good friends Pam and Ken provided music from their DJ business, we played games and ate great food, but it didn't quite work as well as I'd hoped. We didn't even earn $300, so if I subtracted the money we spent, it would probably be closer to $180. So I'm bummed, and worried about the financial aspect of our adoption. And the only reason I'm posting about this at all is a few people have asked how it went and I'm having trouble being positive. I need to come up with more ideas I guess.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Here he is, my oldest son, my firstborn, the first to call me "mom", the first person to ever take my breath away when he tripped at age 1 1/2:

Isn't he handsome? His face has changed so much over the past year. We had senior yearbook photos taken a week ago and I still can't believe it. He's matured, he's grown, he's becoming an amazing young man. It will be so fun to see what he does as a grown-up. It went too fast though. I miss the baby, the little boy, the sweet way he said "mick" when he wanted a cup of milk.

He went go-karting for his birthday, with a few buddies. (They're sooooo big!)

They came here afterward (along with a few more), for roasting hotdogs over a firepit and then an entire night of Xbox. Yes, they ate a lot. Yes they were noisy. But I cheated. Since the in-laws live super close, the younger kids and I snuck over there to spend the night, and then we snuck back in the morning! Al was here, but since he can sleep on an airstrip the noisy boys didn't bother him a bit! Andrew had a great time and I hope the other guys did too. He sure does have some nice guys for friends :).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just so you know how well I'm doing...

I got up and got ready a little earlier that usual this morning to take Jack to his ENT appt. Just another follow-up to check on his tubes, check his hearing, all that stuff. M wanted to go, so got her up too and we all headed out. We get to the Dr's office, and yeah, his appt was yesterday. They will probably charge me the "no show" fee which I deserve. grrrrr. We set up a new appt for next Mon. MONDAY. The 21st. MONDAY. (I keep thinking if I say if often enough it should stick. Right?)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jack's last day of the school year (well, almost)

(I added 3 posts today! Woo Hoo! So keep reading!)

So this is the next-to-last day. See the day I took these pics I thought it was the last day. Turns out, he had one more day. But this was a seriously good day!

Can you tell what this is? (Inside the big bowl!) Yep, it's ice cream!

Everyone got to add something to the giant sundae. Jack added sprinkes!

Braska added MORE sprinkles!

And here it is - the biggest Preschool flavored ice cream sundae I've ever seen!

Look who showed up to help enjoy the ice's Kinlee!

Yummy! And really cooooold!

And a kiss for Mommy is even better than ice cream!