Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend in review

This weekend seemed to fly by as we were very busy.

Saturday morning we caught the first hour of the DSG new parent breakfast. It was really nice to visit with a few friends we have met in the past 10 months and meet some new ones. So many cute babies....this year our DSG has welcomed over 50 new babies with down syndrome. YAHOO!

From there we were off to Aidan's soccer match. It was a great game in which they tied 8-8 (Aidan scored 3 goals). It is really fun to watch his team each week. Just since last week they were really getting behind the ball much more and actually defending! So fun to watch their skills improve and their Bible knowledge improve (each week they memorize scripture and talk about how they can use their Christianity on and off the pitch).

We came home to allow Alayna a real nap in her bed then we were off again. As it was a truly beautiful day, the boys jumped on their bikes for a 4 mile ride down to the river. Alayna and I opted to bring all the fishing equipment in the SUV (thankfully so, Aidan needed to come home with us). Aidan fished for over an hour with no luck, he was determined to catch dinner. Alayna and I watched for a while then went to the playground and hit the swings and the slide.

We went home to have dinner (tacos not fish :) ) and Aidan snapped his fingers and said, "I'm pooped!" (Jason was too after his 8 mile ride).

Sunday was another beautiful day so we made plans to get outside again but, Alayna, who took a only a 30 minute catnap on my shoulder during church, had other plans. She was tired and took a long afternoon nap. Aidan took advantage of the time and played with Jason and I on his own then got in some good outside time with the neighborhood kids. When he came in for dinner he was blue, purple, pink, yellow, green and every other color in the rainbow (they had been playing with sidewalk chalk for a long time).

After dinner we let Aidan go back out to finish his masterpiece and unknowingly wait on a big surprise...Grandma and Pop Pop made it back into town. They drove down the street and went to turn into our driveway and Aidan came running...he was SO excited.

Alayna had smiles for grandma but, was a little more reserved with Pop Pop. Aidan talked non-stop telling them all about school, summer, our Disney trip etc. until I finally made him stop and get into bed. I think he would still be talking today if I hadn't stopped him.

What a great weekend we had together as a family!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Parallel parking at its finest

Alayna is getting all over the house (in reverse). She has a great knack of backing herself under the couch, tables, chairs, and even straddling the garbage can. Wow, she is amazing at finding all the roadblocks.

I put her down in the kitchen and within minutes she had moved herself into the living room and very carefully parallel parked herself under my curio cabinet. She thought it was pretty cool until she got too far under and looked up and bumped her head! Ouch! Then she was quite happy for me to show her how to move forward and get out of her little parking garage she created.

She is talking a lot more now and has added something that sounds like Aidan (an AHHH sound with a D on the end). We have heard it several times, always in reference or calling him. She did it again when he walked in after school yesterday. She makes the "m" sound but, NO mama yet. Boy, where did I go wrong? She laughs at me when I say mama and then quickly starts with dadada.

Aidan's second week of school has gone much smoother and he seems to be in a good routine now. It is amazing HOW much he can talk when he gets home. I think he spoke for 30 minutes straight after he got off the bus yesterday without a breath. (I am still not sure where he gets his chattiness from...oh yes, now I remember... that was ME getting into trouble for talking in class). Thankfully he waits until he gets home to let it all out.
(If you don't know, before staying home with the kids I was a high school assistant principal, my son knows that I don't take it lightly if he were to get in trouble at school.)

We are really excited to be going to another DSG new parent breakfast on Saturday morning. We can't wait to see our friends and make new ones. It is so fun to see how much everyone has changed in the past few months since the last get together. We are truly thankful for this group that has welcomed us, educated us, supported us and helped us through this first year with Alayna. (If you haven't already joined our Step Up for Down Syndrome team please click on the link at the right).

After the breakfast we will be off to another soccer match with Aidan. He is excited to score some more goals...must be the British coming out in him!
We hope you all have a safe and happy weekend. Cheerio!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dear LC,

Dear LC,
I just wanted to say fanks for the great workout video that you posted on pulling up to standing. I have been watching it over and over again and finally got up the courage to twy it myself. I surprised everyone at being able to stand up without any practice (of course they didn't know I was watching your video over and over and over...)
Oh, and fanks for the tip on volume that you shared with me in baby class yesterday. I tried out that volume 10 that you told me about for 30 minutes after Aidan got home from school. I was talking SO loud that Aidan couldn't hear mommy tell him to do his homework (Aidan LOVES me even more now...) Good work buddy, you are a great pal.

Now if you can only make one of those work out videos to show me how to get moving forward as I am still stuck in reverse...
fanks for evweething,
your fwend,

Back to style

Yesterday Alayna was all revved up to start baby class...she had a great 2 hour nap in the morning, ate a good lunch then....fell asleep as we were pulling in the parking lot at school (ugh).

Needless to say she wasn't super excited about not getting her nap in but she didn't complain too much, she still had a great time socializing with her buddies and their parents (especially Ian's mom, Agnes - Alayna loved looking at her and smiling at her).

Our best buddy, LC and her wonderful mom, Courtney documented the day with pictures and a great post check it out on LC's blog (thanks CH)! It is so fun to see how far these girlies have come in 10 months, they just get cuter and cuter!

Aidan had a really good day to start his second week! He & Jason even ran into Aidan' teacher at Walmart on Saturday and she said Aidan was doing really well in class and she was enjoying him. YEAH! So nice to have that positive feedback!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First pony ride!

On Saturday evening, we were invited to my sister's work for their annual carnival.

It was a great time and the kids had a blast. They had bounce houses and slides, rides, pony rides, food, ice cream, a DJ and karaoke.

Alayna really enjoyed the pony ride, while Aidan loved the scrambler (I think he rode it 5 times!) Round and round they went and they didn't even get dizzy (but, we sure did watching them).

Aidan climbed up on the Titanic bounce house slide but caught his foot and twisted his little toe backwards (it is really bruised today), trust me that didn't slow him down for a minute! Although he is feeling the pain today, poor guy!

Overall, a great time was had by all and even at 9pm the big kids didn't want to leave yet. But, Alayna had lasted all night and hadn't complained (as usual) and she was getting VERY sleepy so we headed for home and had 2 little dreamy kids in a matter of minutes after they hit their beds!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Football fever

Football (Soccer) fever is rampant at our house. It must be the English blood...Aidan had his first soccer match this morning. He had so much fun and enjoyed chasing the ball around and scoring goals (they looked like bees chasing a honeypot). He was worn out by the end of the game though!

Thankfully our niece, Grace is on the same team so we have a big cheering section just for the two of them.
Aunt Elise, Rayne & Alayna cheered Aidan & Grace's team on to victory. My crazy Englishman paced the sidelines the whole game...even though they don't officially keep score he was a proud papa when Aidan scored!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rain, Rain go away, it's time for school!

It was a downpour of a rainy day for the first day of school but, it was a great day for us all.

Aidan got on the bus bright and early and Alayna & I got busy doing odds and ends around the house. I didn't even have time to miss the cute, little blonde headed boy until I got ready to make my sandwich for lunch and realized Aidan wasn't there, I had to eat without him for the first time ever. UGH (shed a few tears). I quickly pulled myself together and got on with the day. It was VERY peaceful here, almost too peaceful. Alayna only napped for 45 minutes in the morning I think she missed her brother.

Aidan came home really excited and said the best part of his day was meeting new friends. He thinks he teacher is as great as his kindergarten teacher (which is a really high standard...we all LOVED Mrs. Gordon). He enjoyed eating at school and came home with fun, first day handprints.

We are thankful that he is off to a great start!
Alayna starts back on Thursday with her individual pt session.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A visit from cousins

Today Jason's niece, Laura and her husband, Emmanuel came up from Arkansas to spend a little time.

Alayna had the special pleasure of meeting her cousins, LaMya (5) & Emaleah (5 months this week) for the first time and was in awe of their beauty!
Alayna loaned Emaleah her bumbo seat so they could sit together as Alayna is sitting very well on her own now. They were very cute touching each other and staring at each other, at one point they even chewed on our Rainbow Fish book together.
LaMya & Aidan played out back in the playhouse as though it hadn't been almost a year since they had seen each other.
Alayna was very quiet and reserved the whole time they were here which was really interesting. She definitely is shy when you first meet her.
In prayers tonight Aidan said thank you God for bringing our cousins here to spend the day with us. What a fun day we had.
Thanks for coming to visit, we look forward to seeing you in October for the Step up for Down Syndrome!

Friday, August 14, 2009

First grade off to a good start

Last night we attended back to school night for Aidan's school. We were able to meet his teacher, check out his classroom, locker and desk and put up all his supplies.
He didn't get his best buddy, Avery in his class but he did get a couple friends from his kindergarten class. Grace is in the class next to Aidan's. He seems like he is pretty excited to meet some new kids.
He spent nearly the whole 2 hours checking out everything about his new classroom (comparing it to his kindergarten room). Then he walked around the building looking at everything and finally enjoyed a root beer float compliments of the PTA.
It was amazing that today he was much more relaxed, calm and WELL BEHAVED! Thank you for answered prayers.
He starts on Monday and now he is really excited for Monday to get here so he can begin.
Please say a prayer for all the children going to school in the next few days/weeks as well as for all the teachers, administrators and staff that nurture, encourage, educate and love our kids while they are in their care.
Aidan lost loose tooth #2 today and Alayna's 2nd one is popping right in. Too funny!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Baby dedication

Today we celebrated 10 months of Alayna's life by having her dedicated at our church's annual lake baptism service.

We were so happy that Uncle Ed, Aunt Jane, Kellie, Aunt Elise, Grace & Rayne all joined us to support Alayna

Alayna continues to be a blessing in our lives and we thank God daily for this precious gift.

Happy 10 months...

Oh, what a great journey the past 10 months have been...We have so enjoy our time with Alayna.

We are truly blessed with two awesome kids and this life that God has granted us!

To celebrate the day we are having her dedicated at church this evening. (We will post the video and pictures asap for those of you who aren't in town).

She continues to awe and amaze us with her drive, humor, sweet personality and wet smoochies!

Alayna's Top 10 of being 10 months:
10. I can sit on my own (Wow, the world looks great from this angle)

9. Transportation (I can roll, lunge, scoot forward and backwards and if I play cute I can hitch a ride with a big person passing by)

8. Food - Finally, these people have figured out that I can eat anything and stopped pureeing everything...(haven't they noticed the teeth?) Oh and I love to feed myself.

7. Conversation & treats- Daddy loves it when I babble dadada, it gets me in so good with him that he even shares his ice cream cones with me.

6. My big brother, Aidan (need I say more?)

5. Music~ I love songs and fingerplays and my family loves how I respond in anticipation to them.

4. Mimicking noises - Have you heard my Donald Duck impression that I learned from Aidan while in Disney?

3. Outdoors - Swinging on my swing, petting the dogs, swimming, letting the breeze tickle my tongue... oh it is wonderful!

2. Books ~ Have you seen the library there are tons of them. I LOVE them and I can't wait to read each one.

1. I am the baby and it is a pretty good gig!

Lord, I thank you for giving us Alayna Faith !

Friday, August 7, 2009 must try!

This is a great science project that is a real kid pleaser (is it a solid or is it a liquid?) and mom lover (inexpensive and easy to clean up).

Make some ooze and let the kids play in it...

Note: I suggest some newspaper on the table and floor before using.

You need:

Cornstarch, water, food coloring

Mix the cornstarch slowly adding water until you have the right texture. It is a solid until you pick it up then it turns back to liquid. You can add food coloring if you would like a different color than white.

Aidan didn't like this stuff when he was 2 because he always liked being clean. As you can tell he loves it now and so does baby sister!

Alayna enjoyed the stuff running through her fingers, reaching for it as I dripped it off my fingers, tasting it and trying to figure out just exactly what it was. Aidan enjoyed using his imagination while he played in it; first, he was trying to build something, next, he was sinking in quicksand next, he was ...and the list goes on and on.

Warning: This stuff is addictive, you and your children will lose many hours playing with this product.


We have waited in anticipation for what seems months....and finally Alayna's right bottom tooth has poked its sharp little self out of her gums (just barely, can't even get a good picture of it yet).
It is there and we think that all this training she did on her first tooth has made the other teeth stand up and take notice. Lo and behold, 2nd tooth is right under the gumline right next to the first one ready to pop out any moment (or month) hahaha. Maybe we won't have to wait so long to get a peek at this one.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Final days of our trip...

Here was Aidan's #1 cool thing of the trip...petting the sting rays. He was reluctant to stick his hand in at first but, he was so glad he worked up the courage to do it because he thought they were so cool (they feel really slimy if you have never felt one. Not at all what I was expecting, I thought they would feel smooth like dolphins!)
We also informed Grace that if she kept making faces like that they might stick. HA!

Yes, that is my sweet husband dangling my daughter over the shark enclosure (oh no just kidding those are dolphins.) Alayna loved watching them especially in the underwater observatory we could see how fast they swim around and around. She was mesmerized.

I've got the music in me....Aidan beats out some congo music.

Finally, after each day was done we relaxed pool side. Our townhouse had its own 4 foot splash pool which was really nice. These pics are taken at the resort's pool which had a zero entry and fountain area for Alayna and a huge slidefor the big kids. Everyone enjoyed cooling off after long days in the sun.

When we arrived home Aidan immediately said,
" I miss Florida".
It was a great trip and we will probably go back when Alayna is old enough to enjoy the rides too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Animal Kingdom

The kids loved meeting all the Disney characters...they met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Eeyore, Tigger, Pooh, & Flik.

Goofy & Pluto were extra goofy and played around with everyone quite a while. Rayne wasn't too sure of them and popped Pluto right in the nose! OUCH!

We walked all the nature trails before going on the safari, which was really cool.

Flik played around with Aidan & Alayna for a while. She really wanted to chew on his big buggy fingers! I think he would have let her if her germaphobic mother wouldn't have stepped in and stopped the fun.
(Finally, the tip of her tooth has broken the gum line. You can't see it but you can feel it. I hope for her sake that all her other teeth don't take as long to come in. Her gum looks like a volcano ready to erupt, all swollen and red.)
We all LOVED the Lion King show which I don't have pictures of yet. Elise took all the pictures during the show as I was too busy trying to keep Alayna from jumping off my lap and drooling all over me. She was so excited about the music, dancing, acrobatics and characters.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A day at the beach

We drove over to Cocoa beach for the day on Monday. It was a perfectly beautiful, sunny day and a great day to play at the beach. All the kids had a ton of fun.

Alayna loved being in the water even when the big waves crashed down around her, she giggled and giggled. She loved digging her toes into the sand too.

Aidan, Grace, & Rayne ran in and out of the water, made Princess Alayna a castle to sit in and didn't want to leave when the day was over.

Alayna is talking much more and mimicking lots of Jason & Aidan's antics. She has a great Donald Duck noise that she heard them doing and so happily repeats!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We're back...

Our trip to Orlando was a blast and we made it home safely.

We are all really tired (Alayna hit the bed at 5 pm for the night I am sure). She was the best kid on the trip! She let us drag her here and there and everywhere and never complained (more than I can say for her 6 year old brother, but, I won't mention any names). We visited SeaWorld for 2 days, drove over to Cocoa beach one day, went to Animal Kingdom one day, then spent the other 2 days swimming in our pool and playing mini golf etc.

Alayna loved the dolphins (I think she could have stayed and watched them for hours) the Lion King show and the beach best. Aidan loved petting the sting rays, getting the characters to sign his autograph book (thanks again Aunt Jane), the Shamu show, riding the rides and the Lion King show.

Here are the kids posing in front of Shamu at SeaWorld on the first day. (Notice Shamu's nose is missing...that would be Jason's photography skills...bless him, he means well...I won't post the pictures of Alayna or I decapitated...UGH!)

Aidan saved up his money to spend on this trip. He bought a huge stuffed Shamu with a baby Shamu. He was so sweet that he gave the baby to Alayna (he even put it in her crib with her!)

Here is Aidan and Grace (with Elise & Rayne behind them) riding the bubble ride (think of the teacups at Magic Kingdom). Grace really wanted to ride all the BIG roller coaster but, even as tall as she is she was just shy of being able to go on them. Jason and Elise are both afraid of heights so I wasn't convincing either of them to take a whirl with me. We did the small roller coasters and even got Aidan on them.