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, April 30, 2012

What You Know vs. What you Feel

I went to a photography club meeting last week and I'm still trying to process what I learned.  
I'm in that category of knowing just enough to be dangerous!

I was excited to test out this new knowledge and had a great time experimenting on Maddie.
She's always been a good test subject!
These were taken Friday..she still had the heart on her cheek from Super Fun Day. 
Notice that cheek had not been given a good scrub after breakfast! 
 Trying to preserve it as long as possible : )

Later that evening we were out in the garden.  
Maddie could NOT leave the water alone!
She inadvertently watered the garden, but really the task was all about feeling the water!

I love this photo.  I wanted to slow the motion of the water so I sped up my shutter speed quite a bit.  
I love the effect of the few droplets falling.  

We followed this little guy all around the back yard.  

I'm still in my first year of professional photography.  
Just when it seems I've figured it all out, something shakes my world (and my confidence).  
I'm embracing the journey but I'm realizing sometimes it's better to go with your instinct than your head knowledge.  
I never want to quit learning and I never want to be that person who thinks they've arrived and know it all.  
When I take photos, it's like I'm transported to another world.
 Time has no meaning.  
Nothing but my subject exists. 
I hate it when I get in my head and muggle that up with technical details.  
So, I'm trying to find that happy balance between technical knowledge and passion!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Super Fun Day!!

I love that they have a Super Fun Day at Maddie's preschool.  
I love that they call it Super Fun Day too!!

Yesterday Maddie certainly did have a Super...Fun...Day!!!
She got her face painted with a pretty heart...
and then she got to do one of her favorite things in the whole wide world...

But the funnest part of Super Fun Day had to be...
The giant inflatable slide!!!
Maddie and her best buddy Noah took a turn together!!
And she nailed the landing!!
Ah, it was so much fun watching them.  
And it was so good for me to see how much Maddie can do.  
I don't know as though I would have known Maddie could have climbed those steps all by herself or had the courage to slide down, but she didn't hesitate even a little!!

She lost her footing a couple of times climbing up and didn't know how to recover so her teachers had to come to her rescue, but even after that, the girl was fearless!!

Such a SUPER FUN DAY! : ) 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Onions?! Really?!

I have never seen a kid eat onions like Maddie does.  
When she "helps" cook, she always eats whatever I'm chopping.  
Everything goes...including onions!  

She'll eat them until she has tears streaming down her cheeks! : ) 

Monday, April 23, 2012

6 Days and Counting!

It's been 6 days since Maddie has watched any T.V!

We've been doing a lot more of this...

I was shocked when Maddie picked up the book Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess and said, "Hop Pop"
We read it last night before bed time but I didn't know she knew the name of it.  
But then it got even better.  
She opened the book to the cup on pup page and she actually said, "cup, pup"
I was really impressed but THEN she turned the page and said, "house, mouse"
I was speechless!  
She's been listening so attentively lately and she's really picking up on things.  
I didn't even know she knew how to say house, let alone recognize it in a picture.  

Before we began the no T.V. rule, she wouldn't even sit long enough to let me finish a book.  
Now, she's paying closer attention than I could have ever imagined!! : )

Friday, April 20, 2012

All or Nothing

We have gone two full days without a single minute of T.V.!!
(well, for Maddie...Kyle and I watch a little bit after Maddie goes to bed)

We've been spending most of our time outside, playing hide-n-seek in the bushes

or gathering up our first strawberries of the season!

Even though it's usually pretty rough the first few days of no T.V., I always love the outcome. 
 We are constantly cycling through the same patterns. 
I'll get busy (or lazy) and we'll increase our T.V. time.  One more show, leads to just one more show, which leads to just one more! Until it seems like the entire day is spent in front of the telly.  
This affects Maddie in a big way.  
Her entire demeanor and attitude changes.  She becomes easily frustrated.  Her temper tantrums increase in quantity and volume.  
Her attention span is like 5 seconds long.  
I've decided its really not worth the reprieve it gives me to get things done.  
So the next step in the cycle is cutting back T.V. time.  
Which at first will still lead to temper tantrums and it takes some time to re-adjust.  
We get to the golden stage of good behavior, increased creativity, longer attention spans only to fall back into the T.V. trap!!  
I really hope this time we can leave the T.V. off.
I've struggled with how much if OK and finally realized for us...it's all or nothing!!
Seems extreme sometimes when I think about it, but I know it's what will be best for Maddie. 
I'm working on a plan for the summer that I hope to get finished soon.  
Each week we will focus on a theme with fun activities and some sort of field trip at the end of the week.  
Hopefully some of you can join us for our summer fun!!  
More details to come... : ) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pretty Peonies and Lovely Lilacs

The spring after Maddie was born I planted peonies.  
They are one of my favorite flowers.  
I didn't realize they took so long to bloom, so when I noticed the pink petals blooming last week for the first time I was soo excited!!
Aren't they so pretty!? 

Several years ago I got a cutting of lilac bush from my sister and planted it. 
It's doing amazing, so a couple of weeks ago I thought Maddie and I could make an arrangement together. 

And this is what we got to enjoy for a week or so...

We used these amazing frog lids for mason jars...so ingenious!!

You can find them here

I know I'm not the best housekeeper, and I'm still a little too comfortable with clutter, but it's so nice to bring in something beautiful to make a house feel like home!