Monday, March 29, 2010

...and he's off

You know, I have been warned time and time again to watch out as the kids grow up so fast. Zippity do. There they go. Gonzo.

My big boy is 15 years old. Seriously? He is FIFTEEN!! FIFTEEN??

He was just my baby.

He took is permit test last month and has been driving ever since. I get whiplash when we are out practicing but overall he does a great job. Just another milestone for Austin. Regardless if I am ready for it or not.

I have never had to worry about him. He has always done well in school and he is a good kid. I couldn't ask for more.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sharing the Happiness and Love

Here are the rules for the award:
1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Name the person who gave the award to you and link to their blog (or hyperlink).
3. List 10 things that make you happy.
4. Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blogs to let them know.

I received this blog award from Rebekah over at Dusting Myself Off. Clever name--I love it! Rebekah blogs about life as an extremely busy woman whom is newly wed, moving, and facing the challenge of interviewing to seek that perfect job. So head over and say HI.

What a great award. It reminds us that life is great and we need to remain positive and happy through the journey of life.

10 Things that make me oh so HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY...

10) Coffee and vanilla creamer. Coffee in the morning. Coffee in the afternoon. Oh, and soooo defiantly coffee at night!! Coffee and creamer is a must have in my house. If it's out, watch out baby!!!

9) The hubs. Yes, my adorable husband makes me oh so happy. Not all of the time, of course, but most of the time. I love how he can make me laugh when I am tired, stressed, or crabby. He can so easily recognize that and change my sour mood in a minute.

8) My planner. Mer and K have finally convinced me that I need one of these and it truly makes me happy as I have a lot less "no-shows" in 2010 and feel like an adult.

7) The morning spring air.

6) Summer bon fires in the backyard, making smores and memories with friends, neighbors, and the kids.

5) The beach. More specifically, Fort Myers Beach. Funny how that place keeps coming up? The sunsets are breathtaking. The night life is so fun. The sand, the shopping, breakfast at the waffle house, well....really, everything about that place makes me happy

4) Vacation. See Number 5

3) It is a no brainer but my kids. Yup, they make me happy. It wouldn't be a list if I didn't include them.

2) A clean house. While this is a rare occurrence around here, I just want it to be known that I am happy when it is for, ummm, 10 minutes and will be happy 15 years from now when my house will be clean and STAY clean for longer than 10 minutes.

1) God.

Since this is a happy post, I want to include some of my favorite bloggers to share in the love.

Kristin over at Life Is What You Make It.
Kristin is one of the greatest friends one could ever have or ask for.

Mer over at The Wulf Family Update
Mer and I=The A team baby!! She shows me everyday what a great friend, mother, coworker, and wife she really is. She is an amazing person.

Becca over at The Bates Motel
Becca and I share genetically enhance children. Her blog is one of the first DS blogs I found and I can't get enough of her gorgeous daughter, Sammy and all of her positive posts on what it is really like to have a child with DS.

Michelle over at The Zoromski Chronicles
Michelle is my sister in the blog world. She has been my #1 supporter through the failed adoption process and is one amazing mama and friend. She is also very soon going to meet her daughter in Eastern Europe

Stephanie over at Daily Smiles
Steph is one of those people that you can't help but smile when you read her posts on her blog. She is also someone that I don't think I could live without.

Jeana over at Feisty Kaelyn
Jeana is an amazing mom to a child with DS. She represents what life is all about. Sweet Kaelyn has had her share of downfalls in her short life but her mommy and daddy has made it so positive and uplifting. She shows us all what real love and hope is all about. Her blog is an inspiration to everyone that follows.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Total Sweetness

She is always such a happy girl

Monday, March 22, 2010

Molly's Corner

I missed World Down Syndrome yesterday in the blog land. But I didn't forget about it. I was at work and got the privileged of working with a 4 year old with DS and boy was she the cutest and sweetest thing ever! Ahhh....I love those DS kids.

One of my co-workers reminded me that it was "Molly Day". How sweet of her to remember my lovey.

For those unfamiliar, March 21st each year is reserved for all the special people in the world that have DS. The date 3-21 represents THREE 21st chromosomes which is what creates DS.

It is a great day to have some Molly talk.
Her receptive language is developing at an amazing pace.
Receptive language is the comprehension of language - listening and understanding what is communicated. Another way to view it is as the receiving aspect of language. It involves being attentive to what is said, the ability to comprehend the message, the speed of processing the message, and concentrating on the message. Receptive language includes understanding figurative language, as well as literal language. Receptive language includes being able to follow a series of commands.
Her team at school is amazed at her ability to process what is being asked. She hasn't always been good at following directions. Now, she can independently go and wash her hands a face, sit down for snack and lunch, walk to speech and DAPE (a Molly version of Phy Ed) all on her own and sit down and read a book and interpret the story. Love it!
And my favorite piece to her language development is her expressive language. This is the ability to SPEAK the words she is thinking.
New words are just spilling out of her cute little mouth daily.
She LOVES to read. I have ditched the animal books because she is so disruptive with them. She'll sit there a say, "Duck--Kack", "Cow-moooooooo! mooooooo!" etc and we can't get through the story.
She is really starting to mimic the words of the book. Last night she said, "money" clear as day.
I will have to start putting up video on the blog of her saying all these new words so I have something to go on and to follow as she progresses.
I am so proud of Molly and all that she is able to learn along with all the kids with Down Syndrome. They all are amazing kids, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A reminder to all

Life in the fast lane. That's how we all live. I really wish it wasn't that way but that is how we are. The fast pace lifestyle that we all live is bound to catch up with us at some point.

There are things that happen in our lives that reminds us to check ourselves at the door. To remind us of what is important in life. One of my closest friend Kristin over at Life is What you Make it puts all of this into perspective. Once again.

Her husband has Type One diabetes and he recently discovered that his kidney's are less than optimal. He will eventually need to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant. This is a very scary situation for her and reality has slapped her and her family in the face about what the future holds. For their marriage and for their family.

With that said, Mike and I try to have date night once a week. After all, it was me and him (and well, Austin if you must get technical) before the kids that we share together came along. Lately, date night has become more like one or twice a month. A strong marriage is what holds a family together and while, at times, this may seem like a difficult task, it's one that needs to be maintained. For the most part, we succeed.

We have our good days and bad days like everyone else. But at the end of the day, I know that I have him to lean on, to talk to, and to help me through whatever it is that I need help with. Without him, life just wouldn't seem whole.

Recently, I have been accused of not responding to and addressing an email quick enough, not wishing someone a happy birthday in a timely manner, for not returning a phone call, and not showing up to a social event.

Life with four kids, having a husband that I need to be there for, and working full time does not always allow me to be the greatest communicator and social commentator. And for that, I am sorry.

But I must live my life so I have no regrets.

I must always maintain that my family comes first and foremost.

So an email may go unanswered, a birthday wish may go unnoticed, a phone may not be returned, and a social event may be missed.

But at the end of the day, I know that I have done what is most important. I may not get to everything that needs to be done and addressed, but my kids are happy, the hubs is happy and I am happy and THAT is what is most important.

My St Patty's Birthday Boy

Today, my charming husband turns thrity-something!

A few things that I love and facts about the man I married...
  • He is the only cook in our house. He makes the family dinner each and every night. He loves, loves, loves, to cook and if there was money in it, he would have been a chef.

  • He is also the only one that does the grocery shopping

  • He is even more senstive and caring than he was the day I married him

  • Enjoys each and every one of the kids for their own unique qualities and interests:

  • Austin: They "talk" shop, cars and politics

  • Gavin: Plays the PS2 together and watch "Dirty Jobs", "Myth Busters" and "How it's Made" (I love listening to the conversations that come up during these shows)

  • Maggie: They "hang" together. Where daddy goes, Maggie goes. Whether it be a 4-wheeler ride, walk, or trip to the grocery store, Maggie is always in tow

  • Molly: She loves to snuggle her daddy. She will spend hours laying next to daddy on the couch rubbing his scruff and sucking her cute little tongue

  • He went to private Catholic school from Kindergarten through 12th grade which helped mold him into the man he is today

  • Can do one mean dance to "Billy Jean" by Michael Jackson

  • Had braces and now has the best smile EVER!! (I love teeth! I always had to date a guy with "nice teeth". Just one of my weird requirements of dating)

  • Thoroughly enjoys planes, trains, and automobiles!

  • His favorite shows are The Office and Seinfeld. Each night before bed, he winds down by watching re-runs on Tivo. Over and over.

  • His favorite place on earth is Fort Myers Beach (well, next to home, of course)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hind site is 20/20

Oh, my six year old has so much spunk to him! It's a blessing and a curse all at the same time.

Gavin is in the first grade and it has been a somewhat challenging year for him. He is a "young" first grader as his birthday is in June. I really wanted to hold him back but I gave into peer pressure. I am not usually so easily persuaded and now I wish I would have stuck to my guns.

Hind site is 20/20.

He is doing well in school. Academically. He does well in math and holds his own in reading.

By the end of the year, he will be required to know 200 words, count to 1000, tell time on a regular clock, count money, and do some simple algebra. Seriously, he needs to know what we did by the end of THIRD grade. I am wondering if he will be doing Geometry in fifth grade.

It's the behavioral aspect that he struggles with. The word "ADD" has been thrown out there in the past couple of months. Not sure if I totally agree with it or if it is just his immaturity. I can't help but to wonder if those words would be spoken if we had held him back.

Hind site is 20/20.

We will make it work. We always do. We are trying some behavioral modifications to start with and see where we go.

Everyone told me that if I held him back, I would have to regrets but if we sent him, we may do just that. Regret.

Hind Site is 20/20.

I just love this little boys spirit and energy for life!

(Note: Gavin is not performing obscene gestures here. He giving you the peace sign with his winter gloves on!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Color Bug

After our last mishap with Miss Thing, we needed to take control of the situation. Now she gets just ONE crayon and she must work at the table. Once she leaves the table, the crayon is mine. She looooooves to color! She gets so excited and I love to watch her do it. Just look at those great circles! You go girl!
"Look what I did, mama!"
(We are getting her eye "fixed" at the end of the month!)

...Concentration is the key

Mommy Loves the tongue!

"All done! Doesn't it look great?!"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Spot Bot Rescue!

So, let's just say that having four kids and two nice sized dogs, does a number on the flooring of our house. Especially the carpet!

We moved into a house that has hardwood flooring. Cheap hardwood, BTW. The other day, Gavin came home with soaking wet snow pants and took them off by the front door. Right where he should, right? Wrong. The flooring is now bubbled. Are you kidding me? We must get ceramic tile soon. Very soon.

Onto the carpet. Our family/living room is connected to the dining room and kitchen. It's all open and that is what I really wanted in a house. Until now. The kids are constently "sneaking" into the living room with their drinks and snacks. Drives me crazy!

We used to have a Spot Bot but we killed it. We got our $100 worth, that is for sure. It broke about 2 months ago and oh, how I have missed it. Using Resolve and wiping up the messes just grosses me out! I want it sucked up and out of the carpet.

I've been dying here, people! I am disgusted at the site of our carpet with the residual ketsup that Molly flicked off her chicken nugget and onto the carpet (because, remember, they are right next to each other!), the Valentine kisses and choclolate bars, the sippy that "leaked" as it was thrown on the floor on the way through the living room. The occational dog puke--yup! Totally gross!

So, I marched my butt right to Target yesterday and replaced it. Got myself a new one! is good again!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Sweet Ballarina

When we found out we were expecting twins and their heartbeats at 9 weeks were in the 180's, we thought for sure we would be having two more boys. For. Sure.

There were nine grand boys between the two sides of the family and ONE, just ONE girl. So our odds were with the boys. For. Sure.

The twenty week ultrasound. The tech told us baby A was a girl. Mmmmm. Mike and I just looked at each other in disbelief. Mike says, "Baby B just has to be a boy". Not that we didn't want two baby girls, we just thought, well, you know, that we were (for sure) going to have a bouncing baby boy or two (and the TWO was now out of the equation). It's pretty evident that Baby B was a girl.

Needless to say, we were pretty freaked out at the thought of having two girls. Excitement quickly overwhelmed us as we prepared for the arrival of the queen and princess.

Fast forward three years. Oh, have they been soooooo different than our boys. In every single aspect. Their mannerisms, their moods, their imaginative play. It's all night and day. It's a woman's (baby girls) intuition to mother their babies. There are a gazillion baby dolls in this house, doll houses, doll clothes, you name it. We've got it. They love to play dress up and put on lip gloss. Especially the flavored kind.

But this new dancing thing they do is just the absolute sweetest. It is by far, the funnest part of having girls thus far. They get dressed up in their tutu's and dance all through the house.

I admit it, Maggie pretty much lives in hers. Day after day. I don't care so much as it is just so stinkin' cute!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mommy's "dream" Job

World Down Syndrome Day is coming up on March 21st. I felt this post was appropriate to honor this day.

A few friends from work and I were discussing what we would do with a million dollars or lottery winnings. Mostly if we would quite working as NICU nurses. For the most part, there is huge job satisfaction and retention in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units across the nation. So really, I can see people continuing to at least "keep their foot in the door" and continue to do what they love.

While I love my work, there is something that I love more. Yes, you all know what that is: DOWN SYNDROME

First off, I need to play the lottery in order to win the lottery. So I guess I can start there.

Secondly, once I have secured my winnings, I would not pay off my bills (OK, that is a lie, yes I would!) but I would build a daycare for children with Down Syndrome from birth to 5 years. I already have two helpers, one of them being Cory that already works with Down Syndrome adults. I know a lot of families that struggle with this. Where do they find good, quality daycare for their chromosomally enhanced child that fosters a healthy and educational environment? Well, at my daycare, of course!!

Oh, we would have soooo much fun! We would have Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy daily with the best therapist money can buy. Then we would have music and art. I also think that Baby Signing Time will be in there somewhere, too. Oh, and it would be FREE OF CHARGE! Yes, I would do it for free!

And that would be my dream job.

What can I say? If you're gonna dream, DREAM BIG!!!!

Now, I have to remember to buy that winning lottery ticket.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What Molly's Been Up To

It's a good thing she's cute!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I {{HEART}} It...

  • When Molly surprises me and says "I wanna walk" clear as day!
  • When I ask the kids who wants something, Molly yells with her cute short little fingers in the air, "I do! I do, mama"
  • When Maggie and Gavin play house together and love and enjoy each others company
  • When my big boy Austin shows so much pride in himself with successfully passing his permit test and then correcting me when I disobey a traffic law.
  • When my husband calls me at work and asks my co-worker, "Is my beautiful bride available?"
  • When Gavin giggles and laughs until his belly hurts while watching, "Forrest Gump" (Parental Note: We only allowed him to watch certain, age appropriate parts)
  • When Maggie says a zillion times a day, "I Love You, Mama!"
  • When one of my greatest, dearest friend, Sheila who lives over 2 hours away calls me up and says she is going to drive up to take me to lunch. Just because. I love that woman!

That's all I wanted to say.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Can we 86 it??

"Do they think I am retarded?"

"Stop acting like a retard!"

"That is so retarded!"

The definition of "retard" in the dictionary: "to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede".

Yes, that is Miss Molly and all of the other children with Down Syndrome. She doesn't learn as quickly as her twin sister or her brothers or her peers. She is slow to develop in language/expressive language and fine and gross motor.

But does this give you a right to use her as an example when someone or yourself does or says something STUPID? She doesn't know any better but YOU do!!!!

This topic is all over the DS blogging community so I really don't think I need to elaborate on it.

We have all said it. Yup, even me and Michael. But things are different for us now and let me tell you, if Gavin, Maggie, or Austin even thinks of using this word, there will be hell to pay.

It is, honestly, one of my greatest fears that, one day, Molly will hear this and be hurt. How can you hurt such a sweet baby girl? I mean, really. She will eventually know that society views her as "mentally retarded". I will not be the one to disclose this to her but I have no doubt that some insensitive child will.

So, I am not here to "order" us adults from using this word. Why? Because it was how we were raised. My mother, as great of a woman as she is, never scolded me for using such language.

What I am asking is that all that reads this, to teach your children that the word "retard" is a BAD word and it hurts. It will, one day, hurt my sweet, sweet, Molly. For for all the children blessed enough to have Down Syndrome, PLEASE teach your child right from wrong. PLEASE teach them to refrain from using the word retard.

Because it hurts.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Baby Of The Family

There is no doubt that Miss Molly truly is the "baby" of the family. She is transpiring into such a big girl (more on this in a later post) but none the less, she is the baby sister and gets treated as just that.

Gavin loves the fact that he has a little sister that he can tote around as his own and protects her. Maggie does the same with Molly.

But Gavin and Maggie. Well, that's a whole natha story. Those two fight, bicker, argue, and "compete" with one another as to who is smarter, better, or whatever. There is definitely tension between those two.

The other day, Molly was cracking Gavin and me up with her silly little actions and being just loving with her typical million kisses and "luv you, mamma's".

Gavin says, "Molly is so cute, mom! I don't remember Maggie being that cute at Molly's age!"

Yup. Molly is the baby of the family. Twin or not.