Monday, November 28, 2011

Baby steps.

Charlotte has decided being upright is kind of fun! We have a long way to go before she is an independent walker, but she has been bitten by the walking bug, and is having a great time practicing her new skill. It helps that she has lots of encouragement!

Through all of Charlotte's PT, I have learned how much really goes into a child learning to walk. The strength one must develop and the coordination required is quite amazing; all these things I never gave a second thought to with my older children.

Thank you my dear baby girl for all your hard work, you make me so proud.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

To say I am thankful for all I have is an understatement. My husband, my children, my family, my friends. I am a pretty lucky girl. Last Thanksgiving, I made a list of everything I was thankful for; re-reading it, I realized it is still relevant. A lot of the list was dedicated to Charlotte's repaired heart and health, and I can say that is still true, however, something I rarely think about anymore. Charlotte continues to amaze me daily, she brings such joy to my life, and though she doesn't know it, she teaches me more than any book or class in school ever has. Life lessons, things that make me a better mother, wife, and friend.

I do have two big additions to my "thankful list" this year. First, this past year, we were incredibly blessed to be able to move to a house that better suits our needs and more importantly is in a wonderful school district. Though the months of selling/moving/buying/moving again were incredibly stressful, we couldn't be happier with where we ended up. I am so incredibly grateful for all who helped us make what we thought was impossible, possible.

The second, is a wonderful new friend. I was told after Charlotte's birth that one thing we had to look forward to was meeting incredible new people within the "Down syndrome community." And while I have "met" many new friends online, it took me a little bit to feel comfortable with this in real life. I met Kathleen this past year after her daughter, Emily (ironically!), was born with an extra chromosome. We quickly found we had quite a bit in common; both our girls are the third born in our families, and our older children are the same ages (in fact her daughter Lily is only 3 days older than Katherine!), among other things. She often thanks me for the help I have been to her these past six months, however, she needs to realize she has been just as therapeutic for me. I have a lot of good friends, however, I can't tell you how invaluable it is to have someone who gets "it." And while we are both busy moms of three trying to balance family, work, and everything in between, and we aren't able to see each other or talk as much as we may like, I am so incredibly grateful to know there is someone  out there I can call when I need to vent/cry/whine about that extra chromosome or share in my joy and really understands the magnitude of each new milestone Charlotte hits. I am incredibly grateful for our new friends.

I could continue to write about all I am blessed to have in my life, however, my children are getting antsy and need breakfast, and the paper with all the Black Friday ads is calling to me. I think there may be a cup of coffee with my name on it as well. Later we head to my parent's house to spend Thanksgiving with family, it is sure to be a good time (however, cross your fingers for a Packer win, otherwise it might put a damper on the festivities).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thank you for your continued support!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Early Thanksgiving

This weekend we packed up the kids and dog in the van and headed to visit Mike's parents for an early Thanksgiving. We had to chuckle a tad on the way there as we looked back at our technology-infused mini-van. Katherine, singing along to Kidz Bop 20 on my iPod, Will watching Cars II on the iPad, and Charlotte intently taking in every second of Baby Signing Time on the DVD player. Technology is grand, as it was the most peaceful 3 hour car ride we have had in a long, long time.


Yesterday we went swimming at a local hotel pool. Unfortunately most the pictures we took were blurry, as Mike has been reading and learning more about our camera, which means he has been playing with settings and I didn't realize it until after I took the pictures. Whoops. Our little pool adventure though reaffirmed what we already know; all three of our  kids love the water. The only picture that turned out:


After a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Katherine decided it was time to pitch in with the dishes:




(I love how you can see her little teeth in this picture!)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well! We have so much to be thankful for this year, and look forward to celebrating with more family later this week. Enjoy your week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Please, just ask.

I have noticed over the past 18 months, many of our friends and family skirt around the "Down syndrome" issue, and it feels at times as if it is almost the giant elephant in the room that no one wants to mention. At times, it is almost ackward because I can tell when someone is curious but doesn't know how to ask, so they just repeat over and over again how cute and happy Charlotte is (which she is, but believe me, it gets tiring hearing it time after time!).

Today, I am going to clear the air, and invite you to please just ask! I want to educate. I want to dispel any myths you may have heard. I want to advocate for my child by teaching those who love her about her disability.

I realize this is a fine line, as I also want Charlotte to be treated as any typical child would. However, a few questions here or there for you to better understand Down syndrome will help you spread awareness as well. I promise I will not break down in tears. Don't be afraid of offending me, I have heard and read it all. I am in a good place; my child has Down syndrome, I accept that. I have come a long, long way in 18 months, and learned a heck of a lot. Please, let me spread the knowledge.

Happy Friday everyone, have a wonderful weekend!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Say what?

Charlotte is a talker. No real words yet, but constant babble. All. day. long. In the evening, after the big kids go to bed, Mike and I will sit and watch TV while Charlotte plays. Her new favorite activity? Climbing up on the fireplace, pulling herself up on the end table and telling me about her day.

*sorry about the muffled sound, I think I put my hand over the mic. Whoops!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Charlotte now knows and initiates 3 signs! In the past few days the signs we have been working on for the past 6 months have finally clicked for her! Yay!!

Speech has been a big concern of mine for awhile. I know Charlotte's receptive language is good, and I know her expressive language will come. However, I can't shake the things I have read; how usually kids with DS excel in one area or another. Charlotte's gross motor skills have always been really good and I am afraid of her speech taking a backseat. Also, as nice as it is to read blogs of kiddos around the same age as my girl, it is hard not to compare.

I am excited to go to speech tomorrow, her therapist is going to be very proud!


Sunday, November 6, 2011


I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
-Shel Silverstein


Charlotte gives the best hugs. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


The kids got a package in the mail yesterday; it was from Missy's brother and sister-in-law, who every Halloween send care packages to the kids. The kids had a blast opening them and discovering what they had sent. Thanks Jason and Katie!

Charlotte thought the little skydiving men were absolutely hilarious. Check it out.