Adventures for this SAHM-This Week.

Not for a second to I take for granted that I am able to be a stay at home momma. It's not easy financially, but sacrifices are worth it. Every day I am so so thankful that the Lord has allowed this for us and our little family.

And, as you know being a SAHM has allowed me to become creative in areas that I NEVER knew existed, for me. SO fun. I have attempted to make some money on my coffee sleeves and hair bows, and have made a little. The truth is, when I make something, I really don't mind keeping it. I usually like it for us. So, if it doesn't sell, I am not to sad. ha. This week, I pulled out paintbrushes and also went back to my sewing machine that I have ignored for a couple months. I attempted to make SHOES. Little baby girl Mary Jane's. I didn't have a pattern when i first started, and just looked and measured a shoe that Annabelle had. It didn't work that great. Then, I found a free pattern and tried my best to follow it. As embarrassing as this is, I am going to post a picture.

As you can see, they aren't great. I cut the fabric differently, so one shoe has horizontal stripes, and the other not. Whoops. I am not sure I will have her wear them in public. I plan to keep trying and get better at them. Look out, TOMS.

THEN, yesterday, I decided to make a skirt. I didn't find a pattern online that I liked, so I just guessed. I measured a skirt of Annabelle's and did my best.

I like it. It's a little snug around that diaper booty, but I'll let her wear it as long as if fits for now. This also, I will keep trying at until I do one I love. :)

I went to Hobby Lobby and saw these plain white, wooden letters and remembered that I had seen them used as hair bow holders. So, I made one. I just painted the letter and glued on a hair bow as an accent.

I also attempted to both paint and antique some picture frames. Was going for the "Shabby Chic" look.

ALSO, being a SAHM has allowed me to take care of this after-baby-body. The beer, pizza and cookies don't help the mid-section, so I work out when I get the chance. One of my MOST FAVORITE things to do with Annabelle is taking her to the park for a jog. It's such a great time to allow me to think, and get Annabelle in some sunshine and fresh air. I have been on our trail enough times now, that I am beginning to see regulars. I smile and wave at the lady pushing the cutest little boy in her stroller. He always has his little green blanket shoved in his mouth. Its adorable. The older, grey heads on the trail are always super friendly and sometimes I think they want to have a conversation about how cute my daughter is. But I just smile and keep running. I also see those girls occasionally who are pushing their jogging strollers, and have makeup on and smell better than I do. I mean, they are cute, in their trendy work out clothes, but who puts on makeup and perfume to go workout? I just throw on sunglasses and hope that I don't run into someone I know. I guess I don't blame them. They look adorable and well put together. Maybe deep down I wouldn't mind looking so trendy on the jogging trail. Seriously though, the trail refreshes my soul. I so enjoy being out there. Whether I actually make it through my whole run, or run out of steam in the middle, I still feel good at the end.

Yesterday, I documented the run as I was realizing that it might be close to one of the last outdoor runs I will be doing before the nasty heat of the summer. Even last week, there was a day or two when I couldn't imagine running outside in the humidity. So, I took pictures during my 4 mile trek yesterday to remind myself that Texas IS beautiful. The jogging weather CAN be amazing. Come June, I will forget that. So, I'll share some for you to see, and for me to look back on a reminisce.

I do my best to make it to a 2 mile marker before turning around to go back. I stop at the marker, take a drink and chat with Peanut a second. She was fast asleep yesterday when I looked. Good thing since she had skipped her morning nap.

Pretty, huh? I am glad to be here:

So, naptime yesterday was a struggle. Annabelle thinks it is a lot more fun to sit up in her crib and play. I walked in a few times to see her sitting up. Its gosh darn cute right now, but it might not be so cute to me if she decides to do this daily. but, I caught a great picture of her when I walked in once.

I was having a hard time in the afternoon, which is usually her good, long nap. How long is too long to let your baby stay in their bed with out napping? How many times should I go in to lay her back down with her blanket and paci? I just wasn't sure. so, after about an hour (o gosh, is that too long?) I went in and got her up. She played for about 10 minutes before she was just super cranky. I kept her up for a bit, then put her back to try again, and she was out. Hmmm. Anyway, we will see how today goes.



Annabelle is Incredible.

I have seriously been meaning to sit down and post a blog, but just have not taken the time, and sometimes I feel like I don't have a lot to write about. Today I do. So, this might be "long" in order to catch up the last couple weeks, and I promise pictures, and maybe a video. :)

I actually have tears streaming down my cheeks at this very moment. To be honest, I don't really cry much these days. Today, I cry because today is WORLD DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS DAY. It is on 3-21 because Trisomy 21 means and extra copy of chromosome 21, making 3. And why the tears on this day? I am really not too sure. For some reason as I was sitting here thinking about what to write, to raise awareness for these incredible individuals, a stream of emotions overwhelmed my heart. I want to think right now of ALL individuals with Down Syndrome, but I can't get my eyes past the ONE, the GIFT who was given to me and my husband. When I look at Annabelle, I don't think, Down Syndrome, and I don't think 'special needs'. I don't see those things. I see her as Annabelle. I, for my sake, would NEVER EVER EVER change who she is. But, today I was thinking about her future, and when I think about her future, and our future with her, there are certain fears that raise their ugly head.

I don't wonder ever if I will love her less, or wonder if I will just get so so frustrated with her set-backs, whatever they may be. I don't wonder if her family will accept her, I don't fear how she will look. I don't even fear that life might be 'more' difficult for her. Life is difficult for EVERYONE, so that isn't something to avoid. I fear if she will have a best friend. Will she be made fun of by bratty kids? Will she have health problems? When she finds out she is a little different, will it hurt her feelings?

I have a confession. I don't educate myself on Down Syndrome by reading books or by searching on Google. I don't read the books that were given to me by the hospital at her birth or by friends and family. And, I try to avoid blogs that talk about what if's of DS. You might say that I am making a bad decision in that. But, I just can't bring myself yet to read the what-if's through books. It raises incredible fear in my heart. When something happens with Annabelle, IF something happens with Annabelle, I will search for answers through those books. For now, I am not getting to know Down Syndrome. I am getting to know ANNABELLE. I am raising her as I would if she wasn't born with Trisomy 21. Meaning, as my child, as my baby. That is not to say that I have not learned A LOT about DS. I have learned a TON in the last 11 months. I have learned that they are some of the most caring, and passionate people. I have learned that they love and befriend people that others may not love or befriend. I have also learned that they can do a whole hell of a lot more than people know or give them credit for. Incredible. Incredible people they are.

And when it comes to babies, I have learned that they have lower muscle tone. They might need glasses early. They might not grow very fast. They typically don't hit milestones like other children. And I thought I was just blessed with a really good, easy going baby, but after talking with other moms who have DS babies, they say the same. :) They are awesome from the start!

Here is ANNABELLE at 11 months.
-She has hit ALMOST every baby milestone.
-She still does not have teeth.
-She still inch worm crawls, but let me tell you, its a speedy little inch worm.
-She is growing (length wise) pretty slowly. (in fact, it has me a little concerned the last couple months. at the beginning, she grew out of clothes and diaper sizes fast. But, she has been wearing the same size clothes and diapers for a long time. My pediatrician doesn't seem to be concerned, so i try not to be. Others who haven't seen her in a while say she has grown, but I might just not be seeing it. Oh, she has a little belly and chubby cheeks, but length-? I just pray about it. )
-She loves to eat! She can not self feed yet, but I present little things as often as possible.
-She still breast feeds and LOVES it.
-She sees a PT every month, and pretty much hates it. Ha. She gets super feisty with her. But, I am thankful for ECI. The PT has been SO impressed and happy with Annabelle's progress.
-She stinkin LOVES her daddy.
- Besides a little bit of loose stools one week, she has not been sick. (Thank you, Jesus.)
- She loves car rides.
-It seems everything is an exciting adventure to her.
- She enjoys the church nursery.
- She is starting to bring herself into sitting. (only every now and then. Sometimes she 'pretends' to forget how. :)
- She tries to jump out of my arms.
-She learned "SO BIG" and Pat-A-Cake really quick, but doesnt do them for me anymore. stinker.
-She loves books.
-She is a good napper.
- She is learning that whining might not always get you what you want. O wait, maybe she hasn't learned that yet. ;)
- She likes kids.
- She has a favorite blanket already. A cozy pink blanket knitted by Nana.
- She does her best to communicate with us. She has lots of stories to tell.

Anyway. I could go on forever. I love that little stinker. (my tears subsided by the end of that list.)

A couple weeks ago, Craig and I went to lunch on a Friday afternoon. While we were sitting at our table on the patio, a group of really cute ladies sat only a few tables away from us. One had a stoller with a little boy in it, and I saw the face of DS immediately. I whispered to Craig to look and tell me if he thought the same thing. He just nodded. I wanted so badly to say something to the woman, but how do you bring it up? What if he really didnt? that would be terrible. The ladies were looking at Annabelle the same way. Saying how cute she was, but it was almost like us, the moms, knew. But neither of us could bring it up. Eventually she did. She was looking at Annabelle saying how cute she was, and i said the same about her little boy, who was now snuggling up against her chest. she said' "Did she have any surgeries?" And that was the ice breaker to us talking about Down Syndrome and our babies. Her's was 18 months old. I felt like it was a moment that was a gift from God. And Craig thought so too. For both of us moms to talk in a language that maybe only we understand. So, after that, I prayed. I pray for some mom friends with some kiddos with DS. To be able to talk in our own language, and understand each other. I love it. :)

The tears I had today surprised me a little. I am not sad that Annabelle has DS. I don't ask 'why us' questions. I seriously mean it when I say I would never change it. I freakin LOVE this gift. (Please remind me of this when I need encouragement one day in the future.)

Ok, so here is a little catch up over the last weeks....(NOT in any order)

One Sunday afternoon, we took a little trip to Houston to see Craig's dad. He was in town for a short bit. It was SO great to see him, and great to see Annabelle get a little bit of Grandpa love.

This past week was my mom and my sister's Spring Break, which really means it's also a break for me. I feel like I get to play more than normal too. And we did. We took a little trip a couple hours from home for the day and a night. It was a blast. My sister and I visited some wineries, and enjoyed some microbrews at a local brewery. It was an awesome trip. The day happend to be St.Patty's, so I had to adorn Annabelle in green of course. we even when to the tiny town of Luckenbach. I mostly wanted to go just to get a pick with Annabelle there.

11:30 AM. HEY, it was vacation, and it was awesome. Cheers!

Occasionally, I will walk in the room to discover Craig has fixed Annabelle's hair. I often get a big kick out of it. THIS is what I found last week. Craig had found a few of his favorite bows, and decided that she needed to wear them all, at once. I loved it. But, did not leave it. ;)

These last two pics are from this morning. She put her applesauce and oatmeal in her hair, and when I tried to take a picture, this is what I got. Better than I expected.

and, she is trying to use those little fine motor skills to pick up this little cheerio! cutie.
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^^^(not sure what this little link is, but I can't get it to go away.)

OK, and I found this video hilarious. I set up a little couch cushion on the floor so she could use those arm muscles and pull herself up. and the OT said that going up stairs or things like this might help her get up on those hands and knees to crawl properly.

Happy Monday. And Happy World Down Syndrome Awareness Day! I think the afternoon calls for a trip to the park. :)


Blue Skies

Spring weather makes me giddy...This was yesterday. So gorgeous.
Annabelle and I came home with pink noses and cheeks. woops.
Happy mid-week!

And this is from a couple days ago when my sister had her bridal portraits done. me and Annabelle played dress up. I cant get over this cute face.