About Me

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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, February 28, 2011

Spring is Coming!

I cannot WAIT to get out in my flower beds and start working.  And this is what we have in the works for our garden...
Look what can happen in just five short days! 
Now, if only we could have this much growth when it comes to self discipline!  Maddie and I did survive the day with no T.V.  There were no major fits or tantrums, but I'm thinking I may have a little passive aggressive genius to contend with!  I have never ever ever had any problems with Maddie at the grocery store.  But this afternoon we had to make a quick trip to pick up a few things and the little rascal WOULD NOT listen.  She refused to sit in the seat so when I allowed her to sit in the back of the cart with the condition she had to sit, she just acted like she didn't hear me.  It's almost like she knew we were in a public place and this was her prime chance to take out her revenge for denying her Elmo. I even had to pull out the ole, "look at my face" business.  I hate disciplining in public! 
But if these tiny little seeds can grow that big in such a short amount of time, I think we can too!  I'm all for moderation, and believe me once we get a better routine in place there will be more Sesame Street...for my sanity as well as her enjoyment!  But for now, I'll stick with the no T.V. and see how it changes us.  And if spring symbolizes new growth and a fresh new start...come quickly please!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Too Much

Well, Maddie's been doing a little too much of this lately...

It's a slippery slope, this T.V. stuff!  Maddie didn't watch any television until she was probably 15-18 months old.  And then it was only Baby Signing Times (which, by the way, I credit as the single-most influential factor in preventing several tantrums since Maddie learned all of her signs this way).  Did I mention she knows about 50 signs now?  Anyway...our slippery slope began innocently with these amazing DVD's.  Maddie LOVED them.  Then we discovered Baby Einstein.  She would wake up super early after a rotten night's sleep and I fell into letting her watch these magical will-hold-toddler's-attention-while-Mom-gets-time-for-herself DVD's first thing in the morning while I gulped my coffee trying to wake up.  Then one DVD became two, and then before I knew it, our morning routine now consists of at least one hour of Sesame Street, and a Curious George.  Sometimes we watch two Sesame Streets and throw in a Sid the Science Kid, and Word World, and that hour of T.V. has somehow turned into...(gasp)...4 hours.  Slippery slope!! 
I decided no more T.V.  Not even a little.  If we are going to break this habit, I think we are going to have to go cold turkey for a while.  We went most of the day with no T.V. until I laid down for a nap and left Daddy in charge : )
I thought it would be a gruesome battle of the wills, but surprisingly, Maddie and I had a pleasant morning.  We stayed home from church because she ran a fever all night and wasn't sure if she had something contagious.  I'm convinced now she's just teething.  I saw her very back molar poking through her gums tonight.  I had to engage her lots of different activities when she asked (signed) to watch T.V.  But it was fun.  NO tears!  Just a little redirection and attention from Mommy is all it took today.  And I realized there is a connection to Maddie asking for T.V. and my being on the computer.  So, guess what?  No T.V. time for Maddie means no computer time for Mommy!  (boo hoo!).  I guess I'll just have to blog when she goes to bed now.  This should be a very interesting week.  : {  

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Baby Girl and Her Dolly Babies

Maddie and I drove to Woodward yesterday so my sister and I can get some scrapbooking time in!  Five minutes on I-35 and my bundle of energy was out.  I couldn't help but adjust the rear view mirror so I could take in the scene. Is there anything sweeter than a baby girl clutching her dolly baby with both arms around her neck holding her close to her cheek and snoozing away?  I wish I could have taken a picture it was so serene with the rain softly falling and her precious little cheeks getting red and her chest softly rising and falling.  Bliss.  It will be one of those mental pictures I keep in my mind forever.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Keep It Up

Yesterday Maddie and I had to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.  We took out our left over Valentine's balloons.
We played a fun game of Keep It Up where you try to keep the balloon from touching the ground.  Maddie thought it was hilarious.  I'm not sure if it was the balloon floating up in the air or Mommy bounding across the lawn like a fool tapping the balloons back up to their rightful place in the sky.  All I know is it was fun! And if it takes acting like a fool to hear that sweet little laugh, I'll do it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Date Night!

While Kyle's parents were here, we took the opportunity to have a date night! We went to one of our favorite restaurants in town, The Coach House. I have discovered my Salmon Standard! We like to rate things when we go out. To be considered a standard, it has to be the best you've ever tasted, and a meal you will remember for years. Everything else from then on will be compared to this standard. My steak standard was from 2008. Filet Mignon from Shula's Steakhouse at Walt Disney World! Mmmmm...

My chicken standard was from 2009. A trip we took to New York. This was Oven Brick Chicken from the Artisinal. The crispiest chicken I've ever tasted! So good!

What are your favorite meals? Do you have any standards?
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Zoo Day!

Kyle's parents are here for a visit and we decided to take Maddie to the zoo yesterday.  Good decision!  The weather could not have been more beautiful!  Here's some of our pics from the day:
Daddy and Maddie on carousel...usually her favorite thing but was a little clingy today

So glad he was behind glass cage

Wow!  Never witnessed this before

Silly Meerkat.

Looking at silly meerkats.

awww...so sweet!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Reclaiming My House

I've been super busy the last couple of days trying to reclaim our house from the clutter bugs!  My Mom and Dad came and got Maddie after they saw this post. :)   No really, they were in town and it just happened to work out for Maddie to stay with them a few days.  She has loved every minute of it and I have been able to get A LOT done! 
As I was digging through boxes of "stuff", I came across this quote that I had written down.  "Nature does nothing uselessly." -Aristotle
I had to take a little break and get out in nature.  Here's one of my favorite pics:
Get out and enjoy nature today!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Maddie's Mail

Thank you to Maddie's Grandmas and Grandpas for her sweet Valentine's cards.  She loved them...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine Love

We had such a great day yesterday.  To decorate for the party, Maddie helped me clean the window and we put up window clings...who knew they could be so fun!
These kept her busy for at least 15-20 minutes. 
Then she helped make cookies.
And after nap her friends came over!  This is Tiffany...so pretty!  She's a year younger than Maddie, but she's actually a little bigger!
Poor Gracie wore her heart on her sleeve when she had to go to her kennel.  She's just a little too greedy when it comes to snacks!
And later last night, after seeing how the "big kids" play with her cow, she was eager to play herself.

Lots of love for Valentine's Day 2011!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yay!  We are so excited to have our little party this afternoon.  We've invited our play date buddies from church.  I decorated the living room last night after Maddie went to bed.  I couldn't wait to see her reaction this morning!! It definitely made getting out of bed at 6:20 this morning a little easier : { She really liked the balloons.
Kyle and I had nursery duty at church yesterday.  We only had Maddie and one other friend (who happens to be the best baby I've ever seen!) so I got to take lots of pictures : )  Here's what Maddie does at church...

She carries not one, not two, but all three Sesame Street friends around everywhere,
Until she finds Daddy and allows him to hold them... for just a minute.
And then, maybe I'm overly impressed by this next one, but I couldn't believe it when I saw this...
She's actually using two crayons simultaneously.  Doesn't that mean her right and left side brain is working together?  Am I right to be completely amazed by this?  Yipppee!
Next, Maddie found the books.  I LOVE that she loves books.
And then the kids played a little game of peek-a-boo around the rocking chair...so cute I tell ya!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Simple Things: Peanuts

Earlier this week, Daddy was snacking on peanuts and Maddie got up on his lap.  She observed, then began pulling peanuts out of the bag and putting them directly in the compost bucket.  Daddy had to fish out half the bag of peanuts by the end of snack time. : )

See the other simple things photos here

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Calling all "Type A" Organizer Friends!!

I NEED YOU!!  I need you to tell me exactly how your brain works so I can implant all of your knowledge in this little head of mine.  I mean, I like who I am and all, but seriously...I have some major personality flaws.  Need convincing?  Take a look at the state of my house right now...

What in the world?! This is so crazy.  How do you keep a clean house?  Where do you put all those things that have no home?  What's your daily schedule like?  Help, help, help! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Have an Idea!

I've bee pouring over as many Montessori books as I can get my hands on.  Not to mention all of the great blogs out there!  My mind is about to explode! 
I've been thinking how great it would be to have an actual play room for Maddie.  She has her room and we have a guest bedroom, which gets used quite a bit with family coming to visit.  I didn't want to sacrifice the guest bedroom, but with a queen size bed in the room, there's no way to make it a play room.  And then...my bright idea!!  Why not have a Murphy bed?  We could pull up the bed and secure it when we didn't have company, and if we had a Montessori style playroom, everything would have a place.  Simple, uncluttered, meaningful activities.  I think this could work.  What do ya think?
Anyone out there ever installed a Murphy bed? 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

joy of LOVE photo workshop Day 4

I've fallen a bit behind...
It's just that this prompt stopped me right in my tracks.  The topic?  What they wear.

Seems completely innocent and straightforward, but for me it was loaded down with heavy emotional connotations.  It seems ridiculous even typing this out right now like I'm completely vain, but when you realize you have a daughter who, at first glance, the world may not see the beauty those of us who are completely in love with her see, this Mommy bear wants to protect her any way I can.  My strategy?  Get the absolute cutest outfits so the first thing the world will see is CUTE.  And then with first impressions out of the way, they may see Down Syndrome but their hearts will already be stolen. 

Honestly, for the most part we have been enveloped with such warmth every where we go it has surrounded us and protected us and these futile, vain thoughts of appearance and first impressions may just be wasted energy.  But just when you think the bubble is protecting you from anything negative...it POPS!  Like the day we went to the pumpkin patch and Maddie was laughed at for looking "funny".  You can read about that day here.
So that's why 6 days later, I'm finally ready to participate.  I do love all of Maddie's cute, little outfits but I'm taking a different approach.  Here's what she wears nearly every day:
  We (I) decided to go with cloth diapers when Maddie was born.  I love our Fuzzi Bunz.  In 2 1/2 years I can count on one hand the number of rashes she has had.  Not to mention the money we have saved!  Plus, do I get extra points for saving the environment?  : )  We still have disposable diapers on hand and if Daddy is watching her you can guarantee she'll be in disposables!  But using cloth diapers helps me feel better and somehow in some weird way, in my mind, seems to balance out too much focus on what Maddie wears.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting Out

On Monday, Maddie's play time buddies and we Mommies decided to get out while the gettin' was good since this new snow storm was coming.
We met at Jump Zone, the perfect venue to let cooped-up kids work off some energy.  We met after naptimes around 2:45.  The only problem...they close at 3!
They very kindly let us in for 15 minutes free of charge (yippee!) and we got to see what the kids thought of these big, huge inflatables.
Kyler loved it! 

Maddie was OK with the inflatables, but would much rather just walk around the place greeting everyone who passed by with a quick wave and an, "aye" (sounds like "I" when she says hi").
Since the kiddos didn't get to play very long, we headed over to Marble Slab Creamery (conveniently located right next door!)
Noah was much happier checking the place out, running up and down the aisle, trying to open doors, visiting with the people at the other table, etc than having to sit in one place and eat ice cream!
Kyler on the other hand was present and accounted for when the ice cream was around.  Not only did he enjoy his scoop of vanilla, but he also finished off Noah's strawberry!  
And then Maddie was somewhere in the middle.  Looking at all the fun Noah was having, she couldn't wait to greet the people at the other tables!  What fun!  She would eat a bite, join Noah in his exploration, eat a bite, say hi to people, and on and on.  
I must run!! : )
We had a great time and will definitely be ready for another outing as soon as this snow clears up!