Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let it snow!

Aidan has thoroughly been enjoying his Christmas break as we have had lots of snow since he has been off school.

Needless to say the UPS man that we adore is looking to spring already. While driving home on Christmas Eve (in our blizzard)he turned the corner a block away from home and slid into the median. It smashed the front wheel, tire and undercarriage of his car :( ! Thankfully nobody else was around and he wasn't hurt. So a little time in the shop and the car will be good as new.

It snowed again last night another 2 inches. Aidan has been out playing all day, I can't seem to drag him inside even to warm up.
He built this snowman (while singing the tune to Star Wars at the top of his lungs, thankful the neighbors were all at work LOL) and now he is building an igloo with his buddy from next door.

I am so thankful that it is warm enough to play in the snow as the next 10 days look like they will be bitterly cold.

Alayna is doing really well and has recovered nicely. To look at her playing and in constant motion you would never know how sick she was just a week ago. Thank you for all the prayers on her behalf, we so appreciate them!

We hope you have a safe and happy New Years!

We will be staying home and enjoying the warmth of our home and the giggles of our children.
How can you beat that for a celebration?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas,

We pray that you have a wonderful day today and take time to truly reflect on the reason for celebrating this day.

Happy Birthday Jesus! We are so thankful for you.

It is definitely a white Christmas for us...blizzard warnings through tonight. Be safe everyone if you have to travel.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

~Matthew 1:21

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The tooth fairy even works on Christmas Eve!

For the past couple weeks Aidan has had a loose tooth. It had gotten so loose that all I had to do was touch it and it fell out yesterday.

Things were fine until later in the day when we realized that we left the tooth on the kitchen table and it obviously was knocked off because it was nowhere to be found...either I vacuumed it up or one of the dogs snacked on it!

Oh my then the tears began! The tooth fairy will never come if I don't have a tooth to leave for her! I did my best to console him and even dug through the vacuum bag with no luck (as I was digging through the bag he said thanks mom for loving me so much!)

I finally decided that a note would have to do so I explained to Aidan since he is so honest (to a fault sometimes) that I think the tooth fairy would understand and believe him if he wrote her a note to explain what happened.
He quickly agreed and sat down and wrote a note that said...Dear tooth fairy, I lost my tooth but it is now in the dog's tummy.

So funny.

Thankfully the blizzard they are forecasting didn't slow her down and she was working on Christmas Eve leaving money for him to find this morning. Whew! One emergency thwarted!

Alayna does have 5 new teeth instead of 4 as I thought over the weekend. I guess that tooth fairy likes just making one trip to our house. She drops them off and picks them up in one fell swoop. Alayna now has 8 teeth ~ 4 top and 4 bottom.

Alayna is doing really well. She has a cough and little congestion when she wakes up in the mornings but otherwise is doing great. She is even allowing me to suction out her nose with no fight. I was sure after a weekend of deep suctioning that she would never let me near her with a bulb syringe again.

One funny today...we always put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving and both our kids have always left the ornaments and packages alone. Well today Ms. A thought since it is Christmas Eve I will get into some trouble. She had ripped open one of Aidan's presents and was chewing on the wrapping paper when I found her. Stinker! I told you she is feeling better!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dismissed at last...

Alayna did really well today, didn't need suctioning at all so was dismissed from the hospital this evening. She was so excited to leave the hospital (and so was I).

Aidan on the other hand was having a blast and didn't want to leave. The staff let him pick out toys for Alayna and himself to play with while we were there. As I am still nursing, they fed both Alayna and I so needless to say Aidan was happy to come in and clean up any left overs...he said they cook better than me! :)

Alayna was happy to have a nice warm bath at home. She wanted to check out everything in her room and play with every toy! Hopefully she will close her eyes soon and have a peaceful night.

Thanks for all your kind words and prayers. We are so very thankful to be home especially before Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Alayna update: Monday

Alayna is doing much better and slept most of Sunday getting caught up on that sleep she lost.

She still is needing deep suctioning especially at night. We are going to be here at least one more day but probably until Wednesday. She is still nursing well and ate breakfast this morning..she was SO excited when they wheeled in a high chair she HAD to eat right then. YEAH!
She has been playing, smiling and laughing so we know she is on the mend.

The tooth fairy was sweet to deliver Alayna's 4 new teeth here to the hospital they have all popped in since we arrived on Saturday . Wow you think that had anything to do with all the drainage?

Our nurse today has an 9 year old daughter with down syndrome. Isn't that cool how God just places people in our lives?

Jason is off today (and probably happy not to be out delivering on the busiest week of the year). His boss is very understanding and for that we are truly thankful too.

Thanks for all the prayers and support.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hospital stay for Alayna

Alayna was admitted to the Children's hospital here in town on Saturday evening diagnosed with Bronchiolitis. She is having difficulty breathing, and maintaining her oxygen levels due to all the mucus build up in her lungs.
They are continuing to deep suctioning to clean out all the mucus.

She sounds better today although is still not keeping her levels up enough to be dismissed. Hopefully we will go home tomorrow.

Jason is staying home with Aidan and I am staying at the hospital with Alayna. She is nursing well so hopefully staying hydrated.
Please say a prayer for our sweet Alayna.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sleepless in the heartland...

I know that God is always molding me but, does it have to be in the middle of the night?

Aidan has been struggling to fall asleep for weeks therefore is extremely overtired. He holds it together well for school then totally melts down in the evening when he gets home.

Last night hit an all time record of sleeplessness for everyone...Alayna woke up with a dirty diaper at 9 (but went back to sleep even with 5 teeth coming in and all the drooling and sinus drainage with that) but, Aidan was awake until after midnight then up again at 6:30am. AHHH!

We kept him home today so that he could catch up on sleep. Thankfully he did have a nap. We had to reschedule Alayna's PT because both kids had just fallen asleep when it was time to leave. Trust me I wasn't waking a sleeping baby or 6 year old.

Prayerfully tonight will be a better night sleep for all of us. We will take any and all prayers that you can offer us!

I pray that our words and actions will be pleasing to God as we raise our children.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kaw Prairie JAM Christmas performance

Today at church the kids (preschool thru 5th graders) performed their Christmas songs and did a fantastic job.

They sang three songs, played instruments and did some readings.

Aidan, being the little organizer (wonder where that comes from?:) placed Grace behind him and was trying to arrange Rayne to be right in front of him so that they all would be in the pictures together. Good thinking son!

Aidan is on the 2nd row, left in the blue sweater vest & khaki pants, Grace (my niece) is behind
him in the pink sweater and Rayne (my niece) is on the front row in the red, velvet dress.
Rayne smiling for the camera!

It is amazing to see all the kids at our church. Five years ago our church began with about 70 people at our first service. We now have about 400 people worshipping weekly and my oh my look at all the kids... and this is just at the first service.
Yeah God for bringing these families and their wonderful children to learn about and celebrate you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow day?

I can't say that we really had no school today due to the giant amounts of snow but, the wind chills were below freezing on top of the slick streets so Aidan had the day off. He wasn't really happy about it as he loves school and today was PJ day for his class. His class chose PJ day for their reward for their great behavior.

Unfortunately, there wasn't even enough snow to build a snowman or a fort (or cover all the grass for that matter!) Hence no Yooper family members would be cracking up that we didn't have school today with the wee bit of snow on the ground! But, Aidan had lots of fun playing in it all the same. He, like me loves the snow and loves getting out in it. He was out for at hours today.

Alayna was very excited to have Aidan home today as she turned 14 months old. She thought having him home was a great way to celebrate the day. She continues to amaze us with her happy go lucky attitude and gentle spirit.

It was a relaxed day filled with games, giggles and good memories with my kids.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A visit from a cousin...

This weekend Alayna met her cousin, Leighton. He drove in for the night to attend the Chiefs-Broncos game (we love him even though he is a Broncos fan!)

Alayna watched him from across the room at first and kept smiling at him but, very quickly warmed up and was sitting in his lap, snuggling with him in no time. I haven't seen her take to someone so quickly.
Aidan, of course, never stopped talking the whole time Leighton was here.
Alayna even showed off her new creeping (crawling on all 4's) for him. She is still doing the inchworm sometimes but, this weekend we saw her crawling on hands and knees for the first time by herself across the room (chasing the dogs and Aidan).
Thanks for stopping in Leighton it was great to see you (Natalie we missed you!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Program

Tonight the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center where Alayna goes to school held their annual, musical Christmas program. Each class came up and performed one song. (see the video above).

The baby class was a super hit! They played the bells Courtney made for them to "I was going to see Santa" while Ms. Erin, their music therapist sang and played her guitar.

After all the performances the kids enjoyed eating cookies and visiting with Santa. Aidan was so excited that Santa also included him with a present.

Alayna wasn't too sure what to think of Santa. She kept looking at him then looking at us Hmm...who is this strange guy with a fake beard?
As both kids were up at 5:45 am I expected them to drop right to sleep when we arrived home but, not to be so...Alayna was out about 8:30 thankfully but that brother...he didn't go to sleep until after 10. No more big cookies for him at nighttime. I pray he doesn't fall asleep during reading group today at school.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What to do with leftovers?

Thanksgiving was a nice day for us to have a little quality family time and a lot of turkey. I bought way too big a bird.

Aidan asked what are we going to do with all the leftovers.

I told him we could give it to the homeless. A great idea but I wasn't really expecting to jump up and go deliver meals to people on Thanksgiving. Oh my selfish heart.

Aidan jumped at this idea and wanted to make plates right after dinner.

So after Alayna's nap we heaped up a few plates, loaded the kids in the car and headed downtown to find someone who was in need of a meal.

Aidan was worried that we wouldn't find anyone today that needed a meal (Ugh, son there are people everyday that need a meal).

It didn't take us but a few minutes to find a man standing on the corner carrying all his possessions on his back. We pulled up and Jason asked the man if he would like a meal. The man immediately replied, "Yes please". When Jason handed him the meal the man then said, "May God bless you all". Those words are etched in my memory with a picture of this man's face.

Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink, when did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25: 37-40.

Here was a man who didn't have a place to call his own, didn't have a meal to eat on Thanksgiving, and was carrying all his possessions in a small bag on his back wishing us God's blessings.

I don't know why this man is homeless and probably will never know. I do know that a lump stayed in my throat for quite a while as I thanked God for my family, for our abundance, for this sweet man who granted us blessings and for seeing the face of Jesus today as we threw another pebble into the water.

In reflection last night, Aidan shared how wonderful it felt to serve someone else. We prayed for those men who we fed and discussed what else we can do to continue to make tiny ripples of change in our world.

Thank you God for changing all our lives with your love.

Happy Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spoons what are those?

Who needs a spoon when you have 5 cute little fingers?
What you don't see is the spoon that she used for 2 bites then chucked on the floor.
So much faster and more fun using the finger method.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby class visitor

Alayna was so happy to find out that daddy took the day off so he could join her at baby class. He has been working long hours lately with the holiday rush and she has been missing that daddy of hers.

First we went to music. LC and her super crafty mommy surprised the kids with awesome bells to ring for their song, I was going to see Santa, in the Christmas performance on Dec. 2nd. Thanks so much they are beautiful All our friends loved them too.

Alayna tried to teach Jason all the songs in music class, by the end of class he was catching on

After music we moved on to OT and speech. We got to play with puzzles, light boards, peg boards, read books and work on our reaching. Oh we love our buddies and baby class.

Alayna had a little time on her hands between classes so she and LC had some great conversation (I think Alayna was spilling the beans on what we bought Aidan for Christmas as we took the opportunity while he was in school today to knock that out) shhh LC don't tell him!
Alayna definitely enjoyed daddy being in baby class and meeting all her friends.
Come back and join us real soon daddy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alayna on the move

What does our dog Ellie, Aidan and our vacuum have in common?

If you guessed what are things Alayna loves to chase after you are correct. Today Alayna climbed up 10 steps (I had to help her put the first knee up on the rise then she lifted herself up) to chase after Ellie. All I thought Ellie was good for was shedding on my carpets I didn't know she was a therapy dog.

When Aidan got home, of course she had to follow him around like she always does.

But, the funniest thing was when I got the vacuum out and she followed me around in circles and into another room to chase it. I definitely will post a video of that, it was too funny.
Go little inchworm go...she gets up on all 4's and pulls herself forward then drops down again like a little inchworm she is so close to crawling on all 4's.

She is still pulling up on everything. Tonight she stood up in the bath AHHH! I fear lots bumps and bruises in her near future!

This picture was taken at her school in October.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sad Sunday

Today the snowbirds (Grandma & Pop Pop) left to make their annual winter trip down to Brownsville (they heard the snow forecast in Denver and knew it is heading this way).

Aidan has always taken their leaving hard and today was no exception. He quickly said goodbye to them and gave grandma a picture of he and Alayna with I love you written on the back and then he scrambled into the car to head to church. He was quiet on the way to church and in tears during the service.

Alayna gave them both kisses but, is too young to have the concept of "see you in 6 months" yet. Although, I am sure when Wednesday morning comes and grandma doesn't show up to play with her she will be wondering.

As a mom it breaks my heart every time I have to watch Aidan say goodbye to them. Don't get me wrong I miss my parents each winter they go south and I am so thankful they are young at heart enough to travel and enjoy their lives but, it is devastating to see it and feel it on your 6 year old's heart.

Safe travels Grandma & Pop Pop we will see you in the spring.

Update (Monday morning): Looks like they left JUST in time...sleeting here now and snow expected today, tomorrow and Wednesday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Play date

Alayna & I had a great afternoon playing with our friends from baby class at Eli's house.

We walked in and thought we were at Toys R Us.
Eli's mom, Kim had brought out loads of toys for Alayna, LC & Eli to play with, ones that even Eli hadn't seen yet. Oh, we love that Kim! They were so much fun.
Alayna was her typical, shy self and stayed very close to me the whole afternoon. Eli did his best to welcome her with open arms

He even rolled over to her and kept her entertained with silly pacifier games (I would take Eli's pacifier out and make a popping sound...he would smile and giggle and Alayna then signed more, she thought that was funny too

LC wanted to be sure to let Eli know how much we appreciated the play date (and how handsome we all think he is) so she was sure to give him lots of wet smoochies (hold the teeth please!)
Thanks Kim & Eli for hosting us, it was a super fun day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday reflections

We went to the new parent breakfast at the DSG yesterday morning. Aidan wanted a picture of his classroom pet, Willie, which he was drawn to take care of this weekend (thankfully he is a stuffed tiger) with Alayna & LC. Aidan has to keep a journal of his adventures with Willie to take back to school on Monday. Each student in the class gets to keep him for a weekend, and all the kids love it. I am very thankful his kindergarten teacher didn't send home their corn snake last year!

Then within 2 hours of getting home Aidan complained of a sore throat and had a fever of 102. Neither of the kids get sick hardly ever so when they complain you know they are sick... Yep, sure enough he has strep throat.
Ugh, hope we didn't pass it on to any of our friends at the breakfast...especially his 2nd sister LC ! I have already warned Courtney to dunk LC in sanitizer. AHH!

Jason took Aidan to after care and got him started on antibiotics while Alayna and I visited with my college buddy, Jan. She just returned from a mission trip to Tajikistan, where she was able to use her medical background (she is a PT not a full time missionary) and deep love for Christ to serve a population that had never been introduced to Christianity. She had some awesome pictures and stories to tell us of how one man is quietly serving the people there and through his service many people are coming to Christ.

She also showed us pictures and told us stories of the people in the leper colonies...I didn't even know there were still leper colonies in the world. I know we are blessed by the lives we have but it brings us so far back into reality when we not only hear but also, do something about others in the world who aren't as fortunate as us.

We threw another pebble when we financially supported (it wasn't a big amount trust me it was a SMALL pebble) Jan so that she was able to listen and follow God's call and bring His message to others. Listening to her talk I envisioned those awesome ripples on the still water... how many lives were changed by her visit? And how when we throw those tiny pebbles no matter how small, our reflection disappears, as it should be, our focus is not on ourselves but rather on Christ and how we can get others to meet Him. God truly is amazing by leading us to these small pebbles in our lives.

We are also thankful that God gave us this opportunity to experience a little more of his love. We are also thankful that Aidan is fever free and feeling much better. He is excited that he can go back to school tomorrow.

Keep throwing those pebbles, no matter what their size it definitely starts movement. Please let us know what ripples you have seen in your water.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Simple toys are so much fun

Alayna loves when we buy the big box of diapers...

she then has a boat to ride in (row, row, row your boat over and over and over. As many times as she continues to show me that more sign I am happy to drive the boat), a cave to crawl in and out of, a mountain to climb on and of course, something to chew on (that top tooth is almost through the gum line).

Oh, the possibilities are endless and priceless all at the same time. We enjoy the multi sensory toys too don't get us wrong they are great motivators. Alayna loves that leap table and will crawl over you to get to it and pull herself up on it like nobody's business.
But, there is just something to be said about a kid who can be entertained or entertain themself with the "simple toys" in life! Aidan used to spend hours (years I should say) "cooking" with some dried beans, a pan and spoon. What a great way to grow their imaginations.
What toys do/did your kids enjoy?

We have enjoyed the nice temperatures this week by playing outside and going to our neighborhood park. Alayna loves the swings! (Which is a complete opposite of Aidan he never wanted to swing until he was 2).

Today is great grandma's 96th birthday...since we can't visit her (no kids allowed at the nursing home during flu season & she won't come out anymore) we did the next best thing...made her Oreo truffles. She LOVES our Oreo truffles (thanks Nan)! Happy birthday great grandma! We love you!

My aunt Dona (Pop Pop's sister) flew in for the weekend to surprise great grandma. She is coming to meet Alayna and visit Aidan tonight for dinner.

On Saturday, we have another great DSG new parent breakfast then in the afternoon Alayna gets more new company, my best buddy from college, Jan is coming in from Colorado for a visit! YIPPEE!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ripples of change...

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful warm, sunny day. We could have taken the kids to the park, the zoo or on a bike ride. But, instead we chose to follow our church's lead in a day of service for others and I am so glad we did.

After church we all met at Metro Lutheran Ministries, for a little in service on what they do there and what our tasks for the day would be.

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive we were able to help stock the shelves for the food pantry. I stood in awe of how fast Aidan & Grace took to working and how hard they both worked knowing that the next morning someone would be coming to get some much needed food.

Several groups stayed at MLM to work while others went to 4 different homes to work and still other groups went to ReStart homeless shelter to work.

Our small group was slotted to go and help at a Lutheran church in the downtown area. We had 18 people, including the kids and what an impact especially those kids had on this huge church with a dwindling congregation.

The building in its time was beautiful with ornate pews and stained glass but, unfortunately the congregation has gotten older and so small that they don't even use the sanctuary anymore they all fit in the chapel area.

The kids and women grabbed dust cloths and Old English polish, vacuums and mops and spiffed up the whole sanctuary, chapel and greeting hall. The men covered the windows for winter, fixed ceiling tiles and other odds and end jobs that needed to be completed.

At the end of the afternoon we were all physically tired but, spiritually lifted.

Aidan wants to go back and serve at the food pantry again and serve meals at the homeless shelter. We most certainly will go and do these things and take Alayna too when she gets old enough to work.

I love throwing a pebble into still water and watching the ripple effect emanate out from the center. I guess that is why I was an educator, I saw the ripple effect that teachers and administrators have on kids.

Sunday, we threw a small pebble of service into the world and though we may never see the ripples that have been left behind I can attest that our hearts felt the movement and were changed because of this day.

Have you stopped to throw a pebble lately?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween...

The kids had a fabulous time carving pumpkins and trick or treating today.
Alayna didn't care for her bumble bee costume anymore today than she did the other day when we dressed up for baby class, but she didn't complain about it either...just no smiles for the pictures.
Rayne was tired after about an hour and Alayna was getting a little cold so I took the girls home but, Alayna was feverishly doing the "more" sign to show me that she really didn't want to go in yet.
My English guy (who loves Halloween more than any of us) took Grace & Aidan out for another round. Needless to say we have enough candy to start our own store.
We hope you had a wonderful day as well
Tomorrow our church is doing Missio Dei-Serve in the City Event, an awesome service day to celebrate All Saints Day.
We are going to volunteer with our small group at an inner city church, doing some painting, planting, cleaning etc.
Say a prayer for all those who have died this year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Up and about

Alayna is definitely a girl on the move. She has now decided that it is pretty fun to pull herself up on things...the bathtub, the dishwasher, toys, Aidan (especially when he is reading that gets his attention), you name it she has probably tried to pull up on it

She had no interest in this leap table until she could pull herself up on it now she wants to play with it all the time

She also realized today that she is able to catch up to the dogs. She had a fun time petting the dogs, pulling their tails and getting in a few good kisses. Neither of them seemed to be bothered by her which was a good thing otherwise we would be a dogless family

Saturday, October 24, 2009

That wasn't a walk that was a PARTY!!!!

Alayna had the time of her life today at the Step Up for Down Syndrome and we did as well. God gave us a beautifully, sunny, warm day to celebrate Alayna & LC and all our friends who are chromosomally enhanced!

We had Boom Boom Cannon Ball popcorn balls,tutu wearing water bottles, and great signage thanks to our talented friend LC and her crafty mom & dad. (THANKS guys!)

We are so thankful to all the wonderful people who came out to celebrate with us (and to those who donated but couldn't make the walk). We are thankful to have raised $4475 and had over 90 registered walkers (although sickness and other emergencies kept some of those people at home today... thank you for thinking of the girls and keeping them both healthy!)

Alayna enjoyed all the festivities, the crowds, the excitement and the walk. Aidan loved leading the team and holding the team sign, all the bounce houses, games, friends, food and rides!

I enjoyed getting to visit with all our friends, those on our team and those who we have met in the past year though the DSG, and meeting all the family on LC's side that we always hear about but hadn't met yet. Grandma Janet and Grandpa Fred and Nana Cam just to name a few! As I call the girls twins all the time we welcome LC's family into our extended family!
A special BIG thanks to our very own Big Sarah for making Alayna & LC even cuter in their matching tutu outfits. Oh they were the cutest little girls at Arrowhead stadium! Even Channel 5 news stopped them to get an interview! (Aidan was SO excited that we would be on TV

What a celebration and what a great day!

Daddy's little girls...

Oh wait, there is more, Happy Birthday girlies we love you both so very much!!!

After that super de duper party I am one tired Tutu wearing girlie!

Thanks everybody for making it such a great day! Don't forget next October same party, same place! The Boom Boom Cannon Ball team will be back!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Excitement is in the air...

You can feel the excitement in the air at our house this week. On Saturday, we will be Stepping Up for Down Syndrome. We have over 90 members on our team and over 100 supporters who have donated nearly $4,500 in honor of Alayna & LC (YAHOO for our awesome supporters)!

Be sure to check back in on our blog this weekend as you won't want to miss the pics of the girls in their tutus. Please pray for great weather as it is rainy and cool here today.

Our best buddies from Little Rock, the Russells are coming in to join us in fact, one is already here. Shan arrived this morning and was quickly greeted by an over excited 6 year old boy and a shy 1 year old girl. The rest of the family is coming in tomorrow for the weekend and we couldn't be more excited for them to meet Alayna & LC.

Alayna was so excited about the walk she decided that she should excel at PT today to warm up for the Saturday festivities. She showed Ms. Erin her stuff...Alayna amazed her with army crawling, getting up on all 4's, getting into and out of standing and kneeling.

For Alayna, this week something just clicked and she is a girl on a mission to get where she wants to go in forward (as she has been a master of backwards for months now). She now is really motivated to pull up and find toys etc.

Here is a video of her last weekend when daddy moved her favorite toy across the room...sorry it is a little dark.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall fun

Aidan decided since it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon it was time for his baby sister to experience the crunching of the fall leaves.
He got the rake out and made a big pile for them to play in...Alayna LOVED them.
We took her socks and shoes off and held her over the leaves she kicked her legs and enjoyed making the leaves rustle with her feet. (She is kicking her legs in excitement all the time now which is really cute!) She loved sitting in the leaves, especially with Aidan. She didn't even put them in her mouth!
Also, this weekend Alayna finally put her motor in forward instead of reverse. She has been working on inching forward for a long time and could do little spurts at a time but usually was motoring backwards, now she is in full drive forward going across the room in seconds.
Jason is on vacation this week and today he & Aidan are off to the Red Barn Farm for the 1st grade field trip. It is supposed to be nearly 70 today so they should have some great pictures to post later.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The end of the season

Aidan played his last soccer match this morning and was very sad to see his season end. He went out with a bang...4 goals. Jason was bursting with pride for his little soccer player. Aidan has really come a long way in just a few short months and has some really good natural ability (I guess that is the English in him!) He enjoyed this Upward soccer so much that he wants to sign up for their basketball program that starts in January. Of course, we are excited where else can you learn a sport, make new friends and learn about Jesus?

Jason & Aidan also picked up our Boom Boom Cannon Ball tshirts for the Step Up for Down Syndrome next Saturday. We can hardly wait for the big party! We will take lots of pictures for those of you who won't be able to join us for the day and if you decide at the last minute you can join us come on down to Arrowhead.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How I spent my 1st birthday

WOWIE! Friday was one exciting day and all because it was MY birthday! YIPPEE...let's hear it for cards, presents, cake, balloons, family and great friends!

I started out the day by dropping mommy's truck at the shop for new tires and an oil change. Yeah! Let's hear it for daddy keeping us safe... I was so excited when I heard daddy's voice in the car when we picked him up at the shop I started to squeal then mommy let me know that he took the day off to celebrate my special day. We were off to the doctor which was really fun until that sweet nurse, Lisa poked me with 3 shots. I didn't cry with the jabs just when the final medicine went in. But, in a matter of minutes I was back to my happy go lucky self.
Then we went and had my feet painted and put on a plate at the pottery place. Have to commemorate the day like they did Aidan's with a plate, but, my feet are way cuter than his BIG feet.

Next, we came home for a quick nap and lunch. After lunch I had a great surprise, my best buddy LC came for a visit (please go over and wish her a special 1st birthday today). When daddy opened the door another present fell in the house (thanks to those sneaky Bartelts who had dropped off an awesome book for me.)
LC and I spent a little time reminiscing about our first year then decided to open our special gift from Big Sarah. Oh she outdid herself this time adorable matching t shirts that say BoomBoom Cannonball babe for us to wear at the Step up for Down Syndrome in a few weeks with our names embroidered on the bum! Also, a matching TUTU! Oh boy will we be the cutest ones at the big party or what?

I had a little afternoon nap then it was on to the big celebration. I wasn't sure why everyone was at our house but, I quickly learned that all the fuss was for ME! Aidan helped me open my cards and presents (he is a great big brother) but, after a couple I didn't really need his help I kinda like ripping that paper Oh I got fun toys, cute clothes, books, even a book with a tutu wearing pig (I giggled out loud when I opened this one as her tutu matched mine!), and new shoes!!

After all the presents I got back in my highchair but, we had already eaten dinner. Oh to my surprise everyone started singing and they brought me a big, sprinkle cake (Aidan & daddy's favorite...soon to be mine too). Aidan helped me blow out the candle and make a wish but, he did NOT have to help me eat it. MMM I love birthday cake!
I dove right in and ate the whole piece without any help!This birthday thing is alright!

Special thanks to everyone who made my day more special with emails, cards, presents, visits and love!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Alayna!

Happy Birthday Alayna Faith, we love you dearly!

I thought I would share her birth story with you to remember the special day that she entered our lives.

I had a wonderful pregnancy. At 15 weeks I did the prenatal testing and the results gave us a 1 in 10 chance of having a baby with down syndrome.

As I had had 2 miscarriages between Aidan and Alayna I opted for no amnio, we wouldn't terminate even if the test was positive for ds I just wanted to know so we could best prepare ourselves if there were any special needs.

We had a level 2 ultrasound and the doctor told us that Alayna had none of the 18 soft markers for ds. We were relieved,thankful and excited to hear we were having a little girl.

At 34 weeks, I was measuring a little small so they sent me back to the perinatologist and began biweekly tests to monitor her size and heart rate.

We had another level 2 ultrasound and at this time the doctor said her arms were a bit shorter than average, she explained this away with Jason and I weren't large people.

She believed Alayna did not have ds, that she was just a little over 4 1/2 pounds and due to placental issues she wasn't growing as well as they would like.
At that moment I felt in my heart that Alayna did indeed have down syndrome, I left the doctors office in tears.
On our way home we saw a license plate that said, "Have Faith". Jason pointed this out to me and from that moment forward I was at peace with everything, special needs or not I just wanted a healthy baby.

I was put on 4 hours of bed rest a day...really with a 5 year old how do you do that? I spent each afternoon that Aidan was gone to kindergarten lying on my left side. If you know me you know I don't sit still for long, let alone lie around when I have things to do.
However, this was an awesome time for me to have one on one, uninterrupted time with God for him to prepare me for Alayna's arrival. In retrospect, these few weeks assured me that Alayna would be healthy and prepared me to celebrate her birth.

On Thursday, October 9, 2008 (37 weeks 1 day) I went into the OB for my morning monitoring the doctor saw a drop in Alayna's heart rate and sent me to the hospital just as a precaution for more monitoring.

After the whole afternoon at the hospital they declared us healthy and fed me a great salad lunch and sent me on my way.

I arrived home about the time Aidan was getting home from school. We did his homework and started making dinner. Jason arrived a few minutes later. A few minutes after 5 the phone rang and it was the nurse from my OB's office. She said DON'T eat dinner and you need to be back to the hospital by 7 for a 9pm c section as they had re looked at Alayna's chart from the monitoring and her heart rate had dipped again late in the afternoon.
NO, NO, NO I am having a VBAC not a c section are you sure? I wanted to speak with my doctor. The doctor herself called me a few minutes later and assured me that Alayna was ok but, that they were concerned with her stress level and wanted to get her out.

WHAT???? We were in shock mode. Thankfully my parents were still in town so we called my mom and she headed straight over to stay with Aidan. I went to pack my bag and Jason headed to the basement to unbox the car seat and install it in the car. Did I mention that we weren't ready to have a baby this day? I had thankfully talked Jason into buying a pack of diapers and wipes the weekend before just in case.

We headed to the hospital and were immediately moved into a room and prepped for surgery. At little after 8:00pm they began surgery, everything went smoothly. Alayna arrived screaming at 8:16pm and weighed in at a hefty 4 pounds 14 oz and was 16 1/2 inches long.

The doctor told me "She is beautiful". I could see Alayna as the nurse practitioner examined her and I knew immediately that she did have ds.

Jason was standing next to the warmer and the nurse asked if he knew anything about down syndrome as she began explaining the signs that Alayna seemed to have down syndrome. Jason had that deer in the headlights look, he said "No I don't know anything about down syndrome". He immediately turned off and I could tell he was hearing nothing of what was being said.

From the operating table I interrupted the nurse and told her to come over to me and tell me the information. She did and I was thankful. Her information confirmed what God had shared with me and instead of being sad I celebrated this new little blessing and even though she was tiny she was healthy.

On Saturday morning, the on call OB came in to check on me and shared that she had delivered another baby girl with ds the evening before (we learned a little later that it was our wonderful buddy LC).
Jason and I set out on a mission to find that little girl and her parents (with a little help from the staff). We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Courtney & Justin were adopting LC and they knew prenatally that she had ds and a heart condition.
Jason was amazed, it was one of the turning points in his acceptance of Alayna's diagnosis. We thank God for planting these friends in our path to make our walk through life easier.

Alayna spent 17 days in the NICU due to low body temperature, she needed a little oxygen for a couple days and she had a great sucking reflex and latched on to nursing immediately she just would tire out too soon and not get enough food. She was on an NG tube for 2 weeks. Then all of a sudden she was strong enough and big enough that she didn't need that tube anymore. We brought her home on October 26, 2009 healthy, tube free and beautiful it was the second happiest day of her life!

Alayna is now 1 year old! Today at the doctor she weighed in at 17 pounds 6 oz.(55%) and is 27 inches long (40%).

It has been an incredible year filled with many blessings. We thank God for the blessing of Aidan and Alayna, and for you supporting our family, loving our Alayna and praying for us on a regular basis. You are a blessing to us too!

Here is the purple butterfly outfit Alayna wore at 3 weeks old to show how much she has grown.

Tonight she will get to enjoy cake and ice cream with the family!

Pictures soon to follow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

O happy day!

Today was picture day at Alayna's school so Grandma & Pop Pop gave her one of her birthday presents a little early so she had a new dress to wear...

Then our 2nd favorite UPS man, Joe (daddy being our 1st, of course but he doesn't deliver in our neighborhood that is where Joe comes in) delivered a BIG box with Alayna's name on it. We quickly opened the box and found LOTS of other boxes inside...

Aidan was quick to spy a box with his name on it and a loving note from his "big" Sarah. (Big Sarah is Aidan's pet name for my best friend from Little Rock, Sarah Russell. He named her that when he was 15 months old because our neighbors have a daughter also named Sarah Jane so to differentiate the two it was Big Sarah and Baby Sarah and it has always stuck) . His present was a Crayola story writer and BOY was he super excited. He didn't even want to do his homework because he wanted to start writing and recording stories. (As you can see Sarah spoils my children rotten...who gets gifts on their sister's birthday?)

Then it was on to the other boxes...

The next one was wrapped all pretty with a card for Alayna Aidan took it upon himself to start unwrapping but, Alayna quickly let him know that she was the birthday girl and she could rip packages open too!

We opened the box and it made our day a little happier, here is what we saw...

A onesie decorated with a cupcake with Alayna's name on it, a party hat, a cupcake bag AND a multicolored TUTU! Oh Joy!!! Alayna thought it was delicious!!!

But wait there is more...when we got to the bottom of the box we saw 2 more packages and a note to open them together! Yippee another present for Alayna & LC! The girls will open them together on Friday. THANKS BIG SARAH, we love you!!!