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.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas, Day One!

It's so great to be able to see family and spend time catching up over the holidays!  The last couple of years, we've only been able to see Kyle's brother and his family just once a year, so it's always a big deal to see them at Christmas!  
The first thing Maddie's cousins wanted to show her were the candy canes!
So, Maddie enjoyed her first-ever candy cane!

She kept saying, "CANdy, CANdy, CANdy!!"

Next, she was re-introduced to the ipad.

Sitting with her Uncle Ryan : ) 

After that, it was time for a good old-fashioned game of chase!
 I'm gonna get you!

Run, Run, fast as you can!


I got a few shots of Emmelyn too...
Eating a snack, and wondering why this was picture-worthy!

And, my favorite...
sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One Sheet = One Hour of Fun!

A sheet...who knew?!  
Who knew there was so much fun you could have with just a simple, plain sheet! 
It's Christmas break for us now and that means lots of play time to distract from her good friends like Elmo and Cookie Monster.  The other day there happened to be a sheet left out after hosting our overnight company (Hi Megan!!)  
Maddie and I began playing with the sheet.  We played and played and played and played.  Although I didn't really watch the clock, I really think we probably played with that silly ole sheet for about an hour.   I decided to make a game of how many ways you could play with a sheet.  So, here's our list!

1)  Treat it like a parachute and pull it up and down, really, really fast!

Maddie loved this one and it was great exercise! 
2) Add a fun, big ball and see what happens.  
3) Add several small balls and pretend they are popcorn.  
4) While the "parachute" is up, get inside and pull sheet down over you.  
5) Play "Where did Maddie go?" 
For us, this one activity consumes lots of time.  Maddie likes to wait a LOOOONG time before finally revealing herself! 
6) Roll Maddie up like a burrito.  

7) Pretend to be Christmas ornaments and roll around

8) Build a fort.  You could build it with kitchen chairs or living room furniture, or you could use this tutorial and make a little tent!

I made this last week with a sheet set a bought from Goodwill for $2.50.  The lumber I bought from Lowe's for less than $10 and already cut to the right sizes!  We've used it every day since I finished it! 

Hope this gives you some ideas to play with your little ones during Christmas break...when it's too cold to go outside, just grab a sheet!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

This May Be The Best Picture I've Ever Taken

In just this year alone, I've probably taken at least 5,000 pictures of Maddie.  We currently have 4,653 cataloged and several have been deleted!! 
It's hard for me to be objective when it comes to Maddie, because as a Momma I think all of her pictures are amazing.  Not because I'm the photographer, but because she's the subject.  So, I can't really rate any of the pictures I take of her.  
Everything else is fair game!  
And I love taking pictures of Tenley.  The camera loves her!  She's so beautiful.  
So without further ado....here it is....possibly the best picture I've ever taken!!
[insert drum roll here]

Ta Da!  
What did I tell you...absolute gorgeousness. 

S'More Family Time, Part 2

I'm still grinning from our S'More Family night.  
After we had our s'mores, we set up camp...under the Christmas tree!! 

Kyle read Maddie her bedtime story...Bear Stays Up For Christmas; completely appropriate and somewhat of a foreshadowing of events to come!

 Although Maddie was SUPER sleepy, she couldn't let herself fall asleep.  This was too cool!!

We were all a little giddy, actually. 
So we pretended we were going to go sleep until about 9:00.  Then I took Maddie back to her crib and she fell asleep within minutes. 
Even though we didn't get to actually sleep under the tree, we had a great night and wore Maddie smooth out.
A successful Christmas memory made!!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

S'More Family Time, Part 1!!

Last night, we may have discovered our new favorite family tradition! 
I made up these kits to give as gifts.
We had so much fun roasting our marshmallows and creating s'mores!!  

Here's a close-up of everything in our s'more kit:
A can of sterno.  I bought mine from amazon and made the labels in Photoshop.

Fondue sticks.  Also from amazon.

 Graham Crackers!


 and of course, Chocolate!!

Find a cute, little box or decorate a shoe box and you're ready to roast!

We explained everything to Maddie,

and then we got to roasting!
Maddie saw the flame and signed "hot, hot, hot!" We didn't have to worry about her getting too close.   

I got all of the fixings ready, while Kyle roasted the marshmallows.  

Maddie couldn't wait for marshmallows.  

 She had a deconstructed s'more.  


 It's definitely Mommy-approved!

Kyle preferred the marshmallows... 

Maddie preferred the chocolate!

Make a S'More kit and enjoy some great family time!!  
Stay tuned...tomorrow I'll share about our camp out under the Christmas tree!!