Monday, October 1, 2018

Kicking off Down Syndrome Awareness Month...

October = Down Syndrome Awareness Month...and we kicked it off with a bang as my brave girl conquered her fear of the dentist and had a stellar appointment this morning!

Dental appointments have not been a lot of fun for Brianne.  The past few years the appointments include her not wanting anything to do with it...refusing to go back to the exam area, needing to be held down to even allow the dentist a chance to glance at her's been very stressful for everyone involved.  I'm thankful for the staff that has been patient with her and encouraged her and always respected her fears.  It wasn't a smooth and simple journey, but today, my brave girl impressed all of us when she went right back there and sat down and cooperated for the ENTIRE exam.  She even allowed them to take xrays! 

One neat thing about Down syndrome is that while things may take longer to accomplish and the time and effort needed to work thru things can be exhausting and frustrating and requires patience and perseverance...but when things do come together (and they will!) - the celebration and feeling of accomplishment is so much more meaningful!

So today as we kick off Down syndrome awareness month - I'm thankful.  Thankful for this beautiful daughter of mine who continues to amaze me each day with her sweet spirit and capabilities.  Thankful for the awesome dentist and staff that patiently encouraged Brianne.   Thankful for all of the amazing people that have been introduced to me by that extra chromosome.  Thankful for the love and encouragement from family and friends.  Thankful to live in the time we do where possibility and opportunity await individuals with Down syndrome.

Happy October.  Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bidding Farewell to 2016

2016 Gone and Done

The year flew by with lots of happenings...since I failed to maintain the blog in a timely and updated fashion....I'll have to settle for a recap of some of the highlights.

Some noteworthy items include:

  • Having the opportunity to work part-time!  While I'd had ideas of quitting work completely and trying the SAHM gig, when given the chance to stay working at only 3 days a week - I couldn't pass it up.  It's been a major adjustment; I had expectations that I would be Super Mom-Super Worker-Super Wife on this new schedule and I haven't mastered any of those (or even come close!)...there still doesn't seem to be enough time to get anything done, I'm swamped at work, terribly behind on my to-do list at home....but I love the flexibility it gives me and the extra time with the kiddos to join them for lunch at school and to attend their school parties, to have the ability to schedule appointments and not worry about how I will get 40 hours's an arrangement that I'm truly, truly, truly thankful for!
  •  Mark and I getting away on our first KID FREE vacation together since having kids!  We had a sunny and spectacular time in Mexico...and are thrilled that the grandparents enjoyed the time with the little we'll hope to do that again!

  • Bryce graduated from Pre-K!

  • Brianne graduating from KinderFrogs!  This school was our safe haven (the bubble!) and most amazing place EVER.  It was a tearful/emotional time leaving...but they truly did everything they could to prepare B for Kindergarten - and the world beyond!
  • I attended the National Down Syndrome Convention in Orlando over the summer.  This was phenomenal and I wish I could go every year!  My favorite session was lead by two individuals, both who had Down syndrome, who presented on how they have achieved independent living.  Inspirational and exciting to see the possibilities!

  • Brianne and Bryce no longer require the 'blue step' to reach the light switches...thankfully Brooke still needs it so we don't have to retire it yet!
  • Brianne and Bryce starting KINDERGARTEN!  We are ecstatic that Brianne is included in a typical classroom and has made friends.  Bryce has adjusted to the new routine, he loves math, and has also made friends.  I love that my part-time schedule allows me to join them for lunch and to volunteer and attend the class parties and big events.

  • Bryce has learned to make his own peanut butter, nutella, and banana sandwiches....and even a bear face version using blueberries...

  • Bryce started playing Ice Hockey!     

  • Traveling to Canada for my sister-in-law's beautiful wedding and to have the kiddos see/meet their cousins - and a quick detour to see the Falls!
  • Thanksgiving was a fun-filled time with family and included a bounce house at Grandma's house! 

  • Brooke's favorite things include baby dolls and Minnie Mouse.
  • Bryce lost the training wheels!

  • Brianne is READING!  She is a site word guru and is sounding out words quite impressively!
  •  Brooke and I escaped to NY to visit my parents, Grandma, family, and friends...we coincided our travels pretty perfectly with a lake effect snowstorm - but we made it and loved our time in WNY.
  • Christmas was spent at home and it is a magical time of year with little ones that eagerly countdown until Santa's arrival.  I loved waking up to hear Bryce whispering "Brianne - Santa came - and he brought your doll house - and it's bigger than I am."    

2017 is already plowing ahead with no plans of slowing down.  I'm hoping to soak it all in and enjoy it....with goals of writing more, working on developing photography skills, fitting in another kid-free vacation with my love, spending less time mindlessly surfing thru social media, to spend more time reading books for me, spend more time reading books with the kids, I plan to try out new restaurants, new parks, new adventures, I have hopes of removing clutter and getting organized...but also realizing my house may never be 'guest ready/sparkly clean' but to not let that stop be from inviting friends over.

Here's to making 2017 a year full of love and laughter!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Baby Girl Turned ONE!

How Did 365 days pass so quickly?!?!

Birthday Girl!

 I spent the entire time I was pregnant with Brooke in a panic about how we would possibly handle 3 kids, since it seemed pretty certain we had reached max chaos level with Brianne and Bryce.  It still boggles my mind how from the time she arrived she fit right into our family and things seemed to continue on quite smoothly.  

Life with 3 little's busy, it's crazy, it's hectic, it means the house is always in shambles, the laundry is always piled high, the question of 'what's for dinner - can it just be pizza night?" is asked far too many times...yet amid all that juggling and exhaustion - it's beautiful, it's fabulous, it's fun - and I love it.

Brooke's Birthday Adventures at the Zoo

I love how one minute he's being the loving big brother - then the next he's made a bow and arrow...

Birthday Cake!

Our Little Sunshine Birthday Party!

We had a great time celebrating with friends for her birthday shin-dig!

This was pre-party...she was napping so she'd be ready for all the festivities!

Someone scored a lot of presents!  One spoiled little girl!

I might have melted when she gave her first dolly a big hug.

How perfect is a sunshine CareBear for our little sunshine!?!

 As for our family motto...for a long time I was saying that it was simply "we thrive on chaos"...but I think the real truth is "we thrive on chaos and love" in this house.

Little Brooke, I'm so lucky to be your mommy and absolutely adore seeing the sibling bond between you and Brianne and Bryce....and you certainly have your daddy's love too.

Happy Happy One Year Birthday to this little sunshine of mine!