Friday, December 28, 2012

A better run at Christmas

Christmas had a whole new spin this year for Dariya.  If you remember last year she had only been home 5 months and was overwhelmed after the first couple presents and went in the other room away from the chaos.

This year she joined right in with the chaos of her siblings and opened her presents all by herself.  Didn't take her long to figure out presents are fun.

I finally got my tired self off the couch,We enjoyed Christmas Eve having my brother and sister and their families over and then we all went to church together.  Christmas morning we had a quiet kid filled excited morning with my parents joining us in the afternoon for games and dinner.  What a great day to celebrate Jesus' birthday!

1,2,3, Go.....

Houston, I think we have a problem!

Anytime she sees my camera come out she poses with her huge smile!
I could just eat her up!

This one is for your Aunt Trudy, perfect lip gloss!!!

Thanks Ms. Juanita and crew for the awesome books

My life is so blessed, I am thankful for my family!
We hope your Christmas was truly blessed!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. 

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!  

May your season be blessed!

Happy birthday Jesus!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Princesses at the ball

On Saturday we had the pleasure of attending Jason's nephew, Leighton's wedding.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful ceremony followed by a fabulous dinner and dance.  
Leighton walking in his nan, Jason's mother (she flew in from England to attend)
Found this good looking guy hanging out 

I absolutely love the lighting of the unity candle.
Now the two shall become one...

Jason and his mother and the girls (first time she has met Dariya)
The girls were so excited when the music started playing we literally had to drag them off the dance floor to drive home.  
These princesses loved the ball.
Who doesn't love Ring around the Rosie with your cousin?
Shake your groove thing Dariya

Congratulations Leighton and Merry.  

May God bless your lives together.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Can I keep him mom?

Please Oh Please?
No we aren't getting a puppy for Christmas this was such a cute pic of Aidan (who I hardly ever catch on camera anymore) that I couldn't resist.  My brother's German Short hair had puppies so the kids have been thoroughly enjoying watching them grow over the past couple weeks.

Life here continues on as normal (as we get).  

The kids are excited for Christmas.  Although I am not sure if Alayna will make it to Christmas as she keeps pulling ornaments off the tree as fast as I can put them back up.  She was so great with them the past couple years and left them alone now she is doing it out of pure naughtiness.  She looks, runs, pulls and smiles all while throwing them.  STINKER!  Thankfully she hasn't reached any of my glass ones so she hasn't broken any.

Aidan has played a couple piano gigs this past week with his piano teacher.  One at the Metro Lutheran Ministries Christmas store.  People in need can come "shop" this store for Christmas presents for their kids for free.  Then last night they played at a retirement home close to our house.  It is so nice to see him use his God given talents to brighten someones day.

Jason is of course working later and later so the kids and I am missing spending time with him.  Thankful when Christmas Eve gets here at the close of the day his long days are finished.  So be nice to your UPS man/woman as they are working hard to get your packages delivered and probably missing their family too. ;)

The girls continue to make me laugh and entertain each other well.  One morning I sat back and watched them play for nearly an hour and a half without any input from me.  It was truly an amazing thing.  Alayna used to wait for me to pick a toy out of the toy box before she would play with one.  Since Dariya has come home they have both blossomed so much and the love they have for each other is easily evident.

Hope all is well in your world.  If you are still looking for that perfect Christmas gift...give the gift of life to an orphan pick any orphan on the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree and help them find their family.  I can't imagine our lives without Dariya and we would have never been able to bring her home if it wasn't for all the donations that helped us reach our goal.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Do you hear what I hear?

Today the girls had their biannual ENT appointment to check their tubes and hearing.  Hey, we met our deductible why not cram in every ologist I can think of before the end of the month?

We haven't been so successful in getting a good hearing test yet on Dariya so I was more than anxious to hold her down get it done.

Thankfully the girls were angelic!  Alayna was on her game for sure.  We stopped at the lab and had her thyroid labs completed.  She never winced or cried just sang the girls jingle bells while they worked.

Quick dash down the hall to ENT and we were whisked away into an exam room in no time.  Thankfully with iPad in tow and a little Sesame Street to keep them occupied the girls were very good.  Alayna went first and had a bunch of wax they cleaned out and had a good hearing screening plus her tubes are still in.

Then I dreaded having to get the Ukrainian Tasmanian devil into the chair.  To my surprise she only grumbled a little bit then stopped.  She let them put the little things in her ears and sat quietly (I guess little sister's role modeling paid off).  She grumbled a few times and reached to pull them out once but otherwise was fabulous!  A far cry from the drama that ensued 6 month ago when we went to the audiologist.  She had some wax build up (she did throw a bit of a fit for the wax cleaning but WAAAAY better than normal), tubes looked good and her hearing was normal on the right and the stats looked slightly diminished on the left ear but nothing to be alarmed about.  We won't be able to get accurate and specific levels until she can wear the headphones and sit in the booth which might be a year or so away so until then we will take what victories we can get.

Afterwards we hunted down our favorite UPS man to show off our super cool Santa band aid (Alayna) then hurried home for ice cream with sprinkles to celebrate the day!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Potty training update

It has been almost 2 months since we went cold turkey with Dariya and put her in panties.  She is still doing fabulously, having no accidents!

Both girls have gotten super independent about toileting (since I couldn't pick them up after surgery) they go in and get on and off he potty all by themselves then use the step stool to get up and wash their hands.  It is awesome to watch my little girls growing up!

I couldn't be happier to not be buying pull ups and look forward to nights that are diaper free! ;)

For those of you who are in process of potty training with your little one, slow and steady wins the race!  They will get it in their own timing.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving filled with food, family and fun.  

Looking forward to a restful, family weekend to celebrate all we are thankful for this year.

Hope your holiday was wonderful and that you stop to reflect on all the things you are truly thankful for this year.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I can see clearly

We were able to pick the girls glasses up last week.  Dariya's are really cute and she is wearing them all the time.  Alayna's however, she isn't sold on and neither am I. 

 Hmm thinking to myself that going shopping on the day you were given a cancer diagnosis really wasn't such a good plan.  

Don't get me wrong they are cute but, they are just a bit wide for her petite face.  

I didn't realize until we picked them up how wide they truly are...
We opted to go with regular frames instead of the frames made specifically for kids with ds.  Nobody in the metro area takes our insurance and carries those frames.  

So we opted for cute and covered instead of cute and $400 a set of glasses. Obviously, they sink just as well as the ones typical glasses anyway.  

Thankfully Ms. Juanita said that both girls are wearing their glasses at school.  Let's pray that continues.

I promise Dariya was not drugged, she just looks like it

Had to include a cute one of Dariya as the top photo caught her off guard but it is the only cute one I have of Alayna wearing hers so far.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winning streak

The kids are definitely on a winning streak.  Aidan won a $50 gift card to the mall from his orthodontist.  Then Alayna won an iPad 2 from the DSG, who was giving away an iPad a day in October for down syndrome awareness month.

Maybe Dariya should pick out some lottery numbers...hmmm!

We are so grateful for sweet blessings like this.  Thank you Dr. Klein and DSG!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween

We had a fun filled Halloween.  Alayna was TOTALLY into it this year.  Last year she had just gotten out of the hospital with bronchiolitis so missed her preschool party and the fun of trick or treating.

She practiced and could say trick or treat and thank you with the best of them.  Once we were out she wanted to keep going. Usually Jason is the energizer bunny of trick or treating never wanting to go home but this year Alayna kept saying, "next house please."  

We finally convinced her to come home to hand out candy to the big kids and of course try a few pieces of her own collection.  

Dariya was thrilled to pick out the candy, not sure why because she is my non sweet eater.  LOL

They were all so tired the girls slept until almost 8 this morning.

Hope your little pumpkins had a great time too!

P.S. We had the girls ophthalmology appointments on Tuesday and both girls will now be sporting glasses.  Alayna just for strengthening her one eye that tends to pull inward especially when she gets tired.  However, keeping glasses on a girl who doesn't have acuity issues might prove to be a hard thing.  Dariya knows she can't see without them and has literally been caught walking into walls or sinks.  Ugh.  Will be thankful when she has her new ones.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Step Up for Down Syndrome

Today was our annual Step Up for Down Syndrome.  

It was blustery cold but that didn't stop us from having a great time.  

We thank everyone who donated and supported our team.

We missed half our team as the Heigele crew we busy adding, Effie June to their family last night.  
Congrats Heigeles!  Both mom and Effie are doing well.

Climbing on up

Poppin' Joes Kettle corn is the best.
Joe has down syndrome and autism and runs this business.

Someone LOVED the pony rides.  She went back 3 times!

Alayna's beloved Juanita

Here you go, Taylor you are totally blog worthy!
Our sweet friend, Sarah was there taking pictures.  I will be sure to share those when I get them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Family pictures

Our sweet friends at SOMA photography blessed us with fall pictures.  It was a beautiful day at the park, all until Dariya decided she would take her glasses off and throw them in the lake.  

I am blessed.


She loves the camera

My baby boy is growing up too fast

Here she is trying to make her escape after throwing her glasses in the lake.
Thank you Sophia and Thelma, you have no idea what a blessing these are to us.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Awesome check up

Alayna had her 4 year well child check up today and lab work.  She was such a BIG girl.  She let them draw blood, held still, no tears and sang songs with our favorite phlebotomist.

Then it was on to show off for her pediatrician.  Alayna counted to 20, told her her birthday (month and day), said her first and last names, told her the days of the week, months of the year, sang the ABC song and even showed her a couple of her latest dance moves with no signs of slowing down.

 I literally had to cut her off so we could get out of there by lunchtime.  Our pediatrician wasn't stopping her she was LOVING the show.

Typically, Alayna is very quiet and shy when we go to the doctor so this was totally a crack up to watch her show her stuff.

She is still a skinny little thing weighing in at 31 pounds and 36½ inches tall.  That is 2 pounds and 2 ½ inches since last year!  My baby is growing up and spreading her wings.  What a beautiful thing!

Please don't tell Alayna that her sister has put on 4 pounds and 3½ inches since February!  WHAT?

Both girls got their flu mist and were proclaimed to be the cutest and smartest kids ever and off we went.

We love our pediatrician.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Potty training celebration: Throw out the pull ups

Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and ditched the pull ups on Dariya.  I knew she was being lazy and not stopping to go to the potty when she needed.

The first day at preschool she had two accidents but, after that has had no more accidents! As in not at school, home, church NO more accidents! She has rocked panties with being dry and going to the potty when she needs to.

YAY Dariya!  Extra ice cream scoops for you tonight big stuff!  We are super proud of you!

In another potty training/independence note....this morning before we headed out to walk to our park I told the girls we needed to go potty first.  Alayna marched in to the bathroom, put the potty seat on the toilet, moved the step stool  in front of the toilet, got undressed, got on the potty and went all by herself. She then was so proud she got off and remembered to move the step stool to wash her hands. Dariya followed suit and I sat back and watched.  One happy mom!