Saturday, August 28, 2010

More career opportunities

The future career opportunities are endless...

Chef? What, you don't chew on all the food before you serve it?

Doctor / Nurse - She has gotten great at saying "ahhh"

Entertainer / Musician - She is always drawn to musical instruments and enjoys singing & playing.

However, topping the list right now is Master children's librarian! She loves to get ALL her books out, sit in the middle of them and "read".

Come on who wouldn't take their child to story time at Alayna's library?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday

~So very thankful for fall like weather. We have been able to get out and walk and play at the park.

~A piano, we found a piano! A sweet lady was retiring and moving to a Caribbean island (must be nice eh?) and gave us a great deal on her one owner Baldwin. She was hoping that it would go to someone who had a child learning to play. Aidan is super excited to start piano lessons next week.

~Alayna's fine motor skills are coming along nicely. She is loving using her utensils so much that she will pick up a cheerio that has landed on her tray and put it back in the bowl so she can scoop them out with her spoon.

~We have had so many people join &/or donate to our Step Up for Down Syndrome team.

~I am thankful for my sweet husband who doesn't even mind when I blow off cleaning or errands or even skip going to the grocery store in lieu of a park date with Alayna!

Hope you have had a great week, don't forget to leave your thankful....

Monday, August 23, 2010

When is it ok to use the "R" word???

Last week Alayna & I dealt with the R word face to face and I can honestly tell you that as a parent of a child with special needs it is NEVER ok to use the R word. It is hurtful.

Alayna & I walked into a doctor's office for a visit for me. I had only met this doctor one other time a week earlier but, in that meeting we discussed that I have daughter with down syndrome.

She happened to be 30 minutes late and apologized saying it was an emergency with one of her children. I immediately said, " I hope everything is ok" then the doctor said, "oh it was nothing really, actually it is just a retarded story"...and went on to explain how her daughter forgot to take something to school and she had to go and drop it off at the school for her.

Now there are millions of adjectives in the world. On this very day as I am standing there holding my sweet daughter she HAD to use this word?

I could have kept my mouth shut and walked away but (you know me better), I believe God specifically put me in this truly uncomfortable position to help me grow and to help me advocate for my daughter.

When she paused I immediately said, "Our family doesn't use that word and we would appreciate if you didn't either". She quickly said, "Oh, I would never use that word in reference to someone who IS intellectually challenged."

This second comment hit me like a ton of bricks. Here I was face to face with someone I didn't really know, with whom I hadn't built a rapport, who obviously is educated but, she really thought that is was ok to use this word if she wasn't referring to someone with special needs.

I explained that it is never ok to use this word. I explained how hurtful this word is and how easily people throw it around.

Her next words then were heartfelt, " I am so sorry for using that word, I should not have used it and I am deeply sorry."

I have no idea if this doctor will think twice about using the R word again or not. My prayer is that she not only never uses it again but that she also goes on to advocate that others not use it either.

Please help eliminate the use of the R word in everyday speech.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

~Great start to the school year for Aidan. (Minus having to miss day #2 due to strep throat). He loves his teacher and is so excited to learn all the cool 2nd grade stuff.

~A great visit with my 96 year old grandmother yesterday. She LOVES Alayna. Alayna made her day today by sitting on her lap and playing patty cake and giving her high fives. Very sweet to watch.

~Alayna starting back to school today after a nice few weeks off. We are blessed by all the teachers and therapists who work with her. They are all top notch and love her dearly. (Please pray for her speech therapist, Valerie who had surgery this week and won't be with us for a couple months).

~Awesome piano teacher for Aidan that decided to start teaching again at just the time we were praying about lessons for him. God's timing is so amazing.

~Sibling love - I love to sit back and watch Aidan & Alayna interact. Especially when one of them is sick or hurt, they immediately comfort one another. She is over the moon when he picks her up and hugs her after he gets off the bus. This morning when I got up I found Aidan in Alayna's crib with her making her giggle. Don't get me wrong they definitely have their brother / sister moments already too. I guess that is why when I see how much they really do love one another it melts my heart.

Please share one of your great moments from your week that you are thankful for...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hooky on the 2nd day of school?

Aidan was devastated to wake up this weekend with a sore throat which only got worse and by bedtime included a high temperature.

We went to see our friends at Urgent care (they do love us as we are keeping them from going out of business during the recession.)

Thankfully after a rapid strep test that came back immediately positive he was given a round of antibiotics to help him get back on the healing trail.

Not to worry though he had the cutest little nurse in the metro area taking care of him. She made sure to deliver his blankets, tuck him in, pat him on the back, tickle him a little, get him water and popsicles and finally Motrin (when I could squeeze it out of her cute little fingers).

Needless to say he couldn't go to school today but he is in good hands and is well on his way to feeling better and will return to the petri dish tomorrow!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Potty training 101: Alayna style

This summer we began introducing Alayna to the "idea" of using the potty. She amazed us with being very interested in it and taking to it very well.

We began with routinely placing her on the potty (& singing our little goofy pee pee in the potty song) every night before bath time. She immediately got the idea and would go each night.

I have added potty time to our wake up routine now. She continues to be successful. I also try to catch her before she makes a stinky diaper and put her on the potty. She isn't scared of the potty and does her business!
She has come to me twice and signed potty and when I put her on she went.

As a teacher I know that when a student can teach something to others they have truly learned it. So much to my delight Alayna decided to teach her babies how to use the potty this week.

First, you sit on the potty while reading your potty book!
Then, you sing songs and go! She was signing potty and singing the little song to her babies while they sat on their "pottys".

Potty training to me is a gradual process where the child truly decides that they would rather use a toilet than their diaper. Some kids are ready at 2 while other kids aren't ready until much later.

As I was with Aidan, I have no preset timeline of a completed process. We will just continue adding potty time into our routine and hopefully with her interest in it we will continue to have success like we did with Aidan.

Slow and steady wins the race!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I have a 2nd grader...

Aidan was so excited about starting 2nd grade after meeting his teacher the other night he couldn't wait for today to come.

He was up at 6:45 getting ready and changed shirts three times (not to get the right look mind you, but to get the right feel...he hates collared shirts and had picked one out for today but, decided it wasn't comfy enough).

He ate a quick breakfast and brushed his teeth and had his backpack on all ready to go out the door to meet the bus until we told him it was only 7:30.

Thankfully, we still had an hour left to take pictures and enjoy a little family time before we all went outside to meet the bus. Alayna was so excited she kept signing bus.

Alayna and I made sure we had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for him when he got home. (Yes, Uncle Ed I can be just like June Cleaver at least one day a year for my children!) He was a great big brother and shared them with his sister.

Aidan had a great first day and was a star student. He loves his teacher, met a few new kids that have just moved into the school district and enjoyed being the caboose at the end of the class line up allowing him to close the door and turn off the lights!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday

~Alayna's follow up ENT appointment went SUPER! She still has a little fluid behind her eardrums but it is not affecting her hearing at all! We are thankful that we don't have to have ear tubes placed (at least for now). We will follow up with this doctor only on an as needed basis.

~We had back to school night for Aidan last night and met his 2nd grade teacher (wow did I just say 2nd grade? sniff, sniff) . She seems amazing and Aidan really liked her. Seriously, how could he not she was high energy, super positive and super cute!

We have been blessed with great teachers so far and we thank God for answering our prayers for His hand in placing Aidan in just the right teacher's class that will help him grow, develop and learn best.

~ So very thankful for Aidan & Alayna and being able to stay home with them, it is the best job ever. Also, thankful for the past 3 months that we have had Aidan home with us everyday...I know one little sister who isn't going to like seeing that bus come tomorrow morning.

~With the excessive heat here this week I am truly thankful for our home, AC, and a great community pool that we love (which we will soak in the last day of summer at today!).

~Finally, I am thankful that Alayna has mastered her 3 step walk. She has it down to a fine science, if she stands up and realizes she is more than 3 steps away from you she will get back down and crawl a little closer, stand up and then take her magic 3 steps. Stinker!

We hope your week has been blessed, share a thankful or two...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Don't leave the water, it's too hot!

As the temperatures continue to be soaring in the near triple digits (over 110 with heat indices) we decided to hang out this weekend near the water to try and stay cool and soak up some last minute, summer, family, fun time.

Aidan loves to go down the water slides... while Alayna loved playing in the fountains and jumping in the big pool.

Alayna also really enjoyed the lazy river. I think she & daddy could have floated around there all day. She didn't even mind the buckets of water that dump on your head, the sprays, or going under the waterfall.

The only snag was they got stuck in one of the whirlpools. Never fear big brother was there to tow them out and save the day. Let's hear it for Aidan!

I just couldn't help but to take pictures and giggle =)

This afternoon we braved the heat again to attend our church picnic and baptism service. Each year we have an outdoor baptism at the lake.
Two years ago Aidan chose to be baptized and last year Alayna was dedicated at this same service on the beach. Notice the shirt she is wearing today is a 2T - she wore it last year as her dedication dress! Click here to see her dedication pics!

After the boys were in pie eating, then watermelon eating contests we went down to enjoy the beach before the service began for a little cooling off.

Alayna loved the sand and how it felt in her hands. Aidan busied himself with all his friends building sand castles, playing in the water and digging for rocks and shells. And of course, he made a little time for snuggles from his sister.

Five people were baptised as the sun set. Truly a beautiful evening for us to witness and celebrate these ladies dedicating their lives to Christ.

As we only have 4 days left of summer and there is a heat advisory everyday you can bet we will be at the pool!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thankful Thursday

~Jason's family visiting last weekend. It was so fun to sit back and watch them meet Alayna for the first time and see her do her magic. She certainly can wrap people around her little finger in a matter of seconds.

~Sibling random acts of kindness - Aidan sharing the last popsicle with Alayna when he really needed it as he didn't feel well, Alayna crawling up behind Aidan and snuggling him when he had a tummy ache earlier in the week, Aidan always wants to pick Alayna up if she gets hurt to sooth her, giggles galore coming from the playroom as the two of them play.

~Alayna taking 3 steps

~Speech explosion continues - Alayna is starting to drop signs for words, and is singing along with songs like Old McDonald, she will chime in with the "O" and the animal sounds, so cute!

~One final week of summer before Aidan starts school on the 13th, even though Alayna & I will be super sad to see him leave we are going to soak in the last bit of summer.

We hope your week has been wonderful. I love to hear your thankfuls, so please leave a comment and tell us what you are thankful for this week.

* This photo was taken during our worship service a few weeks ago by one of our church photographers, Kerry Erington. Alayna was enjoying the praise band and Courtney Heigele's singing. It was amazing, you couldn't help but lift your arms and praise God.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Does the tooth fairy carry plastic?

Aidan lost his top tooth at dinner on Sunday night.

Aidan: "Mom, you know I don't believe in the tooth fairy, can you just leave the money on my dresser?"

Me: "Aidan, you know I don't have any money, so I can't be the tooth fairy."

Aidan: "Well, just leave your debit card under my pillow then."

Seriously, how do I keep up with this boy? He keeps me hopping that is for sure.
He wasn't too sure what to think of his new look. I assured him he was cute as ever (ok I know I am a little partial)!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

the British Invasion...

The Beatles didn't descend upon us but we had our own British invasion over the weekend as we welcomed Jason's mother (Val), brother (Preston), niece (Kirsty) (from Kings Lynn, England), and his sister and brother in law (Jackie & Wally) who live in Little Rock.

Nannie came to spoil with chocolates from England, cute clothes and lots of hugs and kisses...

We had a great weekend showing them the sites of the city, enjoying some KC barbecue, and enjoying family time together.

They hadn't met Alayna yet as the last time Aidan & I were in England I was 5 months pregnant with her. She warmed up immediately to Uncle Preston (as he looks just like daddy) and was attached to him or Kirsty most of the weekend.

Trust us, Alayna used her time wisely and went from lap to lap making sure she got plenty of snuggles from everyone while they were here.

Our four day visit flew by. We are so thankful to Jackie & Wally for driving everyone up here for the weekend. Safe travels back home and back to England. We love you all.