Monday, June 30, 2008

Watch out or she'll spray ...

... and if I could take a picture of myself, you would see that she has good aim!

Sleep Study: Take 2

Last night Payton had her second sleep study ... this time to see if taking her tonsils and adenoids out did any good for her sleep apnea. I don't really know how to put it any milder, but I HATE sleep studies. Trying to do them on young children with all the wires and sensors is ridiculous. I'm waiting for someone to invent cordless monitors ... that person will make millions.

After we waited for TWO HOURS in the waiting room for them to clean the rooms, it was well past Payton's bedtime. So combine that with someone messing with her body and face, well it is not a pretty sight. She did okay while the wires were being attached ... but when it came time to put the microphone sticker on her upper lip and putting the nasal canula in ... I knew we were doomed from then on.

The tech helping us was losing his patience with lack of compliance and pulling the microphone and canula off, but really ... what do you expect from a two year old? After I got her to sleep with everything attached, she pulled the canula out and I just left it. The tech came in around 2am, turned on all the lights and set out to repair the broken lines {the microphone sticker had also come unattached from the wire}. I was SO annoyed ... not because he was repairing the lines, but because he felt the need to turn on the lights and get huffy. The microphone sticker was too big for her lip and was partially attached to her actual lip. Well it pulled some skin off and made her lip bleed. I was frustrated and told him it was too big, at which point he proceeds to tell me he has been doing this for 10 years and he knows how to do his job. What does that have to do with the fact that he is pulling the skin off my baby's lip? GRR. Anyway, we get the microphone sticker and nasal canula back on her and I get her back to sleep.

She tosses and turns all night and I jump anytime she moves for fear that she will pull the microphone and canula off again. I pretty much got no sleep, so I'm not feeling the greatest today. Sigh. Let's pray that we don't need another one of these for a LONG time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I think she has mastered it

Payton has mastered self-feeding with utensils. Months ago, eating with a spoon used to be about painting the table with her spoon. Thankfully she has forgotten how fun it was to spoon paint and now just eats like a big girl. Here she is eating her yogurt earlier today ...

No, No and Pretty Much No

"No" continues to be Payton's favorite word. Tonight at dinner, I was telling her to eat her pasta. Instead, she was content putting her entire hand in a bowl of pizza dipping sauce and sucking it off her fingers. I probably told her to eat her pasta 20 times, and each time I got the hand (you know, she holds up her hand as if telling me to get lost) and a boisterous "No" in return. She is so cute when she gets sassy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Potty Time

A few months ago, we bought Payton a potty. While I can't say we have been good about it here at home, she does have potty time at daycare. She definitely has given us cues as to when she needs to go ... she sometimes pulls on her diaper or runs to the potty and stands in front of it. So cute {I tried to tell her she can't stand and pee like her brother}.

Anyway, tonight my sister watched the kids while we went to our adoption agency for our interviews. As Kristie was getting the bath ready, Payton sat on her potty and peed! Such a big girl!! {Note to self: move potty into the master bath and start using it}

Please pray for Kennedy

Meet Kennedy. Isn't she sweet? This little miss has jumped more hurdles in her life than most of us will in a lifetime. She has battled AML (a type of leukemia) and next week she will be having surgery for AAI and AOI ... and then she will be wearing a halo for six months. All of these things are on top of her cute little extra chromosome. Kennedy's dad is currently serving in Afghanistan and her mom is pretty much, well amazing. Please pray for Kennedy ... click here to follow her journey.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Funny conversation with Mason

Preamble: This weekend, I flew to Chicago to spend approximately 24 hours with some of my high school friends, Meeghan, Tina and Brenda. We went to the Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban concert at Soldier Field and had so much fun. Even though we don't get to see each other as often as we like, our strong bond allows us to go on as though we see each other every day.

On Sunday, I was at the airport waiting to board my flight home. I called home and talked to Mason, and I could tell from background noise (i.e. yelling) that Kyle's patience was wearing thin. He was sick with bronchitis and pneumonia, so he wasn't feeling that great to begin with.

Me: Tell Daddy to stop being so crabby.
Mason: (yelling at his dad) Stop being so crabby! Mommy said!
Kyle: You are driving me nuts! (Mason kept asking if the neighbor could play, but Kyle had told him 20 times the neighbor wasn't home.)
Mason: (yelling at his dad) Stop being so crabby at me!
Me: (laughing on the other end of the phone)
Mason: Mommy, don't talk to Daddy ... he is crabby! Mommy, hang up the phone. Don't talk to Daddy. Hang up the phone.
Kyle: (laughing in the background)
Me: (laughing on the other end of the phone) Okay, I'll hang up. Bye bub.

So I hung up and called back to talk to Kyle. It was so funny, I think you had to be there.

Payton's new caretaker

As much as Payton gets in her brother's way and frustrates him, he really does adore her. He likes to take on the parental role ... sometimes yelling at her, sometimes consoling her, sometimes taking care of her.

Last night, he decided he wanted to get her ready for bed and then rock her to sleep. He took her clothes and her diaper off, put her clean diaper on and put her jammies on her. Then they moved into the rocker for bonding time. I told him to sing to her, so he sang his ABC's ... and then she fell off his lap. LOL

Mommy ... will you be my girlfriend?

Remember that blog entry?

Remember that blog entry from a couple days ago about Mason and his obsession with long sleeves and long pants in the summer? Well, today he went upstairs to get dressed for the day and here is what he came down with ... at least he matches, right? I don't think he is going to fare well in 85 degree weather today. We'll see how long he lasts.

Poor Zoe

Last week, we had our dog spayed. After returning to the vet twice after surgery to have them sew her back up again (yes, she got her incision open twice), she got a lamp shade after the second trip back. She spent a lot of time in her kennel, which she doesn't typically do. Kyle said it was because she was embarrassed from having a lamp shade on her head. Poor Zoe.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mason's Antics

Apparently Mason has a thing for long sleeves and long pants. Lately, when we ask him to go upstairs and get dressed, he will come down covered from head to toe, even when it is 90 degrees outside. If you laugh at him, he gets mad. If you tell him to put shorts on, he says no.

Tonight, we put him to bed in a t-shirt and underwear. Like always, he is awake and goofing around. He just came downstairs wearing this ...

These are jammies from probably last winter ... a little small, ya think? Crazy kid.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our trip to Great Falls

Yesterday, Shay, Jodi and I took the kids to Great Falls. We had a good time, until I got back to the car and realized I locked my keys in my car. Thank God for Onstar! Anyway, the kids had fun seeing the waterfalls and rapids ... and watching the crazy people kayaking in the rapids.

Me and my babies ...

Shay and baby Jaxson ...

The three stooges ...

Jodi and Riley ...

Payton was determined to climb up by the boys ...

Me and my girl ...

Crazy person ...

My {not so} new nephew

Ok, so I'm totally guilty of being the slacker blogging auntie! On May 2, 2008, my sister in law {Kyle's younger sister} and brother in law had their baby, Jaxson. We are so happy that he is finally here and we adore him.

Mason and baby Jaxson {yes, he dressed himself}

Payton laying a wet one on him ...

Cousins ...

Super zoom {Mason is smart, he knows babies can't see far}

Buds ...

One tuckered out little boy

The other night before I went to bed, I went in to check on each of the kids like I do every night. When I went into Mason's room, I heard him breathing but didn't see him in his bed. I looked down and saw him laying on his floor. It appears as though he wanted to keep his stuffed animals company and laid with them while he played his Nintendo DS. He must have dozed off and there he stayed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kristie's shower {and bachelorette}

Yesterday I threw a bridal shower for my sister. She is getting married on July 26 to her fiance, Casey, and we are super excited. I am the matron of honor and both of my kids are in the wedding ... should be interesting!

Kristie and I ...

Kristie opening her Wii from her favorite sister {that'd be me} ...

Friends and family at the shower ...
Then, after the shower we got ready to head out for her bachelorette party. We rented a hummer limo and hit up a couple bars. It was so fun to be able to go out with my cousins that I grew up with ... even though we live close, we don't get to go out like that anymore because of other commitments {called kids}.

Getting ready to leave ...

Having fun with my sis {and looking inebriated} ...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A talk with my aunt {and some random thoughts}

When I was telling my aunt about our adoption plans, I was trying to explain to her the impact that Payton has had on our lives, on a level that she may not realize. It is hard to put into words, but I truly feel that I would not have experienced parenthood in the way that I have if Payton had not entered our lives. Loving a special needs child is so different than loving a typical child. It is very hard to make someone on the outside to understand this when they have no experience, but I know many parents of children with Down syndrome know exactly what I am saying.

You see, as parents we tend to take things that our children do for granted. We expect them to to walk by about one year of age, we expect them to start talking soon after that. We expect things from them because that is how a child typically develops and we cherish those milestones.

But ... what happens if your child does not walk by their first birthday, or if they still don't really talk at 2 years old, or if they still have to eat some baby food at 2 1/2 years old because they have oral aversions? Welcome to my world ... but don't pity me. We feel so blessed to have a happy and healthy child in our lives, that these silly things have become so minute. Sure, we still want these things for her, but we don't worry because we know one day she will get there. And when she does get there, it makes it that much more worth it.

In the words of my friend McKenna, we "want more of that love". And that is part of the reason we want to adopt a child with Down syndrome.

New Testing in the Down Syndrome World {Grr}

There's a new non-invasive prenatal test that is supposed to be 100% accurate in diagnosing unborn babies with Down syndrome. It is said to have zero false-positives like the current non-invasive testing options. When the average Joe hears this, they think of how far medicine is coming and how wonderful it is that parents can know earlier that their child may have Down syndrome.

However, being someone who knows that 95% of prenatally diagnosed babies with Down syndrome are ABORTED, and being someone who knows that physicians usually deliver this news with "I'm so very sorry" and go right into the abortion option, then I am someone who is not very excited about "medical advancement".

I know this may sound dramatic, but there is a passive-aggressive holocaust going on in our country against people with disabilities. It is politically INCORRECT to treat a person with disabilities cruely, but it is very accepted to choose to kill a child only because they are disabled. I am very sad of this "advancement" in medicine and hope that it will be countered with physicians delivering the diagnosis in accurate, positive and appropriate manners. There is no standard of care on how a doctor is supposed to deliver this news and too many times, parents are getting worse case scenarios explained to them. You wouldn't believe how many parents I know were told "your child may never walk or talk and will be retarded". What about all of the good that comes with having a child with Down syndrome? I emailed a friend today that I think every parent should know the love of parenting a child with Down syndrome, and I mean that with all my heart!

{Wonderfully and lovingly plagerized from my friend, McKenna}

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blast from the past

When Payton was about six months old, we had this photo shoot for the DSANV calendar that she was going to be in. The pictures were taken by Will from Blueberry Shoes Productions and they have always been my favorite pictures ...

Friday, June 6, 2008

The adoption talk has begun

I ordered three books for kids about adoption and they came in the mail today. So I read all three of them to the kids before bed. They were really cute books and Mason understands that not all kids have a mommy and daddy that can take care of them. He understands that while they may grow in one mommy's belly, that sometimes another mommy takes care of them.

So when we were done reading the books, I showed him a picture of a little orphan girl. The conversation went like this:

Me: See this baby girl? She doesn't have a mommy or daddy, or a brother and sister like you and Payton.

Mason: Aww, she is so cute!

Me: Yeah, she is pretty cute, huh?

Mason: (Shows the picture to Payton) Here Payton, give her a kiss. (Payton kisses the paper)

Me: Aww, that is so nice.

Mason: Mommy, maybe I can be her brother and you can be her mommy and Daddy can be her daddy and Payton can be her sister and Zoe can be her dog.

Me: Maybe! Do you think we should see if she wants to come live with us?

Mason: Yeah!

Me: Well, what do you want her name to be?

Mason: Ummm (long pause), how about Motorcycle?

Me: (chuckling) Motorcycle, huh? That isn't a name, you silly! How about Addison?

Mason: Oh, yeah yeah! (Pointing to the picture) This is Addison, like Madison at school. Addison and Madison.

Me: Yeah, Addison and Madison. Madison, just like Maddy and Ella too ... Maddy's real name is Madison.

Mason: (sounding excited) Yeah!

This conversation could not have went any better! I was so touched that he offered that our family could be Addison's family, with no prompting from me. What a good kid. :)

We have decided to add to our family

No, it isn't what you think. I'm not pregnant. Rather, we are hoping to adopt a little girl with Down syndrome from Russia. We plan to name her Addison and we are very excited! We have started the paper chase and are in the middle of our home study. We have been told that we may travel on our first trip in September, may even late August. Unfortunately, we cannot post any specific information about her just yet. Doing so could jeopardize our adoption and international adoption in general.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Conversation with Mason

This morning, the kids had gone upstairs, so I went up to bring them back downstairs. They each had a stuffed animal in their arms, their "babies" as Mason informed me. The conversation then went something like this:

Mason: And Mommy, you are having a baby too (as he pats my stomach).
Me: I am?!
Mason: Yeah, because I need another kid to play with.
Me: Oh, okay. Well do you want a baby or a little kid?
Mason: Um, I think a boy my size.
Me: Well, what about a girl Payton's size?
Mason: Okay.
Me: Maybe we can get a girl now and maybe a boy later?
Mason: Yeah, yeah.

Crack me up! And I swear if he pats my belly one more time to tell me I'm having a baby, I may have to get counseling!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Payton and her shoes

Payton has a little obsession with her shoes ... she is definitely a girly girl! If she has shoes on, she wants to take them off. If she doesn't have any shoes on, she wants to put them on. While she has mastered taking her shoes off, she has only been able to really put her Crocs on by herself so far.

Over the weekend, we were getting ready to go somewhere and I watched her put on one of her velcro mary janes all by herself. So exciting! She has long known what she needed to do to put the shoe on, but she has never really mastered it. Well, now we can check that off our to do list!