Mama's Present

I know I have complained about it before, but for the last year (ever since my computer crashed) I have been without my beloved Photoshop.  I haven't found a suitable replacement and it has literally pained me to edit photos. 

All of this changed on Christmas.  Daddy gifted me Adobe Elements for Christmas.  I think it is supposed to be a little more user friendly than Photoshop although so far it seems more complicated.  I was in heaven messing around with it last night.  I think I almost have the hang of it.

Not having my photoshop has made me reluctant to take pictures with the good camera.  Now I can go back to doing what I love!!  And maybe since I will be using the DSLR again I might even have a decent shot of Buddy every once and awhile.  He is quick!

I gave the blog banner a long overdue update last night.  This is the picture from our Christmas card.  Not a perfect shot but I think it is as good as it gets with so many people!!

Look for lots of new pictures soon!


Christmas Do Over

The scene in the picture above was a true miracle.  Why a miracle?  Because December 23rd all hell broke loose over here.  Baby started throwing up at bedtime.  Bunny was whining and not letting me put him down which progressed to a pained cry and then he threw up.  I had planned to wrap all the kid's presents that night so Bunny laid on a towel in the middle of our bed...asleep... surrounded by presents while I furiously wrapped.

On Christmas Eve we had to cancel plans with family and lay low.  After the kids were in bed my elf got to work putting together the big presents. 

Baby threw up on Christmas morning while the rest of us opened presents but then swore she still wanted to go to Grandmas.  After we got their permission to invade them with our germs we packed everything up.

Baby wore her new jacket and some shorty shorts and nothing else.  She was quite a fashion statement.  She pretty much laid around the whole day.  Not the most memorable Christmas.

In the midst of all that, the boys both were sick and very clingy and Buddy is getting molars.  He has been waking up multiple times every night.  It has been hard.

I wish we could have a do over and make everything magical and perfect.  At the same time...I didn't let it ruin our Christmas completely.  None of us were in the hospital, we have a home, we have lots of loving family.  Things could have been much worse.  I had to remind myself of big picture perspective many times these past couple days.

Today everyone was back to normal.  I missed Bunny's charming personality so much.  I could not leave him alone today.  I wanted to savor all his smiles, giggles and silly faces.  He is not even a glimpse of himself when he is sick.  It's good to have him back!!

The kids spent the day playing with all their new gifts and Daddy has two weeks off so we have plenty of time for a do over.  We plan to make the best of it.


My Life in Pictures

Brother Love

Our Tree

Our Christmas festivities got off to a slow start this year as I was working on a major data entry project in the beginning of December.  Every spare second I had went to that never ending project so it wasn't until last week until I finally got my decorations up.  Although the house did look a bit more festive it was missing the most important piece...the tree.

Daddy and I weren't sure what we wanted to do.  I was afraid of getting a real tree because I didn't want Buddy pulling it over on himself.  When the girls were this age we just wedged a tree between some couches and they just admired from a distance.  Buddy is a boy.  That would never work with him.  In his short 21 months of life he has taught me that NOTHING is safe from his curious hands.

Daddy suggested a fake tree but I told him that the ones that are convincing are just too expensive.  I am a real tree girl and I knew if we spent that much money on a fake one he would never let me get a real tree again!

In the meantime, the girls and I made a fun felt tree so that they could decorate it.  Buddy loves it.  I can tell who has been decorating by how the ornaments are placed.  Buddy likes to take them off.  Boogie has them all perfectly arranged and Baby likes to group them by color.

I formulated a plan that we could just wait until Christmas Eve and then surprise the girls on Christmas Day with a little real tree all decorated.  Daddy agreed and we had a plan.

Then he called me the next day and said his boss had a brand new nice fake tree he wanted to give us.  It was too tall for our house so I was hesitant because I didn't want to be stuck with a huge tree in our garage.   Daddy convinced me and on Monday he was home because of the rain so we put the tree up.  We just tweaked it a bit to make it fit and I have to say.....I am almost team fake tree now.  The lights are gorgeous and it took 2 seconds to put up and I haven't had to vacuum up pine needles once.

The girls were SO excited when they saw it.  We waited until the boys went to bed and decorated it.  We all sang Christmas carols and honestly....it didn't take away from anything that it wasn't a real tree.  Another plus that I can use my Swedish tree skirt which was impossible to use with a real tree because of the whole watering issue.  I do miss the tree smell though! 

The whole tree thing was a good reminder for me.  Part of the reason I didn't want a tree was because I didn't want Buddy to be touching it and destroying it all day.  I didn't put enough weight on how much the girls would miss out if we waited until Christmas to get a tree.  It has even put a spring in my step to see those white lights out of the corner of my eye during the day.  So...lesson learned...sometimes we have to take one for the team.

I did in fact chase Buddy away from the tree all day.  But that's okay.


A Good Cause

Have you heard of the company Sevenly?  They are a company that partners with charities to raise money and awareness for that charity.  Each week they have a different cause and they sell shirts, sweatshirts etc and $7 from your purchase goes to help the charity.  In the picture above I am wearing my first shirt I bought from Sevenly which was for Forward Edge International.  Among other things, Forward Edge International helps keeps girls from being sold into prostitution in Nicaragua.  Having young girls myself, I couldn't help but do something.

I wish I could buy a shirt every week.  The charities they partner with are amazing.  But I have been waiting for my second purchase to be a charity relating to down syndrome.  When I saw the familiar almond shaped eyes in Sevenly's new Facebook post today I jumped.

When I discovered that the charity was Reece's Rainbow I cried because thanks to Lily's blog I have spent hours looking over the pictures on the Reece's Rainbow website.  It breaks my heart that these children have no family.  It breaks my heart that any child has no family but especially these sweet babies with down syndrome.  When I look at all the faces that look so much like my Bunny I feel like those are his brothers and sisters over there.  I wish I could adopt all of them. 

Reece's Rainbow partners with families who are willing to adopt an international child with special needs and helps with fundraising so that those families have less of a financial burden.  It makes me so happy to know that they are getting lots of attention this week and are spreading the word about their work.

Please consider buying a shirt this week or if you would rather you can go straight to the Reece's Rainbow site and donate there.  I myself will have a shirt just like the above picture in a few days. 


Meeting Day

Yesterday was Bunny's 6 month IFSP. For those of you not "in the know", this is where we meet with Bunny's social worker and therapists and look at the goals we set for him 6 months ago and see where he needs more help and where he is on track. Then we set goals we would like to see him doing by the next 6 months.

Bunny and I and his 3 therapists and his social worker crowded into a conference room at the OT center where he receives therapy.  I sat down and was handed my copy of the IFSP and my heart leaped for a minute as I thought "What am I doing here?  I am in a room full of therapists staring at the word DOWN SYNDROME.  How if this my life?" 

It wasn't a sad moment.  It just catches me off guard and takes my breath away at times.  I think it is because even with the therapies and doctor appointments and mean momma bear calls to the insurance company our life seems pretty normal to me.  I don't dwell on the words down syndrome or even think about them and yet it is part of our life.  And sometimes that makes me catch my breath for a minute because it was something I never saw coming.

That truly was just a moment of the meeting...a fleeting thought.  The rest of the meeting I mostly looked around and felt blessed because we have such a great team in place for Bunny.  Our social worker is loving and seems to truly have Bunny's best interest at heart.  I feel like his therapists are my friends and that they truly care about my son and what happens to him.  They WANT him to succeed.

In most of the areas, Bunny scored between 8 and 13 months.  He was 20 months at the time of testing.  I know that could be devastating to some but I knew exactly where he would score because he has a twin brother.  His highest score was in cognition where he was at 17 months.  His teachers all agreed that his willfulness is a factor in every score because if he decided he didn't want to do something on testing day we weren't going to change his mind.

In our state we are maxed out at 3 services a week so we will just continue on as we have been going except for the teachers were all brainstorming ways to change his environment so he realizes that he HAS to work.  I have no issue with that!

It's strange for me to think that we just have 1 or 2 more of these meetings before we transfer to the school district.  I feel like I am just getting the hang of it and pretty soon things will change on me again!