About Me

My photo
After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Monday, January 31, 2011

My New Do

Its really not that different...just a trim.  Wish I could fix it like this every day though : ) 

Its harder to get a self-portrait shot than it looks!  Here's my first attempt...
Ha!! Nice one!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Simple Things

Nutrition.  Maddie found our box of oranges and was curious to explore everything about them.  I love how she eats so well and likes to try new things.

See all simple things photos here

Friday, January 28, 2011

Riddle of the Day

Q:  What do you get when you combine a sleep-deprived Mommy, new routines involving strollers in the trunk of a car, and two busy toddlers? 

A:  The Adventures of Sam and Melissa!

Melissa and I had this great idea to meet up at the park a few blocks from my house for a play date.  The weather was gorgeous and the kids played and played.  When it was time to go, we realized Melissa was missing her keys.  We concluded she must have left them in the trunk of her car when she went to get the stroller out. 
Our next great idea was to walk to my house and wait for her hubbie to get off work and get the keys.  Now this is where the story gets a little complicated.  Even though the park was just a few blocks, I was being lazy and drove there.  I didn't want Melissa to get lost in the neighborhood walking back, so I got Maddie's stroller and we walked back to my house.  We got all the way to the front door, when I realized I didn't get the garage door opener to get back into the house!
Luckily, my sister-in-law lives two blocks away!  We walked to her house and got the key to my house, then walked back to my house and waited for Melissa's hubby.  We had a good laugh and lots of exercise! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Thing About Toddlers

Maddie's entered a new phase in life.
She 's now in the sleeve-tugging-pant-hugging-I-want-your-undivided-attention-every-minute-of-every-hour-of-every-day phase.
And just when my claustrophobic mind wants to scream, "I need air, I need air, I need air!"
I open up the refrigerator door and find this...

and then I open the silverware drawer and find this...

And seriously, what else is there to do but laugh!!

So here's the thing I've learned about toddlers:

They'll bring you right to the brink of losing it and then color your world with all the hues of silliness and laughter and at the end of the day this new phase in life is a beautiful shade of perfection.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Best Brownies EVER!

Mmmm...I don't usually like a whole lot of sweets, but these brownies make my heart swoon!
The recipe is from America's Test Kitchen:
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate (make sure its unsweetened)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 350
Melt butter and chocolate together in microwave, 1 -3 minutes.  Let mixture cool slightly
Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until combined.  
Whisk in melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
Stir in the flour until no streaks remain.
Scrape batter into 8x8 pan, sprayed lightly with vegetable oil
Bake 22-27 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Easy Peasy!  And sooooo yummy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge

Just found a new website with a photo challenge.  Here's my interpretation of Innocent Wonder.

The Mitten

Maddie and I have been reading The Mitten by Jan Brett every day.  On Jan Brett's website, you can download the characters here and create a felt board story like this...
Maddie's not too keen on the book, but she does get excited when I bring out the animals.  She investigates each one very carefully.  
Next, we tried to match up a few pairs of mittens...
She just wanted to try them on.
Then I made this file folder game to match up colors,
 This has been fun so far, but here's a little sneak peak of what's to come!!

I found most of theses things at the Target $1 Spot.  I love Target!! Yay! I can't wait until February!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Weekend in the Kitchen

We began our weekend with a trip to Sam's Club.  Nothing says a good time like perusing aisles of produce on a Friday night! uh-oh...am I getting old?  Anyway, we stocked up on what we need for our green smoothies!  Spinach, romaine lettuce, avocados, pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, frozen berries, bananas, and more! 
I made a roasted chicken.  Maddie once again helped with dinner.  She had to taste all of the veggies before placing them in the roasting pan.  Vidalia onions were a big hit, believe it or not!
Yesterday, Maddie helped me make some muffins. Unfortunately, the final product was NOT photo worthy.
: ) Oh well, you win some you lose some!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Laundry Love

Here's my simple things photo this week...
While I was busy cleaning out and organizing the laundry room on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, my husband was ironically at the laundromat paying for everyone's laundry there.  Just to brighten their day!  He and another friend met up there and just starting asking everyone who came in if they could pay for their laundry.    He said one lady cried.  She had a terrible week, and that small act of kindness was just what she needed. 
I'm very grateful for simple things like my own washer and dryer, but more importantly, I have a husband who's willing to spend a few hours on his day off to brighten someone's day!

For more simple things photos, click on button below

Friday, January 21, 2011

On Growing Up and Letting Go

Wednesday our resource coordinator with Sooner Start came out for a visit.  We discussed preschool options when Maddie turns 3 (just 9 months away! : { yikes!)  If she goes to a special needs preschool, she will attend Mon. -Thurs. for 2.5 hours a day.  I had visions of dropping her off at school and she turns around and waves bye then marches right in greeting all of her special buddies and having the time of her life.  Then there's me in the car wondering, "what do I do without my baby girl?" And I feel so lonely and so proud at the same time.  So proud because I know she's doing what all kids are meant to do, and I join the ranks of all of the other mommies who cry their eyes out the first day of preschool...yep, it's just normal and natural, and I'll be grateful she'll be healthy and able to attend school.  but why does it have to come so soon!!
And to get ready for preschool, I've been trying to take full advantage of this amazing developmental growth spurt she's in right now.  Somebody must have snuck in and gave my little sprout some fertilizer when I wasn't looking!
She's coloring now...
And did you know she can kick a ball?  Yep, not just fine motor development but gross motor too!
It's hard to remember sometimes my job is to teach her independence, and I suppose preschool is the first step.  I do hope she will be fully capable of  taking all of the steps toward independence, but I also won't complain if she decides she will stay with Mommy and Daddy forever and ever and ever and ever! : ) 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Learning Tower

I few months ago I found this in a Montessori catalog.  I loved the idea, but with a price tag of $199, I knew we wouldn't be claiming one of our own any time soon!
BUT, it just so happens that I have the most talented Dad in the whole wide world!!
He made this for Maddie!
It looks just like the original!!  Maddie loves it so much.  She helped me fold clothes...

Then she helped in the kitchen with dinner...

Then, we had a little problem because she loved the learning tower so much and she decided her high chair was so yesterday.  We actually had to pull the learning tower up to the table and she ate dinner while standing on her tower! Ha!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ta Daaaaa!!!!

I finished it!  The laundry room is now clean and organized. And Maddie comes home today!

There is something awful about trying to clean clothes in a messy room.  It's just not right.  And now that I have my counter top cleared off, I can actually fold clothes on it, which I'm sure was its intended purpose.  We've treated it more like a catch-all for all the lost little things that have no home in this house. 

I have one more thing to do in this laundry room before its complete, but I'll have to wait until next week. I ordered this print in a 16x20. I'll mount it on canvas and hang it on the wall. 
My little helper!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Little Bit of Randomness

Mom and Dad are keeping Maddie for a couple of days. I cannot tell you how great I slept last night! Yay!! And Kyle and I went out to eat and then just for the fun of it, since we didn't have to rush back, we stopped by Akin's and bought...wait for it...

Dandelion greens! Who knew these little "weeds" would end up in the produce aisle of the health food store! Apparently, they are super nutritious. I'm drinking them right now in my green smoothie.

Another great reason to have Mom and Dad keep Maddie is this...

Yikes!  This was the state of my laundry room yesterday, but I've been working and working and working on getting it completely reorganized.  I have a little more work to do and then hopefully I will have pictures of a laundry room that doesn't make you want to bolt out the door as soon as you walk in.

Next project:  the guest bedroom  aye, aye, aye...this poor room has become the catch-all through all of the busyness of the holidays and it needs LOTS of TLC to get it put back together. Sorry, no guests allowed for a few more days at least. : )  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Zero to One Hundred

My simple things pic for the week is coffee. Now that I am drinking a green smoothie for breakfast every morning, my morning coffee has quietly resigned to be there when I need it.  I'm trying to drink coffee less often, and although I have always enjoyed it, when I have some coffee now, the enjoyment factor is like that state fair game when you use the mallet to hit the platform and ding the bell.  Zero to one hundred in one fell swoop!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep, Sleep...

What's been on my mind lately?  SLEEP!  Luckily, we finally got a good night's sleep last night.  I've been reading up on sleep apnea in kiddos with Down Syndrome.  Apparently, it's very common. Here's an excerpt from this article, "a previous study based on 53 children and adults with Down syndrome between the ages of four weeks and 51 years old (an average of seven years old), found an incidence of sleep abnormalities as high as 100 percent in some cases." 100%! That's crazy! 
Symptoms include: Snoring (check), restless/disturbed sleep (check, check, check!), daytime mouth breathing (sometimes), and odd sleep positions with head turned backward (check). 
To treat sleep apnea, they remove tonsils and/or adenoids.
Before I get all crazy about rushing to the doctor to do a sleep study, I decided to see if we could change things at home to help.  I read this book, No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Elizabeth Pantley. We've revised our bedtime routine based on her recommendations, so we'll see if it helps. (fingers crossed)
So this post isn't too wordy, here's some pics from yesterday...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Snow Storm of Jan. 12

We've had quite a few breakthroughs recently with stacking blocks and knowing her colors.  Then, I had another surprise yesterday!
We were going to paint and I told her she could use her fingers or the paintbrush.  She's never been interested in the paintbrush but look!
She used the paintbrush and used it well!
But she still couldn't resist having it on her fingers
Our "Snow Storm" is probably more like a blizzard : )

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What We've Been Up To

We've been reading Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  Maddie's enthralled.
We've counted out snowflakes
 We've tried transferring "snowflakes" but Maddie just likes to keep them in one area.

And we've had fun getting all bundled up to go outside for a few minutes of running around