Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Texas Snow and Ice Days = Family Fun Time

Texas weather is incredibly random...and thanks to a few wintery days - we enjoyed a handful of snow/ice days that equated to NO SCHOOL which equaled NO WORK.  :)

Given the upcoming arrival of Sullivan Baby #3 - I think I was more inclined to really soak up this extra 'bonus' time with the little ones.  Of course - the first snow day was jam-packed with various activities/puzzles/adventures/etc....but by Day #2....there was a good amount of iPad and movie watching thrown in there too!

The first morning of ice/snow we awoke to hear Bryce's feet pitter-pattering thru the house....but then it was quiet and he didn't appear in our room.  After a minute I yelled out to ask him where he was, and it was one of the most precious things to hear him reply with "lying in bed, looking out the window at all the snow" - little Texan was mesmerized by the dusting of ice and snow.  :)

Here's a recap of some of our fun during these spells of winter weather:

Water Beads!

 If you haven't tried these with your kids - I highly recommend it!  They do require supervision since they aren't edible and i'm still dreading the day when the bucket tips over and they spill everywhere...but they are tons of fun and a great sensory bin material!
We bought these at Michael's in the flower section for just a few dollars...great investment!
They start out super tiny, but as you soak them in water...they grow and grow and grow
We enjoyed watching them grow throughout the day...they feel like slimy little eggs

GingerBread Train! 

This was an after-Christmas clearance special that we'd bought....and had been waiting for a lazy day to make it.  We'd made a Gingerbread house during Christmas break...and I'd bugged Mark since he was 'fixing' things as the kids put them in various this time Mark said he'd leave it to me and the kiddos.  :)  

Bryce is a Mini-Mark....he did the candy on the caboose in perfect symmetry....all on his own.....

Play Time!

 I'm can't recall how many snow days we actually had - they all kind of blend together...but I know there was lots of time spent in pajamas and it was a wonderful excuse to spend a little more quality time together!

Checking how tall we are :)

Being Lazy....aka:  Relaxing!

 Day #2 might have consisted of a few movies and some NetFlix time....

Outside Fun

 For my Western NY friends and family....this small little 'cute' amount of snow/ice might look like Spring to you....but the ICE is crazy and I would take driving in 4 feet of lake-effect snow over driving on icy roads with Texan drivers ANY day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Day In the Life With Down Syndrome - From a Mommy Perspective


A Blog post to participate in "A day in the life with Down syndrome":

Adrienne lives in Fort Worth with her husband Mark and their two children: Brianne, 3, who has Down syndrome, and Bryce, 2.

5:45AM Wake up to “Mommy … Mommy … Mommy” and a tapping at the bedroom door; Bryce thinks the sun is up and is ready to start the day.

5:55AM Let Bryce into the room and spend a few minutes snuggling in bed.

6:05AM My alarm clock goes off on my phone. “Game?” Bryce asks. I turn off the alarm and put a toddler game on my phone for him and head to the shower.

6:25AM “Potty! Potty!” Brianne is awake and wants to head to the bathroom. I sit her on the potty seat, close the door and listen to see if it will be a successful potty morning – it is! Smiles and hugs follow as we celebrate, put on a Pull-Up and wash hands.

6:30AM Breakfast time. Ask the kids if they want cereal or waffles. Bryce requests toast. Get milk and a banana for them. “Toast done?” Bryce asks as Brianne is pulling at my hand and asking for Elmo. Daddy joins us in the kitchen and starts getting Brianne’s lunch together.

6:35AM Bryce chows down on breakfast and Brianne drinks her milk and takes a bite of toast but quickly says, “Play!” I entice her to stay in the chair for a few more minutes by letting her watch a video on my phone while I comb her hair and put it in a ponytail.

6:45AM Brianne has dumped the blocks on the floor and is happily playing. Bryce is still eating. Mark and I make coffee and pack our lunches.

6:55AM Mark gets Brianne dressed, and I take Bryce to his room to pick out the day’s outfit.

7:05AM Everybody is clothed, shoed and fed (no small task!). Kiss goodbye to Mark and a big hug to Brianne. Bryce and I are out the door to his day care while Mark takes Brianne to her Pre-K class at KinderFrogs School at TCU.

7:10AM I walk Bryce into his classroom at day care. He clings to my leg when we get there, but the teacher gives him a big smile and asks him if he wants to wave to me from the front window.

7:11AM I’m getting in my car and smiling as I see Bryce’s little hand waving goodbye to me.

7:20AM Driving to work. Realize that I don’t need to be jamming to the kids’ CD anymore and change the radio to an entertaining morning talk show.

8AM I arrive to work and get my computer booted up. Sort through emails and check out what meetings are on the agenda. Muster up some motivation and dive into my latest projects.

11:30AM Head to the break room and heat up my leftovers. Back to my desk to eat and enjoy some quiet time playing Words with Friends and scoping out the latest happenings on Facebook before getting back to work.

2:45PM Grandma Suzie calls to let me know she’s arrived at Brianne’s school and is there to pick her up.

4:30PM Power down my computer and head to the car. Time to pick up the kids.

5PM Arrive at Bryce’s day care. Enjoy peeking in the window to see what he’s doing when I get there. Today he’s playing with cars but sees me, drops everything and runs excitedly to the door.

5:10PM Pull in at Grandma’s. She brings Brianne out to the car and loads her in. We discuss the week’s agenda, and she kisses the kids goodbye.

5:30PM Home sweet home. Feed the pugs. Put coloring books on the table for the kids while I get dinner going. Try to maintain count of all the crayons so none go missing. Brianne is quickly done coloring and asking for Elmo. I oblige and put on the TV, so I can finish getting dinner together. Bryce is asking for markers … Brianne asks for milk … Bryce asks for juice … Brianne asks for potty … Bryce asks for train … Somehow, dinner comes together.

5:55PM Daddy’s home. Kids are excited and give him a hug. We get dinner on the table and sit down together, carefully watching Brianne to make sure she doesn’t toss her plate on the floor. Bryce is busy eating, and Brianne is actually trying the spaghetti and seems happy – a dinner success!

6:30PM Head outside to draw with chalk, play with bubbles and let the little ones run off some energy.

 7PM Bath time. I bathe the kids while Mark washes the dinner dishes and packs up the leftovers.

7:30PM Kiddos are in their pajamas and hair is brushed. Quality family time as we play with the train set and do a few puzzles.

7:50PM Teeth-brushing time. Then it’s time for bedtime stories. Tonight we’re “Going on a Bear Hunt,” and I smile as I see that the kids have learned most of the motions that go along with the story.

8:10PM Kisses, hugs and lights off. Tell them we’ll see them when the sun comes up.

8:20PM Washing the last of the dishes and kids’ cups and a final wipe-down of the table and counters. Think of the many chores I should do but figure they can wait another day.

8:30PM Grab the laptop and consider updating my blog but opt to search Pinterest for recipes and ideas on activities to do with the kids instead. Chat with Mark about our days and the upcoming appointments and plans.

9:50PM Pick out my clothes for tomorrow and brush my teeth. 

10PM Bedtime. Snuggle under the covers and a goodnight kiss. Time to get some zzz’s; a little one will be tapping at our door before we know it.

Note:  I cheated a little on this post since I wrote this a while back (Brianne is now almost 5, and Bryce is 3 ½) for the DFW Thrive magazine ( – it’s funny to see how things have changed since I wrote this.  

Brianne is out of pull-ups and no longer needs help getting on the potty (although she will ask for help if she wants to string you along – little lady knows how to work people!).  

Sleeping/wake-ups have changed....Brianne has now started heading to our bed around 1am…she’ll wander in and climb in the middle of us and we are too sleepy to send her back to her room (bad habit - but really like the snuggles...provided she's not kicking us and laying sideways)…Bryce will show up around 6am and ask “why does Brianne always beat me in here?” and snuggle in for a bit.  They now argue over what to watch on Netflix while I take a shower – Brianne requests Barney, Bryce wants Chuggington – they both seem okay when we put on Curious George.  

We still have the same typical weekday morning and evening chaos…they have just grown and are now more independent…”I do it” is a common phrase from Brianne – along with “keep trying – get better” which she learned from a Daniel Tiger episode (she would be a serious TV junkie if we let her…but we try to limit her screen time as much as we can).

I have recently proclaimed that our Family Motto is:  “We Thrive On Chaos”……which is likely due to the various nonstop-activities we add to the calendar, whether it is a Board Meeting for the Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas, Gymnastics class for Brianne, T-ball for Bryce, Dinner with friends, a playdate at Gymboree….there are very few days of ‘nothing’….but I think chaos is something that exists when there are children involved – extra chromosomes or not!