Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Very Special Family w/ a prayer request

People ask me frequently why I blog. They don't get it or understand it. I started blogging because of my friend Meridith.

Her sweet little Gavin was born around the same time as Maggie and Molly. She explained that it is a great way to keep track of all those memories and thoughts throughout the kids' childhood. And that is just what I did.

But you see, I gained so much more than just blogging my memories. I realized very quickly that there are many wonderful people out there and they all have a story to tell. I became connected with families with twins, where one of which has Down Syndrome and many, many families that have a child with Down Syndrome. I now consider some of these people my "cyber friends". We have a lot in common in our day to day life. It's refreshing to see the same joys and trials from other families similar to mine.

For those of you that do not know, I am a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. To me, I have the greatest job in the world. I have the great honor of watching these tiny babies grow big and strong and go home with their families. Some thing that my job reflects sadness, and yes, at times it does. But for every one feeling of sadness, there are 100 feelings of joy and a sense of accomplishment and that it what my is really about. I think the technology that we have today, allows us to get these babies home. With this comes a great emotional and challenging time for these families and I am there, right along side of them. It's the best, really.

Now, without further a do...Meet Kaelyn. She is a beautiful baby girl that was born much too early and is in the NICU. She also just happens to have Down Syndrome.

This family is such a strong, wonderful family. I feel a special "cyber bond" with this family as I am aware of and know first hand from a medical standpoint what they are dealing with from day to day in the NICU. While I have some understanding of what they are going through emotionally in regards to the hospitalization, it I do not necessarily understand the full emotional part as I have not had a child in the NICU personally. But I, too, have a daughter with Down Syndrome. This is where I fully understand the emotional roller coaster they are on and the joys and trials they will endure in years to come.

They have allowed us to join their journey to bringing Kaelyn home. How awesome as I am sure this is not easy for them.

So go ahead and venture on over and meet Kailyn. And if your faith allows, send them a prayer for getting Kaelyn healthy and strong and home where she belongs. It may be a tough road ahead but I have faith. You just gotta!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So much for that cute shot!

On the 4th of July (yup! That was 10 days ago!! I am soooo behind in my blogging), we got up early to attend a parade in St. Joe.

I rushed to get the twins and Gavin dressed, packed the diaper bag, grabbed the camera and out the door we went. I intended on getting some cute shots of them in their 4th of July outfits once we were settled and waiting for the parade to start.

As soon as we arrived at our friends house, I immediately went to set up our seating area, unload the van and such. I was wondering what the twins were doing here:

But really thought nothing of it....


I was finished getting everything settled in it's perfect spot and then I saw my cute little girls in their 4th of July outfits....

Covered in Chocolate donuts!!!!! (Now I know what they were doing in the first picture! I was too busy to notice the BIG bag of donuts being passed around!)

Well, let's face it. These are the kind of pictures you get when your twins are TWO!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Step Up For Down Syndrome Walk!

It's that time once again to start pledging for the Step Up For Down Syndrome Walk. (Formally named the "buddy walk")
The walk will be held on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th at the Midway Picnic Pavilion at Como Park in Saint Paul.
We had such a great time last year and I have high hopes that this year will be better than the last. After all, Molly's team has doubled since last year! I am so excited to connect with other families with DS and to walk around Como Park and see all the DS kids and people walking through. It's my happy place, people! I can hardly wait!!!!
So, if you chose, click on Molly's fundraising widget on my side bar and donate to Molly's second annual Down Syndrome Walk.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pure joy!!

Austin, my 14 year old (the one I can't seem to photograph!) is a sensitive and caring boy.

Gavin, my 6 year old, is an energetic (too much at times) and funny guy and mimics many actions and behaviors of his daddy.

Maggie, one of my two two year olds, is a spitting image of her mama. Talky, talky. Busy, busy.

Then there's Molly. My other two year old. She is a carefree spirit and I swear she is an angel sent by God.

While all of my kids have such great, yet unique qualities, there is something about Molly. Other parents of DS kids KNOW what I am talking about. It's not a deeper love or admiration, it's just "something".

Over this past holiday weekend, we spent some time with people who hadn't seen Molly in two years. I was so proud of all the comments I received. Many were amazed at how well she was walking, pivoting, climbing. More so was the amazement of how well she communicated through sign language. It proved to me that my hard work is truly paying off. I see Molly everyday so I don't make the connection.

When I first found out about Molly, I had all the fears that every other mom feels when they get the "surprise". But the biggest one that I remember and still do is:

Will she be accepted amongst her peers and society?

Let's just say, I needed this weekend. The answer is "YES, YES,YES!!" My goodness, everyone, kids and adults just flocked to Molly. All the kids wanted to sit and play with Molly. The adults wanted to get to know Molly and interact with her. And all the while, I saw nothing but big smiles on everyone's faces as they interacted with my sweet, sweet, Molly.

You see, they see what I see....

Pure joy!!!!!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why I love my neighborhood

Last Thursday night, after a three day stretch at work, my next door neighbor (aka "BFF") and I sat down for an after dinner "refreshment".

It was a beautiful and perfect night to sit outside and indulge in good adult conversation while the kids played amongst themselves.

We live next to the park and as the neighborhood families would walk by, they'd say "hello", then join us with their kids. Before we knew it, there were 3 other families hanging out with us. Lots of kids and lots of fun.

One of the neighbors brought over a bottle rocket! Do you remember those when you were a kid? The kids were flabbergasted by this. He let it off several times, and the kids would watch it go up...

Up, up, up and away...

Then the kids would chase to go find it wherever it landed...

Maggie and Molly played on the rock wall. And yes, Molly does try to tackle it once in a while.

Molly played with her friends on a developmental toy.

Uncle Jeff Lovin' on Molly

OK, we're missin' one--Where'd Gavin go??

Ah ha! Found him! Playin' in Sarah's pools with some more neighbors while the parents watched on with their after dinner "refreshments".

It was an unexpected great time with great neighbors. This is why I love living in the neighborhood that I do.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thoughts from Maggie

At the lake yesterday, Gavin caught a toad and he and Maggie were playing with it on the beach, watching it jump around, then picking it up and checking it out. They were totally facinated with this toad.

After the toad 101 lesson was complete, daddy decided to put the toad back in the water. Just as daddy released the toad, Maggie yells:

"But, daddy! The toad doesn't have his swimsuit on!!"