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, August 29, 2011

Try Taking Away Beloved Elmo...

and you get this.
 One morning (like around 7:30) I was trying to keep Maddie outside to play before it got too hot.  She was up for it for a while, but we have unfortunately set a little routine in place in the mornings that include watching Sesame Street.  As soon as she realized she should have been watching "Elmo-mo" outside time was ovvvveerrrr. 
We have been watching less T.V. but there will always be Elmo in the mornings!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mastering New Skills

Remember this photo shoot?  Meet Lillian Indigo Lee!! 

{sigh} isn't she beautiful!!!
I'm going to get to do a photo shoot with this little beauty next week! I cannot wait.  And while I've been busy mastering some new photography skills Maddie has been busy working on some skills of her own.  
She can now....blow bubbles!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Raw Milk

My sister-in-law recommended a book Real Food by Nina Planck.  I picked it up at the library and Kyle has already finished reading it.  It's next on my list.  Because of this book we ventured out last weekend and found a local farm selling fresh raw milk (for only $4 a gallon!)  The farmers have a small barn with a refrigerator and a cash box.  You leave your money and take your milk.  Ours must have been REALLY fresh.  It was still lukewarm! 
We've been having so much fun with this milk.  We skimmed the cream off the top and made homemade butter.  We had the best fresh peaches from Colorado and made peaches and cream!
I used to drink my coffee black, but now I put cream in it
And yesterday I made a bechamel sauce that was sooooo good! 
I have never been a fan of milk.  In fact, I remember when I was little I kept asking begging Mom for milk, but she knew I wouldn't drink it because I never did.  Finally, she gave me the milk and told me no matter what, I had to finish that glass of milk.  I took two sips and remembered why I hated milk.  I set it on the counter and later that day that glass of milk became a power struggle.  Mom won and I had to drink sour milk yelch! She claims she didn't know it had soured, but I have never had another glass of milk since then unless is was chocolate.  (on a side note, I did learn a valuable lesson that day.  I distinctly remember never again to ask for something food related unless I was certain I would eat it!)

Kyle persuaded me to give milk another chance.  It was really good! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seeing What We Want to See

The other day Maddie's little friend, Noah, was over. They were so cute, playing with these animal masks.
Maddie always turns the right side towards her.  At first I thought it was just one of her quirks, but then...
Noah instinctively did the same thing!
He could have been mimicking Maddie, but I think they prefer to see what they want to see.  I mean, who wants to look at a plain, white piece of cardboard when you can look at the amazing bright yellows and oranges that make up a lion!?

This got me thinking...maybe I'm seeing what I want to see in some things.  Last night I read some startling news.  From the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, "Multiple studies have now concluded that watching television, even such educational programming as Sesame Street, actually delays rather than promotes language development."  YIKES.  If this is true, I have definitely only been seeing what I want to see.  She loves Sesame Street, but she probably has been watching too much lately.  I knew this before I read this excerpt last night, but I was telling myself, "Well, at least it's Sesame Street and she's learning so much!" I think it's really ironic that he chose to write specifically about Sesame Street. Had he just said educational programs, I would have totally dismissed it, but he actually pegged Sesame Street!  

So much to think about!  What do you think?  Do you think the findings in this study could be true?  Is some T.V. OK?  How much is too much? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays!

We really like celebrating birthdays around here.  We went back to Woodward over the weekend to surprise a good family friend with a 50th birthday party!  I doubt he was really all that surprised because my Mom and Dad do this with all the monumental birthdays...and...well...let's just say this wasn't their first!! Not that they're old or anything : )  We had a great time and a lot of laughs! 
Maddie really liked the balloons and riding in the wheelchairs!

She also really liked to dance to the music.  She was dancing to "Achy, Breaky Heart" and I thought it was so keen of her to pick up on the tone of the song without ever having heard it before.  Here's how she interpreted it...
Ha...it was hilarious!

She ran and ran and ran, and was completely exhausted by the end of the party.  Once we hit the road to travel back home, she was completely sacked out within 10 minutes. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

An Audience of One

I have a confession to make.  When I was pregnant with Maddie, I was really worried about how to act around her.  If you saw the way I am here in the comfort of my own house when I know no one is watching, you would most certainly wonder about my sanity.  The main two things I worried about is if I would be able to "be myself" when getting ready in the bathroom.  I really like to belt out an off-tune song in the shower, and when I say belt out I really mean scream-sing as loud as I can.  I often get songs in my head that must be sung, but unfortunately I tend to hold the note too long and make up "runs" (I'm totally just using that phrase because I heard it on American Idol and it sounds like I know what I'm talking about).

The other thing I worried about is my time in front of the mirror.  I like to practice my accents (British is my favorite, although Scottish is a close second). Obviously, I only do these things when I'm absolutely certain no one is watching.  So, how would this change when I have a little one to care for...I mean Moms aren't supposed to do these things, right?  Aren't we supposed to be prim and proper and dignified and have all the answers and be a calm voice of reason?  Aren't we supposed to be well organized and put together and on top of schedules and bring a sense of order to the home? I was really worried that I wasn't old enough (at 30) to be a Mom. 
So fast forward almost three years later, and now that I have a toddler I am relieved to tell you...she loves me just the way I am!  She has no idea what Moms are supposed to act like, she just knows what her Mom acts like.And the zanier and the sillier, the better in her book.  So we dance instead of folding laundry.  We eat our applesauce outside, sharing the same spoon.  We go on walks through the neighborhood with no shoes.  We stay in our pajamas until noon.  It feels good to just "be" and "do".  No rules.  Just be who God has called you to be.

Not only was a worried about my quirks, I was worried about my quiet time.  I often used music as a way to connect with God in my quiet times.  How could I accomplish this with a little one?  About a week ago, I turned on the music and the postures came and the tears flowed and Maddie took it all in.  I could tell she was wondering what was going on.  She looked at me with curiosity and I knew she needed an explanation.  I just told her I'm sharing my heart with God and talking to Him with my tears.  She accepted that and went on about her play.  In a way, I felt foolish for keeping this from her.  I think it's good for our children to see all of who we are, even if we like our privacy. 

And I'm proud to now have an audience of one.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Good Night Daddy"

The other day it was bedtime.  Maddie was telling her Daddy night night.  She puts both of her hands on his cheeks and says, "thelskhreishelsnight theskdhsiddaddy"  Amongst the gibberish we distinctly hear night daddy so we're going with it! 

linking up to Embrace the Camera

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Party Planning Mode!

Maddie's third birthday is just a few weeks away so I am in full-on party-planning-mode! I LOVE planning her parties.  I realized I began this blog after her 2nd birthday party so I never posted pictures.  Last year we had a barnyard theme.  Here's  a few pics from the day last year...
My friend Marti made Maddie's cake! 

Maddie was dancing to e-i-e-i-o.
I sewed this barnyard "fort".  It was a lot of fun to make.

feed the corn to the cows

pick the apples and put them in the basket
These were the invitation we sent out...everyone got their own barnyard friend.

These were some finger puppets I made for goodie buckets that went home...
Dad made a chicken coop...

We had Easter eggs shaped like barnyard animals filled with candy inside

Opening presents was really exciting for Maddie!
It was a great party and we had a great day!

This year's theme: Sesame Street!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rainbow Rice

We made Rainbow Rice this weekend.

It's an idea that's been floating around my head for a while and I honestly don't know why it's taken so long to make. It's SUPER easy and fun!  This tutorial gave me the little push we needed to get it made.
It just takes few ingredients...
Just put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and food coloring (i like really vibrant colors, so I used 10-12 drops) with a cup of rice in a ziploc baggie,
Then, lay the rice out on wax paper to dry and you are all set!

Friday, August 12, 2011


We've been recovering around here.  We had some wonderful rain Sunday night and with it a fresh batch of allergies!  Maddie and I were both a bit under the weather. 
And then Tuesday evening, I notice a nice little stream of water on the kitchen floor leading from the refrigerator.  The ice was melting!  Not good.  While I was sick in bed Kyle went shopping for new refrigerators.  Thank goodness for emergency funds!  He picked it out and bought it without me ever seeing it.  He did good though!  Here's our new and improved refrigerator...
  And just so you know, with a few questions and a respectful approach, you can save lots of money!  Kyle checked out the Best Buy price.  Then he called Lowe's and asked if they could match Best Buy's price + 10%.  With a little persistence they agreed.  Then he called Best Buy back and told them what Lowe's was willing to do and said he would buy it from them if they would knock off 15%.  They told him it was impossible for Lowe's to sell it that cheap and the absolute lowest they could sell it was $50 off the sale price.  We bought it from Lowe's.  We saved about $500.  Yay!! And it was delivered first thing the next morning.  We love Lowe's!! 
We lost a lot of things in our freezer, but some of that needed to be tossed anyway, so all in all I think we recovered nicely. 
I know most of you would much rather see pictures of Maddie rather than refrigerators, so here's a few pics of her eating udon noodles...it's so funny.  I wish you could hear the sound effects!

Maddie's also been in a sharing mood lately...
She's been very generous with her glasses!