Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A great surprise

Daddy had the afternoon off WOO HOO! Alayna was super surprised when Jason drove in the driveway early.
It was such a beautiful day we headed straight out to the park.

On the way...

Alayna decided since it is warm and springy here now she is going to release her piggies every chance she gets...(come on you can sing with me, who let the pigs out who, who, who?)
Every time we get in the car off go the shoes and off go the socks and you can tell from her sweet little smile she is rather proud of herself. (Great milestone except when we are in a hurry!)

Alayna had a blast sliding, swinging and playing with daddy at the park.
Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest blessing. Today was a great surprise, thanks daddy!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Egg fun

Our DSG held its annual Easter Egg Eggstravaganza this morning and fun was had by all. Don't mind the look of fear in Aidan's eyes really he isn't afraid of the deranged looking bunny!

We had breakfast, reconnected with many friends, enjoyed a puppet show, danced, and of course loaded up on eggs via the famous egg walk.

Daddy, "Are these eggs ALL for me?" She was having great fun shaking and throwing eggs everywhere.

We will focus on the true meaning of Easter this week and the wonderful gift our savior gave us on the cross but, it is also lots of fun to watch the kids enjoy the eggs and treats.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

She's Baaaaack!!!!!!

After a week of picky eater girl and one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day on Monday, Alayna now has 3 beautiful molars in and the other one crowning but, she is back to her sweet self!


I don't think I have enjoyed her sweet "HI" in the morning, happy go lucky attitude or giggles so much as I have the past couple days after our very grumpy Monday!

I am one happy momma to get my sweetness back.

See my new molars? No wonder I was grumpy, those are BIG!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I hate molars!

I am praying that Alayna's 3 molars that have finally popped through her little gums is the root of her last couple of days of unhappiness (one more molar hasn't come through but I can see the white peaks under the gum). She has been working on these molars for nearly 2 months!

We planned on going to the World Down Syndrome day celebration on Sunday but, she slept right through it. Thankfully her teeth haven't kept her from sleeping well.

My poor little girl, who is normally very laid back, happy go lucky, a great eater, never complains, never cries (unless she is really hurt) has turned into a complainer, food critic, and a grump!

Even at baby class yesterday, my sweet girl who normally goes around and kisses the younger kids on the forehead went over and to my shock smacked our buddy, Eli right on his tummy! Ack! She is terribly out of sorts.

Everything I have served this past week has ended up going on the floor, even her favorites. She was crying so much at dinner last night it actually made me tear up for her. At one point during dinner she took both her hands and put them on the side of her head and smashed her cheeks together... it was such a cute picture (if I had had the camera) but, I knew she was just in agony. I gave her Motrin and she went to bed and slept well.

Thankfully today she seems happier and ate all her breakfast without feeding the dogs. It is a beautifully sunshiny day so we plan to get out and enjoy it and leave that pain behind.

Side note: If this turn in behavior doesn't turn out to be teething related I will be asking for prayers for me because I don't really like a toddler with an attitude.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

World Down Syndrome day

Tomorrow we will celebrate World Down Syndrome day. Our DSG is hosting a big celebration at Crown Center and if it stops snowing (it was 65 yesterday and WOW we several inches of snow) we will be going to the party.

Down Syndrome is caused by a triplicate of the 21st chromosome hence the celebration on 3/21 each year~

As an educator, I truly believe that one of the perks included in having a child with down syndrome is being able to educate others and dispel the myths of this genetic condition (ok I know I am weird but, I really love to teach and feel that through education and knowledge people are changed). Even with a degree in special education, I didn't work with students who had down syndrome therefore, I didn't know the true facts about it, so I continue to learn and try to pass that knowledge on.

You might be asking why are you celebrating Alayna having down syndrome? We don't focus on her down syndrome because it is just one small part of who she is. However, we do acknowledge that God made Alayna perfect just as she is so we do celebrate down syndrome and hope to bring awareness not only to our friends and family but also those people we meet at the park, or at the grocery store or wherever...

Did you know?
  • Down Syndrome affects 1 in every 733 births, and is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.

  • There are more than 400,000 people with down syndrome in the United States.

  • All people with down syndrome experience cognitive delays but, it is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths, gifts and talents that each individual will possess.

  • You can't have a little down syndrome...(been asked this question loads of times) you either have an extra chromosome or you don't. However, all people with down syndrome, just like all people, have varying abilities, strengths and weaknesses and excel at different things.

  • People with down syndrome are fully included in schools, live independently, go to college, are employed, marry, participate in religious, recreational and community activities, live meaningful and productive lives contributing to society in numerous ways.
Our hope is that the more people we educate about down syndrome the more those people will in turn educate others. The ripple of change continues and hopefully all people with down syndrome will be welcomed and valued as a member of society.
We hope you will celebrate with us even if you can't join us!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Springtime fun

What a perfect spring break day, we couldn't resist putting on our jackets and heading to the park. But, first a little kiss for big brother (or a half dozen, she slobbered him up good before we headed out!)

Alayna headed straight for the swings...wee!!! While Aidan was off for the climbing equipment and happened to run into one of his buddies from his basketball team (bonus!)

Aidan took Alayna down the slide and into the climbing stuff and my what fun they had.

She SO admires that big brother~

I know one little girl who is going to be very sad next week when he has to go back to school.

I love spring days and so look forward to many more fun park dates with my two little sweeties!
Unfortunately they are forecasting snow again here this weekend :(

Monday, March 15, 2010

Three peas in a pod!

After 28 hours of traveling daddy finally made it home safely! We are so thankful.
You couldn't pry the kids away from him if you tried.
What a great day it has been!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

T minus 6 and counting....

Jason is set to arrive here at 6:30 tonight, hopefully immigration doesn't hold him up too long in Atlanta as his connection is just an hour...We are all SO excited and can hardly wait until he arrives.
The kids have been terrific and we have had a good 10 days but, it seems like he has been away much longer.
Aidan is feeling better, although not 100% yet (his fever is down and he hasn't thrown up since yesterday). No signs of Alayna nor I getting it either which is great.
He and Alayna colored pictures for Jason (it was pretty sweet to watch Aidan hand over hand help Alayna color all the while he was explaining how much daddy would love her picture...sweet).
Then Aidan decided that he wanted to clean (seriously? you had a 102 fever yesterday and couldn't keep toast down). When he was a toddler he used to follow me around the house and help me clean (he has always been really good at it!)
He was determined to spruce the house up for daddy. Mind you I am usually the neat freak and am chasing the dust bunnies out from under the couches on a regular basis but, not today. He tidied up his room, cleaned the toilets, cleaned the windows (ok he stopped after one), and dusted (the kitchen table before moving on to the floors). Alayna thought she would get in on the action as she tried out the vacuum...

Then once the vacuuming was done of course you have to get out the mop...

WOW what great help I have. Now the house is clean we are super ready for daddy!

As of 2pm eastern time Jason has made it to Atlanta. Unfortunately, his flight into Kansas City has been canceled. Praying for another flight for him tonight!

As of 3pm he is booked on another flight but doesn't arrive here until midnight! :( Very sad kids!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring break bummer...

Aidan is so disappointed. He woke up at 4:30 this morning with a lovely tummy bug. UGH! He has spent 95% of the day in bed sleeping, he refuses to eat in fear that it will come back up. Hopefully it is one of those 12 hour bugs and will be gone by tomorrow and little sister and I don't catch it!
His best buddy had invited him roller skating tomorrow afternoon which he obviously will miss.
:( Unfortunately, his spring break is starting out as a real bummer.
But, daddy comes home tomorrow night and he has 8 more days of break left so it will get better!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Break and four letter words...

As of 4:00 today the kids are officially on spring break. WOO HOO! The weather has been around 60 for the past week. We have been enjoying the nice weather by playing outside a lot. (Keeps us from missing daddy so much!)

Alayna rode on Aidan's old big wheel...boy did she really enjoy it. She also enjoyed her first coloring with sidewalk chalk.

However, today the weather dipped back into the low 40's and the dreaded 4 letter....SNOW word creeped back into the weather forecast again. WHAT? It is spring break...

Speaking of 4 letter words, Aidan came home from school on Tuesday and asked if there was such a thing as an "f" word! Except he didn't stop at the f he said the whole word, pronounced a little off but, nonetheless it hit me like a truck!

Seriously? This week while I am taking on the world as a single parent?

AHHHH! I thank God for giving me patience and words in this situation as I remained calm and found out that a sweet little princess in another 1st grade class was spelling it for the kids at lunchtime. NICE! She even included in her lesson plan the gesture that goes with it. WOW and double wow!!!!

A+ for accuracy and single handedly teaching my kid that not only are there cuss words which he knew nothing about but also teaching him the mother of all cuss words!

I am no Pollyanna, I know the world is a harsh place sometimes but, it was a sad moment for me to learn that my 6 year old is learning about the negatives of this world and losing his "little boy" innocence to no fault of his own....

Tonight after dinner we went and celebrated the beginning of spring break with our favorite custard. Alayna's little hands couldn't sign "more" fast enough!Thankfully big brother was close by to save the day...

I am looking so forward to the next week...daddy comes home on Sunday night, no school for either of the kids, no appointments, no therapies, just time to spend with my babies and I LOVE spending time with them. I am one blessed momma.
I am hopeful that the warmer weather comes back after this front and we can enjoy the outdoors.
~Oh don't forget to spring your clocks ahead on Saturday night....the kids have made the time change already this week, both have been getting up at 6:15 instead of 7. Guess we will be on time to church Sunday!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring cleaning...

Today was a beautiful day so Aidan, Grace & Rayne (cousins) embarked to play in the backyard only to find it in much disarray after the long winter and all the snow.

Many sticks were scattered all over the yard, dead bugs were piled in the playhouse, dirt covered the swing set and piles of dog doo everywhere. It really was in a bad state.

I watched in amazement as the three of them got busy and cleaned it all up in no time (without being asked!!!) They were even fighting over the pooper scooper...really? What kind of dream world am I living in?

After they finished they played outside for hours while Alayna got in a much needed nearly 4 hour nap.

Yesterday we had Aidan's last basketball game in the morning then his celebration awards evening last night. All went well but, he really missed daddy being there for his last game :(

We are hoping the weather stays this nice so that we can get out everyday. It makes the days seem to go faster when we are outside playing until dinnertime! (We miss you daddy...Aidan has read his note several times already!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

See you soon daddy...

Today the kids and I took Jason to the airport for his 10 day trip to England. He is going to celebrate Liam's birthday while he is there.
Happy birthday Liam, we love you!

Alayna gets a few more giggle causing smooches from daddy before we head to the airport...
obviously they weren't enough to tide her over for the 10 days because as Jason walked through the security line she was diving out of my arms trying to get to him again for one last smoochie. She is starting to get the idea of throwing kisses so quickly put her hand up to her mouth to give daddy a few last kisses. Talk about melting your heart!

See you soon Daddy, we love you and will miss you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Education is the key

My advocacy of children with special needs didn't begin the day Alayna was born but rather, 30 years ago in an elementary classroom. Each student in Mr. Cunningham's history class were paired with an elderly adult to research the history of their life and write about it. There weren't enough adult volunteers for my class so, I was signed up to work at a school that specialized in kids with severe to profound learning delays.

As you know, I don't think anything happens by chance. God has a plan for my life and I love to look back and see how he has gently held my hand as I have walked on his sidewalk (ok maybe he dragged me back on the sidewalk when I got off into the grass, or in the mud, or slept in on Sundays in college because we had too much fun at Harpos on Saturday night, or kicked me in the bum the other day for...well ok you get it).

I loved working with these students with special needs, and because of this experience it led me to pursue a degree in special education. As a teacher and even as a principal, I have always been drawn to kids with special needs. Nothing delighted my day like the hug from one of my teenagers that most of society would walk away from without even greeting.

Maybe it is from my own awkward moments in life of wearing glasses in early elementary school, being a "band nerd" (I was drum major~queen of all band nerds, for goodness sake!), or a very ugly preteen.

No, I don't think so. I believe all these life experiences have prepared me for the best job...to be the mother to Aidan and Alayna. Their biggest fan, advocate, educator, and protector.

I would love to live in a perfect world where there is no poverty, no stereotypes, no evil, no homeless, no orphans, no mean people, no bad words etc. but, that just isn't life here on Earth. I will continue to prepare Aidan & Alayna for life. I pray that they will be self confident and will stand firm in this world all while accomplishing many great things.

I commend Special Olympics and the awesome youth that started the Spread the word to end the word... campaign. Please educate yourself and others around you about special needs and the use of these derogatory words.

I truly believe that education is the key to changing society. I will continue to educate those that walk across my path and hope you will too.