Friday, November 8, 2013

Dance Recital

Waaaaay back on June 1 (see I’m trying to catch up here) Jack and Dasha got to participate in a “Dance Concert”.  They had been active in a dance class since Aug., and this was their chance to SHINE (the theme of the recital).  I wasn’t sure how it was going to go but went to the rehearsal with high hopes.  I came home from the rehearsal with prayers on my lips and dread in my heart (that means it didn’t exactly go great).

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That was Dasha’s expression pretty much the entire time she was on stage!  She just couldn’t stop looking surprised; it was really funny.  And Jack couldn’t stop looking at everyone else (maybe that’s because his genius mommy forgot to bring his glasses and he couldn’t see!).


(Post recital cuteness!)

The actual recital went great.  The kids did their dance (Dasha only tried to leap off the stage once!) and they received thunderous applause!  The class was made up of kids with specials needs and each child was assigned a “helper” to ensure no one wandered off  and remind the kids where they were in case they forgot :)  Jack’s helper was a special girl named Madelyn.  Yes, big sister Madelyn!  After the recital we took ourselves out to lunch to celebrate.  It felt like a special day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pity Party

Fun post coming up - we have a few good things to report, but today is one of "those" days and I want to get it out there; in hopes of course of finding some sympathy, support, understanding, whatever. I love my kids - all of them. Jack and Dasha have an extra portion of my being, maybe it's protectiveness, apprehension for their future, whatever, but it's different from how I feel about my big kids. I will always be so very grateful to have been given the blessing of Jackson. It still takes my breath away sometimes that my family was chosen to be the guardians of such a precious gift. I've learned so much, met so many awesome people, had so many opportunities to grow - all because of him. Even Dasha is here because he got here first. We knew he had Ds before his birth, courtesy of an amnio. I loved his baby toe gap and little almond shaped eyes from the second I saw them. We already had our adjustment period - his birth was pure celebration. He grew and met milestones later than typically developing kids but he entertained us, and was always so sweet and precious. But the other day it hit me - my "babies" aren't babies anymore. People don't gush over their cuteness as much anymore. They're 6 1/2 and 5. The delays are more obvious. I'm starting to get frustrated with things. Potty training might actually kill me. We've been working on it (really trying) for a year and a half. We've been telling Dasha for at least that long that she may not remove every DVD from the shelf every day. (She did it to books too but I actually turned the bookcase around so they can't even get to their books.) I'm frustrated with the complete lack of progress in things we've been doing for years. They ARE learning; but the things I have been telling them to do/not do on a daily basis, multiple times a day, is making me crazy. I'm out of patience, I'm frustrated, I'm tired of getting mad at my kids. I don't have friends to vent to (there are a few but none that I talk to on any kind of regular basis), my family doesn't get it, my husband is completely clueless, unsupportive, not the guy I married. He doesn't want to hear about it. He doesn't help. He doesn't try to do things in the different way we need to parent these little ones. My fb seems to be the place I feel most comfortable and even then I don't do a lot of sharing. It would be awesome to have a break, get away without the responsibility for a night. But that doesn't happen. Ever. 99% of the time I really am okay with that; I miss them sometimes when I'm gone for a few hours. But right now, this summer, I'm burned out. It's hitting me that this is reality - they need to be supervised constantly. I can't go to the bathroom, go check on laundry, or make a phone call without someone to watch them. It's hard to take them places. They run. I have to have a hand on them AT ALL TIMES. It makes something as simple as going in to buy a soda by myself with one nearly impossible; with both I don't even bother thinking about it. I may add some specific things that they do later as I think of them. I'm a bit overwhelmed wallowing in my pity party today.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Where to begin…

We had a snowstorm on Madelyn’s birthday.  Although it was a huge inconvenience, it was beautiful!


Less than a week later, Easter.


That was the best pic.  Sad.

Less than a month later, Madelyn went to prom!

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Jackson’s art teacher picked one of his projects to include in the annual art show at an actual gallery :)


(His is the picture of the chicks.  They used little sponges.)

We had end-of-the school year stuff – last concerts, field trips, parties, and holy cow – Jackson had kindergarten graduation!  Cute, cute, cute!


The best teacher IN THE WORLD!!

On the very last day of school (making a very rare blog appearance) TYLER graduated 8th grade!


This means we now have a high school freshman in da house!!  Even though I don’t post much about this kid, I love him to pieces!

And coming up in it’s very own post, the Jack & Dasha dance concert!  The day after that we finally began our summer break.  Whew.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pretty Day!

This may actually be our 3rd overall nice-for-playing-outside day! Clearly, the kids are so unhappy at being forced to be out in the sun! I guess it's time to think about shorts and sandals and *gasp* swimsuits!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Down syndrome Day!!

I already posted the lists of 21 things about my sweet kiddos.  One of the coolest things about the the IDSC is the video they made for World Down syndrome Day!

Please check it out!

21 Things About Dasha

1. She’s a people pleaser.  She is never more happy than when she’s “helping”.

2. She has no words.  Lots of sounds, some specific, & lots of signs.  Some sounds are very purposeful.  But no actual words.

3. Dasha understands everything.  I can say “go get your shoes” or “go get Jack’s drink” and she does.  M thinks she will be a waitress specializing in beverages. 

4. She has a recent obsession with combs.  We keep several in a drawer in the bathroom and she keeps getting them out to play with.  It makes her dad nuts.  Crazy girl.

5.  She loves movies.  For at least 10 mins.  Sometimes she’ll watch longer; sometimes she must run around and then watch; sometimes it’s over after 10 mins.

6. Dasha is a mess.  She’s like pigpen, from Charlie Brown.  She always needs to be washed; hands and face especially.

7. Dasha was adopted from a Ukrainian orphanage.  She’s been home 2 years and 3 months.  It’s easy to forget that she wasn’t always here.

8. She’s still learning to play with appropriately with toys.  She doesn’t throw things as much anymore, but imaginative play is still a work in progress.

9. Her hair was super short when we brought her home and it grew and grew.  We cut it into a really cute bob just over a year ago.  It’s now almost that long again (grows fast) and I’m trying to decide if we should cut it again or let it grow through the summer.

10. Our girl loves water.  A big swimming pool, a bathtub, a sensory table at school, a sink full of water; doesn’t matter.

11. Her brother has a particular blue blankie that is his favorite.  So of course, we had to get Dasha the pink version of the same blankie.  Yay for me – she loves it!  It goes to bed with her and in the van and

12. Dasha loves books.  Sometimes she even looks through the whole thing.  Sometimes she just wants to see how many she can get off the bookshelf before I stop her.

13. Dasha is a runner.  We have to hold her hand very tightly or she will run away (and she is crazy quick).

14. She will be in kindergarten next year.  We haven’t had her transition meeting yet, but since she’s behind Jack by only a year, I’m comfortable with the process this time.  Looks like Dasha will even be in Jack’s class.  I hope that will be a good thing for both of them.

15. Dasha is completely incapable of being still.  She is in constant motion.

16.  She loves her brothers and sister.  Loves.  If one of them comes with me to pick her up from school, I am totally chopped liver.  If we all sit down to watch a movie she is all over one of the big boys.  It’s quite adorable.

17. Dasha loves to hug people.  It’s awesome that she’s so friendly.  Unfortunately, she hugs everyone, including strangers at the quickie mart.  It’s not always appropriate or appreciated.  We’re trying to teach her to not show affection indiscriminately.

18. Dasha is a very busy girl.  She doesn’t sit still for long.  Even at dinner.  We still buckle her into her booster seat at most meals so she doesn’t take a walk in the middle of a meal!

19. Food.  Dasha loves food.  She’s doing great with a spoon and fork and most finger foods too.  Unfortunately, our little miss came home from Ukraine with many eating issues, one of which was the she would stuff as much food in her mouth as possible, thereby leading to many choking incidents.  We learned to only give her a little amount at a time but we’ve been able to increase that in most cases.  However, gold fish crackers seem to be a “trigger” food.  We still have to watch her with these.  Dry cereal, oyster crackers, other similar stuff is fine, just not gold fish.  Weird huh?

20. Dasha seems to be an animal fan.  She loves our dog and any other animal she encounters.  We have to watch her though – she can be very enthusiastic which can translate into not careful or gentle enough sometimes.

21. My last thing for this list is an odd one.  Dasha loves music – not odd.  However, not too long ago we heard a russian-ish version of Jingle Bells and it completely freaked her out.  Completely.  Freaked.  Her.  Out.  We still aren’t sure why.  She’s been home over 2 years.  Weird.

So that’s our girl.  Much loved, much enjoyed, much cherished.

Review – 21 Things About Jack!

Here’s the link to Jack’s 21 things:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who I Am

The IDSC (International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life) is running a campaign in honor of World Down syndrome Day called “Who I Am”.  It’s all about individuals with Down syndrome, and how they are indeed, individuals.

Since there are 2 little cuties with Down syndrome in our house, they tend to be lumped together a lot.  I’ll try to separate them a bit for the next few days at least.  It’s been a fun thing, in blog land, to make a list of the top 21 things about your person with Ds in October (Down syndrome Awareness month) or on March 21 (World Down syndrome Day).  Since Oct. is the month of Jack’s birth, I usually do his list then.  And Dasha’s birthday just happens to be on Mar.21 so I’ll post her tomorrow, along with a link for Jack’s last one.  And I’ll be looking for cute pics to post too!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow Day – part deux

Madelyn set up our redneck snow slide (complete with tree truck sections to prop it up!).


Andrew decided to try a snow angel and got a little “help” from the littles!


My little snow princess :)


They buried Andrew (at his request).


Jack loved that!


Then he decided to bury himself in the snow!


Queen of the snow pile (yes, that’s M) and Ty checking out the snow slide from the deck.

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They lasted longer than I thought they would out there, and after all the playing, Andrew & M shoveled the walkway and the driveway!  Then we all enjoyed hot chocolate and movies.  I love snow days.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow day!

When we went to bed we already knew school was cancelled. When we got up, nothing. It was cold but not super cold, and there was nothing on the ground. Honestly, I was fine with that. A day to sleep in and chill and do whatever? Okay! Now, things are much more snowy out there (pics later) but things are awesome in here! Look at my cuddling girls, so sweet.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My girl

Really, I get to call this beautiful person my very own daughter? She's on her way to a basketball game and I made her stop for a moment so I could take this pic. It's going too fast, this growing up of my babies. Wasn't I just celebrating that she had enough hair for a ponytail? Or reminding her to sit still so I could finish applying nail polish to her tiny little toes? It's awesome watching her grow into an amazing young woman, but I admit to missing the little bitty girl sometimes too. Good thing someday she'll be my friend, as well as my daughter.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Some of the highlights:

Jack and Dasha had class parties.  They both had lots of fun, despite the expression on this face:12-27-12 004

My dad came to spend Christmas with us and arrived noon-ish on Christmas Eve.  So we all got to go to Christmas Eve church service which has always been my favorite part of Christmas.  I got the little kids dressed up in cute outfits (bought mostly on ebay).  Again, Jack was pretty happy even though you can’t tell from this face:

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The next morning was present time!  Although there were promises to the contrary, no one was ready to open before 10.  I had the camera ready and we made sure Santa ate his cookies before we dove in.  I don’t have a pic of it but my favorite present was a Gru scarf!  Just like the one from the movie “Despicable Me”!  Allan’s was a nice warm work coat:

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Andrew got the next in a series of books that he’s been reading, and Tyler leaped into the 21st century and got a cell phone! ($10 a month for the line, free phone, no data plan – yay!)

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This was Madelyn’s big year.  I found her need for a computer now to be bigger than my need to make her wait for graduation so she got a laptop.  So, Happy Graduation now Madelyn!  I’ll be reminding her in a year and 1/2 :).  And her other present was a new winter coat – a letter jacket since she’s getting more “letters” to put on it than she thought she would.  So that takes care of her birthday too.

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(Don’t worry, the boys got a few other things as well, they were happy.)

And the little kids, they both opened all their own gifts and had fun.  They both got Signing Time movies and a door plaque to decorate and photo viewers for kids.  There were a few other things, but I think their favorites were these:

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