Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two Girls Tribe Needs Your Support

In a little over a month, our family ... aka TWO GIRLS TRIBE ... will be walking in our local Buddy Walk to support Down syndrome ... and our girls. And we need your support!
If you are able, please help us by showing support for the more than 350,000 individuals with Down syndrome in the United States. Help us to make sure that each individual is given every opportunity to reach their full potential. Every dollar that is raised will help ensure that each individual with Down syndrome in the United States will be able to do just that. Last year alone, over $10.5 million dollars was raised nation-wide for local and national programs.

Your involvement in the Buddy Walk -- by walking with us or by sponsoring us -- will make steps for a brighter tomorrow for all individuals with Down syndrome. And that makes the two chicks you see above very happy!

To make a donation, click here.

To join our team as a walker, click here. If you are registering your entire family, click on REGISTER FAMILY and then click on JOIN A TEAM.

Thank you everyone for all of your support you have shown us over the past few years. We appreciate it more than you will ever know!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The damage is done.

So I was in the kitchen making microwaving dinner ... right inside the glass sliding doors you see in the picture below. As I went to walk outside with a plate full of chicken nuggets, I saw a mess beneath my feet.The girls apparently thought it would be fun to throw soil all over the deck ... soil from my urn that was full of beautiful dead flowers. And Payton, being the artist that she is, thought it would be fun to paint her sister with soil.
As mad as I was at the mess, you know I had to grab my camera to document the damage. Here is culprit #1 claiming her artwork ...
At least nobody can say that my kids don't get to explore their environment!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer fun is winding down ...

We took the kids to the pool last night for what I fear will be one of our last trips to this pool this summer. Seriously ... how does one make time stand still? I could use a little bit of that.
Addison has become so content in the pool ... she just floats around in her little raft and does her thing.

Payton is ... umm ... a fish. A whale. A dolphin. She is in love with the water. She would jump off the side of the pool all day long if there were someone to catch her. She also is doing so good with learning to swim ... she kicks her legs and moves her arms exactly the right way.

Mason has come a long way this summer in the pool. He did well last year with his little arm floaties, but this year he has not had to use them at all. He has almost mastered his swim and we are so proud of him for that! He is finally tall enough to touch in most areas of our local pool ... thank God. I seriously can only take so much of that big lug hanging on me ... it is enough to drown me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barney, I mean Payton

This is sort of a random post and actually sort of gross, but whatever. I was talking to some friends last night about Payton's birth and I was telling them how purple Payton was when she was born.
I mean really purple, as in she resembled Barney. Sort of.

See?! I told you she was purple! Crazy, eh?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Well I lied to her!

Last night ...
Me: Mason, you can't play anymore video games until you can count to 100.
Mason (with much annoyance in his voice): Ohh-kay.

This morning ...
Mason: Mommy! I learned how to count to 100 last night!
Me (with much exaggeration in my voice): You did?! That is great!
Mason: So now can I play video games?
Me: *sigh*

This afternoon, after practicing his counting ...
Me: Okay, now start from one.
Mason: Mommy, I can't count to 100!
Kyle: You told Mommy this morning that you could.
Mason: Well I lied to her! I couldn't take it anymore! I wanted to play video games!


It is so bittersweet, to have a kid growing up so fast. I miss my baby, but I thoroughly enjoy Mason and the funny things he says. I find myself having to remind myself that he is only five and really is still just a baby at heart.

Lately I've sort of been feeling sorry for Mason. I am often so busy with the girls, that I hate to think that Mason is just sort of along for the ride, so to speak. How many five year old boys spend most days traveling to doctor appointments and therapy? How many five year old boys even know what therapy is?

I guess the good thing is that Mason knows no different. And I know that he is a million times blessed to have the sisters that he has, despite all the extra time we have to spend on them.

I have been trying to make an effort to spend more one-on-one time with Mason. Whether it is dragging him along to get my coupon deals ... haha ... or just reading a book, I cherish the time we have together ... alone and uninterrupted.

Man I love this kid.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A great reminder ...

I have seen the below story before, but I find it a great reminder that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this world. As hard as it might be to raise a child with special needs ... and as easy as I might make it look (or not ... LOL) ... it is really hard.

I have constant reminders every day of how society views my girls as being different.

I have constant reminders every day of the ignorance and non-acceptance that people have against people with Down syndrome.

I have constant reminders every day of my girls' delays.

But because of my strength, my support system and my intense love for my girls, I get by and I make it work. Don't get me wrong, I do still have little moments of feeling sorry for myself, but for me, they are short lived.

I'm not really sure what my point is, other than to say there is nowhere I'd rather be, hurdles and all.

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of disabled children. Did you ever wonder how these women were chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation, with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint...Cecilia."

"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a child with a disability."

The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."

"Exactly. Could I give a child with a disability a mother who doesn't know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she'll drown in a sea of self pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today, she has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has his own world. She has to make him live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps. "Selfishness, is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes she is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet but she is to be envied."

"She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says 'Mommy' for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. When she describes a tree or sunset to her child, she will see it as few people see my creations."

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice... and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is there by my side."

"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised mid air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

~Author Erma Bombeck

Monday, August 3, 2009

Still Living Life

I'm not quite sure where the summer has gone. The need for school supplies and new clothes is smacking me in the head ... didn't school just get out? Seriously.

I've been so busy, my head is spinning.

Three weeks ago, I took a quick trip out to Denver to visit my dear friend, Carmen. We met several years ago in cyberspace. Shut up, I know that sounds weird. She has a little boy that has Down syndrome and we met on a forum for parents of kids with Down syndrome. We clicked from the start and we actually got to know each other better by randomly meeting up in an airport. Ha.

Crooked sunglasses, anyone? Haha.

I guess I will also tell you that we went to the New Kids on the Block concert. I know, I know ... surprise, surprise. But let me tell you, we had so much fun and I think we both needed our short little two-day getaway that we had. It was so much fun! Sigh ... I still love Jordan Knight.
Check out our fourth row seats!

The day after getting home from Denver, we left for the beach with my mom and sister. We had a wonderfully relaxing time in Hilton Head, SC. And yes, I'm still trying to finish posting about that.

On my way home from the beach, I found out that a friend from high school unexpectedly passed away. My heart just broke in two. His name is Wade and he actually is the brother of one of my best friend's, but a friend all in the same. I just adore their family and after having lost their dad unexpectedly a couple years ago, this has been a really, really hard time. If you have room on your prayer list, please pray for my friend and her mom ... I know they appreciate all the support they can get right now.

Since we've been home from the beach, our schedule has been crazy hectic. What's new, right? I sort of had to chuckle the other day at someone who was overwhelmed at their upcoming week, which consisted of about as much as I do in one day, let alone a week. Sigh ... the joy of having kids with medical and therapy needs. If I get one day with no doctor or therapy appointments, it is truly a blessing!

Kyle found out last week that he has to take two weeks of paid vacation in August, so it is nice to have him home. I'm trying to lure him into doing some painting around here, but clearly I need to talk a little sweeter since he is refusing ... so far. I did get my car waxed today though ... the first time in four years. Is that bad? Haha.

Mason had to go to the doctor today because he has been complaining of ear pain. Turns out the poor kid has swimmer's ear from all the swimming he did at the beach and here in our pool.

Payton is having her third set of tubes placed in her ears tomorrow. I always hate having to watch my kids go under anesthesia, so please pray for my strength. I can pretty much guarantee I'll cry though, so not sure what praying is going to do for me. Haha. Her one ear is infected, so these tubes will be good for her. Then in about 3-4 weeks, she is having a sedated ABR to check her hearing. Let's pray she passes that!

Phew ... so if you made it this far in my ramblings, say Ahoy! Err something.

Oh ... and by the way, today is my birthday! Happy birthday to me!
Happy Birtday ... Kyle claims they couldn't fit the H. Uh huh.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beautiful Skies

This is pretty much a random post, but I thought the sky was too pretty to pass up.

Blog reader, meet the sky.
I was just outside pushing the girls on the swings as some storm clouds rolled in. But ... I looked up and saw a beautiful break in the sky, with light shining through just right. And do you see the airplane?

So I grabbed my camera.

Did you enjoy meeting the sky? Haha.