October 30

October is almost over. :( I love October. This month has been the best month I have had in a long time. It was busy, but good busy. It was stretching, but good learning.

I am excited for the coming months, and a little anxious about what it could hold for our little family. I LOVE the Holidays, and am doing my best to make my home feel cozy for the Holiday season. I LOVE sitting in my house, under my favorite soft green blanket (that I got at Kohl's for a black Friday sale a few years ago, and have never found another one), and watching a good Holiday movie. Like, THE HOLIDAY or The Family Stone. I also love the smell of baking, and if there is no baking going on, then candles or my awesome Scentsy will do. I love warm beverages, in a fat mug. I can't wait.

Thank you for your comments, messages, and texts about my last post. I worried about it, wondering if it offended, which was totally not my intention. So, thanks for assuring me. I am glad to know I actually have readers.

I love Sundays, and plan to squeeze the most of the rest of this one. We (craig, annabelle and I) went on the most awesome walk on the trail this morning. TODAY IS GORGEOUS!!! We were gone for a while and didn;t realize it till we got home. :)

Have a great week!


October 28

Over the past 24 hours or so I have been contemplating what my real thoughts are on the following:

"People First Language (PFL)...this ain't rocket science, people.

One of my biggest pet peeves since giving birth to my son is the inability some people have in referring to him a kid with Down syndrome. So what do these people call him?
1. Downs
2. Downs kid
3. Downs person
4. Downs baby
5. Down syndrome
Do you see the pattern here?
So what is wrong with saying, "Oh, is he Downs?" Or saying, "He is such a cute Downs kid." Or how about, "I know a Downs person and they are so loving." I could go on and on, but, you get the picture. The problem with these sentences is the fact that, not once, was my child, Joseph, ever mentioned. He was never personified in these sentences. This is NOT people first language.
For instance, if you had cancer, I would never call you "that sick cancer person" or "Cancer Cathy" or ask "Oh, are you cancer? That is just awful"... If I were to refer to your illness (or whatever) I would say, "Cathy has breast cancer" or something to that effect.
So when you are out and about doing whatever it is you do each day and you are talking about a kid with Down syndrome, a baby with Down syndrome or a child with Down syndrome and you feel the need to bring Down syndrome into the equation be sure to put it in it's proper place and that would be as the secondary numerator's holding place and NOT after the equal sign. Yes, my son is a person first and the equation should look like this

{person} + Down syndrome = PERSON
and not like this
Down syndrome + {Person} = Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is secondary in all things in my home, Person is Person first and always. We just got the added bonus of Down syndrome :0) "

I came across that yesterday, and see posts like this often on DS parent's blogs. I can't say that these are yet my feelings. Here is my perspective:

Too many people do not know about Down Syndrome, and the first things that comes to most minds are the distinct facial features, 'slower' mind, and maybe a funny way of speaking. Right? Maybe that isn't your first thought, but I think it was always my first thought. I knew, well, not really a thing. Just the other day, I caught myself saying , "I saw this cute downs girl working at wal mart". The only reason I CAUGHT myself is because i realize that some people do not like it when their kids are referred to that way. I guess the 'proper' thing to say is, "I saw this cute girl WITH Down Syndrome working at Wal Mart." If you say it the other way, I am not yet offended. Unless of course you mean it offensively. ha. ;)

Now that I have Annabelle, I do find people maybe stumbling over there words when talking to me, or trying to be careful about what and HOW to say things. I want you to know that I am not offended. If you call Annabelle a "Downs Baby", I have not been offended. If you say "Downs", rather than the correct term, Down Syndrome, I will not correct you. The reason, SO FAR, is that I know that these people are not trying to offend me, OR are they talking down to Annabelle. Does that make sense? I have not come across anyone YET, that while having a conversation about Annabelle do they speak as if she is just so super different. I have been blessed I guess to just be around people who are encouraging, supportive and truly just curious.

I will answer almost any question asked, and I do believe I know how to filter the offensive and non-offensive questions. If someone would offend me, I would not hold back, and would put them in their place. Not out of spite, or to be rude, but just with the heart and purpose to help them to understand how to approach people with special needs children. I would have wanted that, and would have appreciated a polite correction if I ever offended someone. And still would want that.

As far as this "R" word goes. This word is no longer in my vocabulary. I hear it often, very often. People say it when they mess up, or are annoyed with someone for being so ret***ed. It makes me more uncomfortable than I thought it would, because it was for sure a word I used a bit before Annabelle. But, I do know that people around me who are saying it, are not saying it TO Annabelle. Because, ooooh, if they were, ha, that would be another story. A couple of months ago, someone said it around me in a typical conversation. Maybe saying how ret***ed they were for making such a silly mistake. I don't remember. What I remember is them catching themselves and then apologizing and getting super awkward. I was not offended to begin with, but then felt uncomfortable for the way they were so apologetic. I understood the conversation, and in no way were they saying anything at all towards my daughter. But, I guess it is good that they noticed that the "R" word should not just be thrown around like it always is.

THIS is what offends me most: people making fun of Ret***ed people. Goodness sakes, don't do that in front of me! THAT makes me upset. I do not know what Annabelle will be like as she gets older, but I am SURE that it will be nothing to make fun of. Don't say things like, "Doii doiii duuh doiii, I'm a little slow". I am not sure why this kind of thing bothers me the most, when typical converstaion and the word "DOWNS" doesn't really.

Of course, I don't want my daughter labeled, but isn't that what she is? She has a diagnosis, so is therefore labeled. But, I don't want that label to LIMIT OR DEFINE her. These kiddos are MORE ALIKE than DIFFERENT. And I pray I will see more of this "Likeness to Typical" as she grows, learns and develops. :)

I hope that all made some kind of sense. Just things that have been on my mind.



October 27

I mean, why wouldn't you want to stay in your jammies till almost noon with this cutie?

I am up way too late because of this amazing World Series game. It's funny how I don't notice or care about baseball the rest of the year. But, this game is some serious excitement. And since a team from my home state is just {this} close to winning, it's even more exciting!

Hope you're all having a great week.


October 26

I LOVE being a stay at home mom with Annabelle. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now. :)


October 24.

Check out that beautiful team for ANNABELLE's ANGELS! Buddy Walk was fantastic this year. I believe we had about 45 people come out to support sweet Annabelle. I was and still am just blown away and SO super appreciative to everyone who came out to make that day special. It was hot as heck, but the kids had fun with tons of events going on. I wanted to have time to hang out with and talk to everyone who came, but it wasn't possible with all that was happening. That's a good sign, I would say.
Thank You to anyone who came out. You can still make donations until the end of December. RIGHT HERE. I also placed a little tab on the side of the blog where you can donate as well. :)

My MIL just left this evening, and we were sad to see her go. It was a blessing to have her here this week.

Tomorrow, Craig goes back to work, and Annabelle and I have NOTHING on the agenda. That makes me so excited, I can't even tell you. SO EXCITED. I feel like there has not been a day lately that has not had something going on. I hope to not leave the house at all, and just chill here with her. YAY! :)

Enjoy the week.



Today is BUDDY WALK! I am so excited for our team, and cant wait to see everyone! Cant wait to show you all the pictures. Have a great Sunday!


October 21.

Today has been pretty fun.:) MOPS was this morning, and that always brightens my Fridays. My Mother in Law spoke to our group about "communication", and she did such a great job. She read this verse:
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." -Colossians 4:6
The Lord knows just what I need, just when I need it. I am so thankful that Deb was able to be here for this week, not only for today, but also for SUNDAY for Buddy Walk! This week was timely, so that I could talk to her about some things, and her advice was just perfect. I am so blessed to have married into such and amazing family.

We also went to see "The Help" today. SUCH a fantastic movie. I would recommend that movie to anyone. I loved it.

2 days till Buddy Walk. We have a team of almost 40, and that is incredible!!!!!!!!! I just finished painting some team t shirts for some of us! I can't wait!


October 20.

"You have no idea of where or how God is going to engineer your future circumstances, and knowledge of what stress and strain is going to be placed on you either at home or abroad. And if you waste your time in over activity, instead of being immersed in the great fundamental truths of God's redemption, then you will snap when the stress and strain do come. But, if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in Him, which may appear to be impractical, then you will remain true to Him whatever happens." -Oswald Chambers

SO what I needed this morning. :)

P.S. The boot mission was a success. First place I went. Found some great boots for only $25!

PPS...3 days till BUDDY WALK!


October 19-2

So, does two posts in a day make up for the posts I miss during this 31 for 21 Challenge?

I have not had the greatest week. I have been learning some life lessons I guess, and been presented with some tough situations. Situations I am NOT used to. But, I guess I am learning, and I am really really praying for some PEACE.

Maybe these pictures will make up for the icky week and my lack of posts...

October 19.

Ok, no, for real, this week WILL get better. Starting this morning. ;)

My MIL is here, so now I will pretend to be on vacation for a few days.

I might overload you with videos, but this girl is just too cute...
She fell asleep on daddy the other day, and her snoring was pretty adorable.

She tries so hard to walk while holding onto anything that will move. She found a box, and scooted herself across the floor...

Today, I am on the boot mission.

Little brownie face.


October 17.

Today has not been my most favorite day. Bleh. I woke up feeling so nasty. I am not sure if it is my teeth or what. But, it set a very grey tone for the day.

Then, Annabelle had a super cranky attitude at breakfast. Grrr. It frustrates me when I can't figure that out.

I had such great plans of getting stuff done around the house, and it just didn't happen like I thought. ALL I wanted to do, and still do, is lay down and let someone else do everything while I watch episodes of How I Met Your Mother. :)

We had Annabelle's 18 month appointment today. Her well checks have always gone pretty well. We have had to do a couple things differently, and have had routine lab works done because of DS, but nothing major. Her pediatrician puts her on the Down Syndrome growth scale, and she has been *mostly* consistent with growth. She's a little one, y'all. In fact, this growth is no longer consistent, but has taken a major plateau. Even on the DS scale, she is measuring super short. Her weight is just OK. Therefore, the doctor wants to see her back in a month and most likely we will be doing some lab work, again.

It doesn't surprise me that the doctor looked concerned, because I know that she hasn't been growing. I have brought it up quite a few times in the past couple months. I am glad that it is being addressed. BUT, because of the kind of day that I am having, I feel sort of like crying a little. But, I don't want to make my head hurt worse, and I don't want to consider feelings/emotions today because overall, it IS "one of those days". So, anyways, that's the latest.

I am excited that this week is going to pick up and hopefully my long face will too. My mother in law is coming tomorrow and will be here for the week. I am excited to hang out with her! THEN, MOPS on Friday, which I love. THEN, BUDDY WALK on Sunday! This week is going to get better. OH, AND, we are supposed to be getting a cold front, which will also help. Maybe I should jump into the season by buying some temporary happiness with BOOTS! :)


October 15.

October 15th randoms:

Happy 18 month birthday to my sweet baby.

My husband is THE BEST!

I am an unsettled "nesting" housewife. You would think I was past 30 weeks pregnant or something. I want to change things in this house every day. Pictures, walls, furniture, high chair covers, furniture placement, etc.. The only word I could use to describe it, is unsettled. Hmpf. ( No, I'm not pregnant.)

I also have a million crafts I want to do.

My mom was going to spend the day with me, taking care of me since I had my wisdom teeth out yesterday. Instead, she got a migraine, and I spent the day with my family at my parent's house, taking care of her. It was nice to laze around with the family today. I love them.

Annabelle fell asleep on my dad today after waking up from a 45 minute nap. I was sure she would not go back down, but she did, snoring and all. They both slept like this for well over an hour. It was pretty precious...

A couple weeks ago at MOPS, we had a different kind of meeting and had a self defense class. I broke a board, and won everyone free kickboxing classes for a month...

I miss my cats. :(

I want to go to Colorado for a vacay this winter, and don't see it happening.

I love this picture of Annabelle at her friend's house...

Annabelle is chatty these days. TRYING so hard to say simple words like: Apple, Duck, Mama and Dada. What I have been LOVING is her stories are sometimes complete with hand gestures...

It's been a nice weekend. :)


October 14.

Look at me! Writing a post just about 2 hours after getting my teeth out! I am feeling well at this moment, but I am still a little bit numb. I can feel it wearing off, so I know I might not feel super great soon. BUT, that is why Craig took the day off. So that I can take some prescribed drugs, and relax. :) I have sent him off to Redbox for 2 movies and Chik Fil A for only the BEST cookies and cream milk shake!

I gotta say, too, that my dentist is the BEST! If you know me well, you know that dental things are one of my biggest anxieties! He did a GREAT job today, and the process seemed so easy. Not what I was expecting. So, if you live in this area, ask me about him and I will give you his info. ;)

Buddy Walk update: We already have a team of 26 registered and more that I know are coming! As far as donations: $0. :( BUT, I am excited for those that will be joining us in the walk!

Off to have a relaxing day...hopefully.


October 13.

Certainly I will never forget, that when we say "HELLO" to Annabelle, she holds her hand to her ear, as if on the phone, instead of waving.

And certainly I will never forget the way Annabelle squirms out of my arms when she sees her daddy. SUCH a daddy's girl, I'm tellin ya!

A little preview from a sweet sweet Snow White photo shoot yesterday.

PS...I am getting my upper wisdom teeth out in the morning. I can't promise a post, but looks like I keep skipping days anyways. ;)


October 11.

I am not too sure who all reads this, but I think that there are some mommas who also have young children with DS. I don't know a whole lot of other parents who have DS children, so when it comes to questions that I have, I either just figure it out, ask our therapists and doctors or try to read something. But, talking to another parent who has "been there, done that" is what I would most likely prefer to do first. Ya know?

Anyway, so I have some questions for any mommas who have "been there, done that" about feeding. Maybe I'm the only one, but I don't think so. Seems that typical children move to table foods quickly and also drink more than just milk, and from cups other than bottles. Annabelle is having issues with liquids, sippy cups and *most* table foods. She is only almost 18 months, and I really don't think she will be going to elementary school eating baby or pureed food and drinking from a bottle, so I am not yet concerned, but would love to see her eat and drink a more variety of things. She LOVES her bottle, and really only wants milk in that bottle. She chews on sippy cups, and yes, we have tried almost all of them. She doesn't particularly like anything else to drink except for milk. As for foods, she will eat anything from a jar, and most fruits and veggies as long as I puree them. She likes them all best if there is some kind of baby cereal mixed in them. You know, brown rice, oatmeal, grains. She will spit anything she does not like right in my face pretty much. She does really well with crackers, and almost any little Gerber snack.

I have been feeling guilty almost that there must be something that I as a mom am doing wrong. Or what am I NOT doing? What else should I try? I try new things with her all the time. Things as simple as making cream of wheat, and chopped up banana chunks. I tried a special thickener in her juice to see if that would help the sippy cup situation, too. So, what else can I do? Is it time to be concerned or should I just give her what I know she wants?

I can't write a post about things Annabelle can't do without saying things that she CAN! She has made great progress with mixed textures over the last few months, and will at least TRY almost anything at least once. She has learned the sign for EAT and is so super close to the sign for MILK! :)

She's the greatest. :)


October 10.

So, I have been slackin on this every day blogging thing. I was excited to do a post about Buddy Walk and wanted it to stick around for a couple days. This team is growing and I am SO excited about it. I got a little teary today when I was thinking about all the people who want to come out and support Annabelle.


Isn't she? Look at that little Jungle Book walk. :)


October 7. THE Buddy Walk Post.

It's hard for me to ask people to come to events,even parties, or ask for donations, even if for a great cause. I would be a terrible sales person, and no one would want to hire me. It's because I don't like people to feel obligated, or think there is anything in it for me. I have backed down when asking for a raise at work, and was never good at those little door to door fund raisers for school. BUT, this time, I can't feel bad. Still, I don't want people to feel obligated or anything, but I am SOOOOOO SUPER DUPER passionate about this, and maybe that's why I don't feel so bad.

October, as you know, is Down Syndrome Awareness month. I want to do my part, big or small to raise awareness for these sweet people. I want people to be aware that these people are more alike the typical than they are different. I love that money raised during this month can go to organizations that help to better the lives of these sweet people. I also LOVE that there are people doing research and studies about Down Syndrome, so they we can help them to be a bigger part of our communities. After doing my own researches every now and then, I have found that we as a society have come SO SO SO far when it comes to special needs and disabilities. I am SO thankful for the parents that fought for our DS and special needs children to do something as simple as go to public school. Before having Annabelle, I knew nothing about DS, and I see that is the case for most people who don't know someone personally with DS. So, I will do my best, along with many others this month, to help others learn something NEW! :)

"The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.

Over the past sixteen years, the Buddy Walk program has grown from 17 walks to nearly 300 expected in 2011 across the country and around the world. Last year alone, 285,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk! They raised more than $11.2 million to benefit local programs and services as well as the national advocacy initiatives that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special giftraining. It is an inspirational and educational event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, come and join a Buddy Walk in your local community!" -(from BuddyWalk.org)

This year, some of my sweet MOPS friends really encouraged me to do a team. So, we are. On October 23, will be Annabelle's Angels! I would love anyone to join our team, and if you are unable to join and come, you can still be a part of our team by donating HERE. It's super easy, and you can do it from across the world. :) I have a pretty small goal of raising $500. The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas is a wonderful resource for our community, and amazing for new parents of these sweet kiddos. I would LOVE to see you help support them and all that they do for our families and friends. If you would actually like to come to Buddy Walk, and cheer on my sweet baby girl, please leave me a comment and I can tell you HOW! :) It's going to be an amazing time, and I can't wait too show Annabelle pictures someday, and tell her all about these sweet people who came out to support HER and her friends. I don't doubt that she will be lovingly appreciative.


October 4.

Found out today that October raises awareness for all kinds of things, and is also National PIZZA month. Since I love pizza, I think that's cool. :)

Today feels like it has been a long day, and I am so tired. Annabelle crashed in her daddy's arms tonight as he was singing to her. Pretty adorable. She also just might be saying the word, "DUCK". I'll try to remember to get it on video soon. I have always thought that she says, "Dada", and sometimes I think I hear, "Mama". So, I can't say that duck is her first word. :D Good.

I gotta end the day, what 30 minutes might be left of it, on the couch with the husby. He is also not feeling great now, which means all 3 of us need a little extra attention. ;)

Night night.


October 3.

"Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause
between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."
- Carol Bishop Hipps

I really love this month! It is one of my most favorite!

This morning has been lazy, which is perfect for a Monday. I cancelled 2 ECI appointments because Annabelle and I are both feeling icky. So, today will be filled with coffee, couch time and time catch up on small projects! Even though I feel icky and a little bit worn down, the crisp air and sunshine have me feeling so refreshed. I can't WAIT to get my Scentsy order in so that my house smells of pumpkins and cinnamon and everything cozy FALL! :)


October 2.

Last year, I participated in the "31 for 21" Down Syndrome Awareness. You are to blog every 31 days for the month of October. October is Down syndrome awareness month. Down syndrome is caused by having an extra 21st chromosome, so hence the number 21. "31 for 21!"

This year, I will do my best. Even if it is just a picture or a couple words, I will do my best to blog for the rest of the month. I already missed yesterday, SO I will make it up by posting an adorable video! :)

Annabelle has not been feeling well this weekend at all, and it has been a little rough. I got only a few hours of sleep on Friday, and feel like I am still trying to catch up on that. She just has a gross cold, the worst I have seen her have yet. Poor baby. I wish I could take it from her. So, we have stayed home this weekend and done pretty much nothing. This little girl decided it was a good time to do THIS, all on her own:
I was pretty proud to walk into the living room and see that she had figured this out! Sometimes we try to help her with it, but she is all about figuring things out in her time. ;) Now, she looks for that little walker and just takes off. This is awesome, friends!

I also took the time at home yesterday to finish this cute outfit for her:

AND THIS is one of my new fave pics. She was playing puzzles with some little friends, and it looks like she is at school. I love it.

And, this snuggle time has happened a lot more this weekend than usual. She is pretty wiggly normally, so I have soaked up this sweet time with her:

I will do my best for this Awareness by blog, and please look out for a special post all about BUDDY WALK! This year we have a team: Annabelle's Angels.