Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spread the Word...March 31, 2009


March 21st is World Down Syndrome day (get it? 3/21...because down syndrome is having 3, 21st chromosomes). I didn't blog on that day (still recovering from turning 40 that week) so thought I would mention it now! What an awesome thing that the WORLD has a day for people to be aware of all the wonderful people who have down syndrome!

Today March 31st is a grassroots effort to stamp out the use of the word retarded or retard. AMEN!
Please join us in helping to spread the word.

After working with children with special needs in my education life and now having my own wonderful child who happens to have special needs, I am one person that would be glad if the world never used this word again (or any other derogatory remarks)!

I know I pray for this daily not only for Alayna but also for Aidan, that neither one may ever be at the brunt of anyone's derogatory comments!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Life is just not fair!

Warning: This blog entry is for all dads everywhere and will leave moms shaking their heads in disbelief.

Alayna and I got Aidan off to school on his bus today then we decided to take a trip to the post office. It is a little too windy and cold to walk (as the post office is only a block away) so we had to drive this time.

As I am driving around the corner I hear her sweet baby conversation in the back seat...you've seen the video you know how much she gabs (I have yet to figure out where she gets it though).

But, from nowhere, all of a sudden, (now remember I am the stay at home parent who spends 99.9% of my time with my sweet Alayna) I hear those 3 syllables that every DAD everywhere longs to hear.

Yes, you heard me right...da, da, da...UGH.

How much work I have invested in ma, ma, ma. I nearly drove the SUV into the tree at the end of the subdivision (ok I made that part up but, it made you laugh didn't it?).

Of course, I had to call Jason and let him know. I had to hold my cell phone away from my ear as he squealed in delight! He then confessed that he has been secretly working with her on Dada. I should have known, life is just not fair...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reading & conference update

Aidan has been reading to Alayna nearly everyday. She truly loves it and decided that while he was gone to school one afternoon she would just see what this reading thing was all about.

The Down Syndrome Conference was really good. Thankfully the blizzard they forecasted did not happen here and we were able to attend. We were able to meet many new people, reconnect with others we haven't seen in a few months and listen to many great speakers.

Alayna was super good all day. Played on her floor mat quietly, did her rolling and talking tricks for all those who came by to admire her and then she took a couple good naps. Aidan had a great time at Aunt Elise's house the whole day...he was SO tired when we got home that he would hardly eat dinner (if you know us at all we don't miss a meal in this house so he was pretty tired!)

They had several great keynote speakers. One, is a writer and has an adult daughter with down syndrome. Another speaker has 2 children with special needs and he works for a school district in Phoenix. He talked about inclusive practices, that inclusion isn't a place it is a mindset (Amen, brother).

Finally, the other keynote speaker was a self advocate. She is 25 years old, on the Down Syndome Congress board and is truly inspiring. She has a love for sign language and is now teaching sign language. She ended her portion by singing a song about dreams and signing at the same time. The director of DSG said, "sorry we didn't think to put tissues on the table" as there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

On Wednesday we will go to the Down Syndrome Clinic at Children's Mercy for Alayna's check up. I can't wait to find out how big she actually is...The other day I measured her 16 1/2 inches (her birth length) and it was from the top of her head to her hips. WOW she has gotten so long. Not to mention how much she weighs now...it is a great workout just holding her now!

Here is a picture of her rolling over (I haven't been fast enough to get it on video yet)!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rolling, rolling, rolling keep those babies rolling...

Alayna really enjoyed her spring break. She loved not having baby class or having to go to therapy. She had so much fun hanging out at the parks and swinging on the swings in the backyard with Aidan. It was truly a great, family week. But, as all school breaks must come to an end this one did to.

Monday afternoon Aidan was back to school (boy was he tired when he arrived home). I thought we kept busy riding bikes at the park but I guess it isn't a work out like kindergarten.

Today we went back to Bible Study Fellowship and when we got home Alayna & Uncle Scott were hanging out on the floor having a little quality tummy time. Scott was convinced that she was just about to roll over from her tummy to back (I had to break the news to him that she has been doing that since she was 3 months old). I think he was heart broken as he thought he had taught her a new trick.

But, lo and behold not 15 minutes after he left the little stinker decided that she would do a new trick today and rolled from back to front. (which if you have been a follower since day one you know that Miss Alayna nearly rolled off the home health care nurses scale just 5 short months ago).

We went to baby class and even though Alayna only had a 45 minute nap this morning she wasn't going to go to sleep she had to show all her friends that she can roll over both ways...so she did several times.

We are going to the DSG's annual conference on Saturday. They have some great speakers and breakout sessions in which we are hoping to learn lots from. A super big thanks to Aunt Elise for keeping Aidan all day so that we can go...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kisses, breakfast in bed and more...

Alayna finally warmed up to daddy after giving him the cold shoulder for a day or so then she just couldn't get enough kisses from him and kept coming back for more. (She was actually leaning back to his lips , as you can imagine daddy was pretty happy!)

The week has been truly wonderful...Aidan made me breakfast in bed for my 40th birthday (cereal hold the milk...) and came in singing Happy Birthday. It was really sweet. He kept saying is this the best birthday ever mom? Yes it was We met daddy for lunch which Aidan loves to see daddy's big delivery truck. Then they spoiled me with custard after dinner that night. Super good way to spend my day.

We have gotten outside each day to play, ride bikes and enjoy the spring break week. It has been especially nice that non of us had any school, therapy or big plans (unfortunately Jason has had to work...someone has to pay the bills in this family). Just a laid back family fun week. Looking so forward to summer as this week has been so much fun.

Here are a few pictures of the cousins together enjoying their spring break... (Aidan, Rayne, Grace & Alayna)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Homecoming

Jason called around 3:30 to say that he had made it to Chicago well. He checked to see if he could get an earlier flight to KC but, he had just missed the flight by minutes...bummer (lots of people were traveling for spring break so customs was backed up). However, he did make it home 30 minutes earlier than expected (good tail wind off of Lake Michigan I'd say).

Aidan & Alayna had their baths and got in their jammies for the trip to the airport. Aidan was so excited to pick daddy up, he talked non-stop (nothing unusual there, I still have yet to figure out where my children get their gift of gab). Alayna was so excited she went to sleep within minutes. However, when we got to the gate to pick up Jason she woke up, stared at him and continued to do so the whole trip home (Aidan wanted daddy to sit in the back).

Needless to say both kids were awake and full steam ahead until about 9:15. Alayna woke up twice in the night (ahh not back to the newborn stage...she is definitely growing this week though , Jason said she had gotten longer since he has been gone).

The weather here in KC is great for spring break. We spent all afternoon yesterday out at a park with our good friends (I took the camera and didn't get one picture of the kids)...forgot the sunscreen (Aidan is a little pink, bad mommy...Alayna was covered in the stroller thankfully)!

Elise took the day off today as it is even nicer than yesterday so I am sure Alayna is in for a little (or a lot) more auntie spoiling... will not forget the sunscreen today.

Happy St. Patrick's Day !

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Today we had a really great day. Aunt Elise, Grace & Rayne came over. The kids played outside as it was a really nice day and Aunt Elise got in some great baby spoiling time with Alayna. Alayna, of course, loved every minute of it. Both kids were so worn out that they were in bed by 7 pm.

Aidan is counting down the days until daddy gets home. The three of us have had a good time while Jason has been gone. We appreciate your prayers while he has been overseas.

It looks like the weather will be great this week for spring break so I am sure we will have some park pictures for you later in the week.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's all part of this job they call parenting

Jason made it to the UK well and is having a fabulous time with Liam. They went to a professional football (soccer) game for Liam's 13th birthday then today of all luck Jason got them tickets to see Manchester City (Jason's professional football team that he adores) play. Needless to say he was super happy about that. I tease him and say Man City is his first love (he does have it tattooed on his leg)!

We are doing well on the home front. Although I have said many prayers for all the single parents out there as it is a hard job & I am thankful my other half will be back soon. Aidan has been doing really well helping out and has been a great boy while daddy has been gone (except for purposely waking baby sister this morning). Aidan & I had to get our teeth cleaned today and Alayna snoozed all of 1o minutes in the car. Then she was too interested in all the noises and tools, not to mention the staff ohhing and ahhing over her, how can you sleep with all that going on? She finally fell asleep on the way home but, sure enough as soon as we got home big brother had a short memory lapse (or temporary insanity I think he is claiming) and started making a bunch of noise and woke her up. (As you can imagine I wasn't June Cleaver at that moment... I won't be attaching pictures OR video of our conversation).

Poor girl, we then got Aidan off to school ( & got my blood pressure under control) and she had just enough time to fall asleep in the car on the way to PT when of course I had to wake her up... With only a total of 25 minutes of sleep the whole morning I was sure she would be grumpy and not do a thing for Erin but, my sweet daughter again proved what a pleasant disposition she has (thankfully both kids are laid back just like daddy). As soon as I woke her up and gave her to Erin, Alayna looked right at her and smiled.

She had a good session (& yesterday too) she showed Erin all her big girl moves that she has been working on. She has mastered lifting and reaching for toys, propping up on her hands, is creeping forward when on her stomach and back, and is now working on supported sitting. Her head is really close to being steady (when she isn't super tired). It is amazing to see how far she has come in the past 2 months since we started attending IDC. Erin is great in pointing out all the steps it takes to master each skill, which makes us even more excited for Alayna that she continues to progress so well. I know daddy is going to be super surprised with her new tricks she has learned since he left.

Both kids are off school until March 23rd for spring break. We are hoping the weather warms up enough to go to some parks in the area, we all need some outdoor time and sunshine.

Thanks for checking in on us, we hope all is well in your part of the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Aidan quotes of the day!

Had to share this moment with you...(sorry Jason wasn't here to hear it)!

As we were having dinner last night, Aidan looked at Alayna and said "she is such a sweetheart". Then he looked at me and said, "Mom, I forget she has down syndrome, just like Horton Hears a Who says...A persons a person no matter how small!" Then after dinner he made her a beautiful heart that he carefully colored and presented her.

Of course, my heart skipped a beat as a few weeks ago Aidan was worrying about Alayna's future in light of her having down syndrome (he was worried that others would make fun of her). After lots of prayers asking God to give Aidan peace with his sister's diagnosis I felt a great sense of my own peace when he said these statements.

Of course, he has accepted, loved, adored and admired baby sister from the moment he found out that we were pregnant but, it is truly nice to know that she is not "different" in his eyes.

Now our prayer is that the rest of the world will embrace our perspective of our beautiful Alayna!

HAPPY 5 MONTHS LC GRACE...We love you!
P.S. Special thanks to Nana Cam for the sleeping in prayers. The kids have slept in until 7:30 and as late as 8:15 this week. YAHOO!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Alayna is 5 months old...

The time continues to escape me (Aidan passes it off to old age = bad memory). I look at both kids each morning and swear that they have grown overnight (Jason thinks I am nuts). But, I look back over the past 5 months and can't imagine life without Alayna. I have gotten a new perspective on what is important in life. I can spend the whole day talking with Alayna and watching her coo, giggle and roll over which is always more entertaining than cleaning the house. I only get snapped back into reality some days when Aidan says, "Mom, do you need me to help you clean the house today?"

We were richly blessed in April of 2003 when God sent us Aidan and now Jason & I feel as though our family is so completed by the wonderful gift of Alayna. She has brought us so much joy, peace, patience, love and gratitude in such a short amount of time. We look forward to our future and seeing how not only our kids grow and mature but through them how our lives grow and mature also.

We thank you for continuing to prayerfully follow and support our family over the past 5 months. This is one great adventure we are pleased to be on!

Here are a few pictures from the past months...(I love to look back and see what a tiny peanut she used to be, obviously she is like the rest of us Cannons we like to eat...)

I have come a long way from 4 pounds 14 oz. (and just think at 6 months we get to start solid foods...)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Prayers Needed!

Please pray for healing for LC. She was admitted to the hospital this afternoon for pneumonia. Also, lift Justin & Courtney up for peace as they again have to sit by their baby's bedside and pray her well. We love you LC Grace and are so sorry you are ill we will be praying, praying, praying for you!
You have to hurry out of that place so you don't spend your 5 month day in there...it will be much more fun at home!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Goodbyes & A Time Change...

This morning we went to our second DSG new parent breakfast and connected with some very nice people who also have a child with down syndrome or one on the way. This organization supports 1,000 families within a 6 hour radius of KC that have a child with down syndrome (or with a prenatal diagnosis). It has been a great way to start connecting to other families in the community. (We did miss our favorite family ~the Heigeles~ though)

After that we went out to lunch then came home and played in the backyard before having to take Jason to the airport for his 5 pm flight. Alayna slept the whole trip, through the goodbyes and woke as we drove into the garage. Aidan faired pretty well also, he kept repeating the mantra, "I don't want daddy to leave" all the way home but he didn't cry or get too upset.

Daddy getting in last minute hugs, kisses and giggles...

Aidan & Alayna have made the time change on their own this week. They both normally get up at 7 am. However, this week they both have decided that the sun is up early so we should be too! Most mornings it was 6 am but, some mornings one of them was up around 5:30. (Needless to say when I was an AP I used to BE at work at 7 am but since I retired I rather enjoy NOT having to get up until then...)

In light of our children easing us into the time change (aren't they thoughtful?) Jason & I switched all the clocks ahead BEFORE going to the airport. So needless to say when we returned home at 6pm Aidan thought it was 7pm so he willfully went up to start the bedtime routine. The 3 of us read Bible stories then Aidan and Alayna had a little snuggle time.

As both kids are asleep by 8:30 I think I will kick back and put my feet up a little before the sun comes up and I hear the pitter patter of big and little feet running around the house.

As of now Jason had made it safely to DC and leaves at 10pm eastern time for the hop over the pond.
Please keep us in your prayers this week, for safe travels for Jason, that he and Liam would have a terrific time together, and that Aidan, Alayna & I have a great week together.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Great day

Today was a beautifully sunny day.

Alayna's physical therapist was home sick so we had the whole day to play outside.

We enjoyed the sunny weather by playing on the swings, playing baseball with daddy (& Ellie our dog was the catcher), and playing with the neighbors. Alayna really enjoyed sitting on my lap and swinging. To end the day we were getting the kids ready for bed and Jason caught the above video of me making Alayna laugh and laugh. Super fun as he is usually the one to get the kids to crack up.

Aidan decided this week he wanted to set up his tent and camp out. He and baby sister had lots of fun playing, reading books and playing with stuffed animals on their camp out.

Alayna is starting to extend her hands and push herself up to look around. I even caught her up on her hands and knees.

She & Aidan continue to make us laugh, love life, enjoy each day and thank God for the blessings he has given us especially in our children.

On Saturday we get to go to another new parent breakfast at the DSG then later that day Jason is leaving for England to spend Liam's birthday with him. We ask for prayers for his safe travels as well as peace for us at home while he is away. Aidan is really struggling with him leaving this time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What is up with the weather?

If you have ever been to Kansas very long and didn't like the weather you should just stay a few more days because it will definitely change.

Last week it was up to 70 then on by the end of the week it dropped below freezing and snowed a bunch. Of course, Aidan was all excited about playing in the snow but, Alayna and I had been out several days last week walking and with the quick change in weather we both came down with sinus congestion.

The good news is that next week she will be 5 months old and until now we have dodged the illness bullet. She hasn't had as much as a runny nose all winter.

But, bless her heart on Saturday night she was so uncomfortable with a stuffy nose that she couldn't sleep. She would get into a good sleep then wake herself because she was congested.

Let me tell you I found out how good her lungs work in the middle of the night...when she saw me coming with the bulb syringe she wailed (even woke Jason up!) which is not her norm, usually she allows me to clear her nose as she lays still and coos and giggles at me. I guess after no sleep for hours I would be grumpy and want my nose left alone too. Needless to say she endured my suctioning and went back to sleep comfortably on me until 3 am. Then I gave in and found the Vick's baby rub and put some on her chest. Amazingly it worked and she slept much better until the morning. I continued with the baby rub all yesterday and she slept like a baby on Sunday night from 7:30 until 6 am this morning. She is still a little congested but it is much better. We are thankful that she doesn't have a fever and hopeful that she will be back to full strength in a day or two (just in time for the snow to melt and the 70's to hit again...) Only in Kansas...