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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Simple Things, The Great Outdoors

It's been a while since I linked up to The Simple Things but this week I had some pictures that I never posted that I just love.  
We had a rare day that we spent more than 5 minutes outside and it was really nice, because I miss the great outdoors.  Maddie was "smelling" the dried up sunflower.  We took all of the seeds from this little guy and plan on planting them in the spring!

I love this picture because you can see the clouds reflected in the door and then you see Gracie in the corner looking out...it was still too hot for her to enjoy, so she had a front row seat to all the action!

click here to see other simple things photos

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rethinking Toys

I've been reading this book...
I highly recommend it!  It's really interesting startling how the busyness and stuff in our lives has affected our children's development and quality of life.  Kim John Payne has noticed the same symptoms in our children as children in war-torn countries like Africa who experience classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Wow, really?!
So, many of Maddie's toys have found their way to Goodwill in our attempts to simplify and de-clutter.  It's only been a couple of days but I have noticed Maddie has been more creative lately.  Like in the bath the other night, she was really studying the patterns of the water when she swiped her hand across the surface.  Like REALLY studying.  She would gently swipe her hand and watch very carefully.  Then, some of her bath toys came floating up, breaking her concentration and it made her mad!  She tossed them to the back of the bathtub with disgust. Who needs toys when you have your hand!
Yesterday, she found a stack of napkins on the table and took to exploring them.  It's just fascinating to watch, and I caught a few pictures of the process. 

Poor Gracie...eventually everything get stacked on her back!  I don't think she minds too much. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Picture Me (im)perfectly Sewing

Last week, a fellow blogging Mommy over at Capturing Motherhood told me about her project, Picture me {im}perfectly.  It's a place to poke a little fun at ourselves and have a good laugh at life.  I knew I had LOTS of material to be able to link up so here goes!
I'm a creative person.  If I'm not busy with a project, I'm not balanced.  Since I've had Maddie my interest in sewing has peaked.  I may be crazy but I really believe there is something that happens when we give our little ones something we made all by ourselves.  It seems like its loved a little deeper and cared for a little more tenderly.  Maybe they sense the love and care we have put into making the item. 
So, on the heels of a few successful projects recently like Maddie's Easter dress

I decided to tackle the beach robe!  
After SEVEN YARDS of bias tape (what!?), I am hereby declaring war on the stuff!  Bias tape is now my arch enemy and I'm determined to conquer it...someday.  But not today.
At first glance, you may think I did a  pretty stellar job...
but then if you look close...
 you'll see the tie is being held on by a safety pin...
and I'm pretty sure this seam isn't supposed to look like this!
not to mention all of the scragglies.
 and see what stupid bias tape can do for you!!
But regardless of my imperfections...Maddie still LOVES it!!  On this particular day, she wouldn't let me take it off.  So, this reinforces my theory on the connection our little ones feel to the things we make (or attempt to make) for them. It's all worthwhile, time well spent.  I can guarantee I will be sewing more creations for Maddie in the future, but my next project will most certainly NOT have bias tape!!  I'll let you know when I DO conquer bias tape (because I will), but first I'll get a few more successes under my belt. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Maddie's Ball

A very special thanks to Kendra and Carol for bringing Maddie her new ball!  She loves it! It's squishy and soft and she treats it like one of her stuffed animals...it's so cute!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My First Maternity Shoot!

Have I said how much I'm enjoying this photography biz? I'm loving it!  Saturday night I got to shoot my good friend and her hubby (and they both survived!) : )  Here's some of my favorites...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Fun Day!

Kyle took off work Wednesday and we had a little Family Fun Day! First we went to the zoo.  It was Way Back Wednesday so admission was only $1!!  We didn't realize that when we planned the day so that was a nice surprise.  We also didn't know it was pet the lion day.
Maddie was a little skeptical at first, but she did the one finger touch like we have always taught her! 

Haha...just kidding!  Kyle's been playing around with photoshop!  It's such a fun program and great for practical jokes : ) 
So, we didn't get to pet the lion, but we did get to see the new baby elephant! 

Maddie gave the elephant a nice, big wave from a safe distance.  
After we left the zoo we went to the movie theaters for Maddie's very first Movie-Theater-Experience!  We saw the new Winnie the Pooh movie.  
Maddie really enjoyed it!  It may have been about 15 minutes too long.  She began to get a little antsy there at the end, but she did great.  
Our plan was to go eat lunch and then to the Disney store to get Maddie a plush pooh, but after lunch she was too tired.  We headed home and she fell asleep on the way.  
It was a nice break in the middle of a mundane week and we are thinking we should do this more often!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Embrace the Camera

Since I'm usually the one behind the camera,  I thought this would be a fun thing to do...and a little challenge since I have to rely on my camera's timer since its just Maddie and me!  Take pics of you and your little ones and link up along with us!

Maddie loved this...as soon as the clicking stopped we would both run to the camera to see if we actually had any keepers!  Luckily, we had a few : )

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Update on the Chore Chart

We've been using our "chore chart"  for a little over a week now.  
It's been working really well.  Maddie loves to get high-fives after we move our pictures over.  Her favorite chore is unloading the dishwasher.  She's the master of the silverware tray. 

She can open the drawer by herself.

oops...sometimes we get a little side-tracked.

but they eventually end up in the silverware drawer! 
I read in Barbara Curtis' book, Mommy, Teach Me!  its best not to correct their "work" in front of them, so this is the state of our silverware drawer most of the time!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trying Out Manual Mode

When I take pictures, I usually use the shutter priority, or aperture priority.  You choose one or the other and the camera decides what the other settings will be.  Yesterday, I was trying out manual mode...selecting everything on my own.  I ended up with a few great shots of Maddie that I just love!
50 mm lens, 1/125s, f/2.5, 400 ISO

I also introduced a new Montessori activity to Maddie.  She really liked it.  It held her attention for probably 15 minutes.  

She was really concentrating hard!  To set the activity up, I bought the tray at Lakeshore Learning.  The dog bowl and the sponge is from Dollar General.  I cut the sponge to fit the bowl and put enough water on the left side for two full squeezes of the sponge.  The idea is to transfer the water from one side of the bowl to the next, always working left to right to prepare them for reading.  
Right now she's less concerned about which side to squeeze and would rather just SQUEEZE!  It's a fun thing to do on a hot day!