Changing the Image of Down Syndrome.

I came across THIS awesome article the other day. Please read it if you have the chance. I often forget that Annabelle has Down Syndrome or that I have a daughter with special needs. I forget because she is so typical. It's true, like this woman says, the world often has the wrong image of DS. Love reading about the people who are working so hard to change that image, and who are advocates for my daughter! THANK YOU!!!!!!


Therapy and Some Updates.

If you're up for it, this will be a long post. I'm leaving the dry laundry in the drier, and the dirty dishes in the kitchen to do one good, long update.

The busyness of the last few weeks caught up with us this week. Being home after a long trip is always nice, but it might make you realize just how tired you are. The first couple days of this week were, well, gross. I know that I can speak for both Annabelle and me, that we were just "not feelin it". Sunday morning started with a sick little girl who needed a little extra attention. Mommy and Daddy were still very sleepy, so, we broke our (very loose) rule and pulled her in bed with us. Lullabies on Pandora never fail to calm her down, so I pulled out the iphone in hopes of getting a little more rest. Annabelle was so sweetly listening to her music, allowing us to close our eyes a little longer. If you don't know this, Annabelle has a throwing problem. I say problem because that is what it is becoming. She loves to throw. Her food, her cups, her toys, books, and our iphones. But, I didn't expect a toss of the loved Pandora playing. I was laying in the perfect path of the phone when Annabelle decided to give it a little toss. That girl has an arm. It hit me right below the eye. My first thought was that she broke my nose. As strange as it was, I burst into tears. I remember being a kid, crying when you got hurt. As an adult, it's usually a couple curse words and anger. This time, I cried. It really did hurt that bad, and it was an immediate reaction. WELP, long story short, that was the end of our restful Sunday morning. I spent almost an hour with ice on my face, and we continued on with our day. (I did end up with a small bruise, which i thought for sure would turn into a mega black eye.) This was supposed to be a good day. It was ANNABELLE'S BIRTHDAY!!! :) We did a whole lotta nothin until we went to a small party at my parent's. Annabelle seemed like she was getting crankier and crankier as the day went on, but she was a GREAT sport to put on a smile and some giggles at her party. The night was another story.

Sunday night was super duper restless for her, which made it just that for US, too. All 3 of us were pretty tired Monday morning, and poor Annabelle had a very mellow, sick day. With fever off and on, and almost no appetite, my heart broke for her. I felt sick just because of how tired I was, but I wanted to be patient with her, knowing her behavior was only because she felt awful. Monday night-WAY better sleep for all of us. And the week has picked up.

This morning I KNEW that both of us girls needed a little therapy. So, we went where we always go for this. Our jogging (now walking) trail in the park. I know I have BLOGGED before about how therapeutic my jogs were. Getting us outside sets a new tone to our day, and it's always wonderful. Working out has not been a goal of mine lately, mostly because of how tired I am most of the time. I continued to jog up until about 16 or 17 weeks, then I just couldn't do it anymore. In fact, I have not exercised at all in almost 2 months. Besides a random walk with Craig when he is home. I have been CRAVING a good run. I miss it. I LOVE the memories I have pushing Annabelle along the trail, soaking up some sun and nature. She LOVES it, too. We have put many miles on my jogging shoes and the wheels of the jogger. Even though I don't run now, I knew we had to get out there today, and maybe every day until it's just too damn hot. We both loved it, again. I made it to my 2 mile marker before turning around to make the walk a total of 4 miles. I was pretty proud that I did the whole thing. I just loved being out there, that I never wanted to turn around. I wish there were a way that I could throw the smells of the honeysuckles, the sound of the river and birds, and the feeling of how cool the breeze was right through the computer screen, so that you could feel it too. It was exactly what we needed after the last couple weeks, but the last couple days for sure! It boosted our spirits. Therapy, I tell you. I don't need to talk to anyone, I just need to go
outside. ;)

I finally got around to uploading some pics from our trip, so I'll post a few.
This picture cracks me up. The more Annabelle's personality comes out, the more I see she is so much like her daddy. :)

EASTER! She looked beautiful.

Special time with Nana and Grandpa.


Annabelle's silly (almost forced for the pic) smile with Uncle Hans.

Annabelle 2 year appointment update:
She is 20.5lbs, and about 30in. Girlfriend is a peanut. Her doctor seemed a little concerned, about 5 months ago, about her growth. She wanted us to get her blood drawn for growth hormones. There was a possibility we would need to give her something to help her grow. We did as we were told, went in to get some blood for that and for a thyroid test. The shaky old man, who should not be working on little kiddos, only managed to get enough for a thyroid test. We were told to go back for the rest, but we never did. I avoided it because of how bad the experience was, and because I really truly didn't think we would put her on growth meds this young. After this appointment this week, her doctor told us not to worry about it. She is still growing, just slowly. Her growth has not plateaued completely, so that is good. She is seriously a munchkin, but the cutest munchkin ever. She is thriving, and learning and super determined to figure this life out. I couldn't be more proud of her. I love this little girl!

Pregnancy Update.

How far along? 24 weeks
Total weight gain: about 10-12 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yes. I think it's time to fold up the regular jeans and stick them where I can't see them. They don't even want to go up my butt, much less button. THANK GOODNESS I live in Texas, because the weather is PERFECT for the skirts and dresses.
Stretch marks? No. Still using Coconut Oil.
Sleep: Like I mentioned earlier, one night this week was real bad, but it did not have to do with pregnancy. I sleep well most nights.
Best moment this week: So far, this morning's invigorating walk. AND, celebrating my sweet girl's 2nd birthday.
Miss Anything? Running, BEER, a smaller bra, my wonderful husband (back to work).
Movement: Yes. Love this active little boy. The long hours in the car were super fun because I was still long enough to feel some really great kicks and hiccups.
Food cravings: No.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really anymore.
Gender: BOY!
Labor Signs: no
Symptoms: Tired. Sore, heavy feeling.
Belly Button in or out? in, kind of getting flat.
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: happy.
Looking forward to: Spending more time outside this week.

Ok, so I know this picture of me is hideous, but Annabelle looks adorable, so I had to suck it up and share it. You might see a little bit of the faint black eye I have. This was this morning before our walk.

24 week belly pic. Also this morning before our walk.

I'll leave you with a sweet video of Easter Egg hunting. (By the way, Annabelle has the GREATEST daddy. Us girls are SO blessed with Craig. He is amazing, and the PERFECT dad for her, and the PERFECT husband for me. I feel so lucky all the time. We love him.)



Our sweet girl is 2 today! It's hard to believe that 2 years have gone by since our world was forever changed by the precious gift of Annabelle. It has been an incredible two years. We celebrated at my parent's house this evening with family and fajitas! It was a nice, small party. :)

Craig and I were gone for over 2 weeks, so planning a party was not a desire of mine when I got back home. Poor girl is sick today, too, so it's probably a good thing that it was just a family party. We are still exhausted from traveling, and all 3 of us are not feeling totally ourselves. Kind of a bummer.

Like always, I have pictures I would love to post from the past couple weeks, buuuut, it takes a while to do all that, and I am too tired for that. FB has plenty anyways.

Here is my most favorite, though....

My sister in law, Heidi, took this picture and it is perfect. I want to blow it up and frame it.

I have been SO SPOILED to have Craig around so much the last couple weeks. This week it is back to work reality, and we will miss him. :(
I love my little family!



How far along? 22 weeks. (I guess because of Leap Year, the day I mark my weeks is now tuesday, not wednesday. My WTE app on my phone shows me I am 22 weeks! One day may not make a difference, but I was still excited.)
Total weight gain: at least 10lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yes. I am trying to buy clothes that can be worn after pregnancy too. Dresses, baggy shirts. The thought of putting pants on these days makes me want to cry. Actually, the thought of getting dressed out of my baggy pj pants in the morning makes me cringe. I NEED more skirts.
Stretch marks? no. This time around I am using Coconut Oil on every inch that I even think is growing. Which is more places than just my belly. Last pregnancy, my most favorite thing was Body Shop's Cocoa Butter. But, I am giving the every so wonderful Coconut Oil a chance. I also feed it to Annabelle, put it on toast and oatmeal, and use it around my eyes sometimes at night. (I am getting wrinkles. :/ )
Sleep: I'm sleeping. The last week, I have not been in my own bed, which is not always fun. BUT, the best part about being away from home, is that Annabelle sleeps in her little pack n play in the same room. And I am sleeping next to my husband, which I also LOVE!
Best moment this week: Church on Sunday, and almost every devotion I have read has been speaking directly to me. The Lord has brought me joy and peace this week that in a way I didn't expect
Miss Anything? My pre-pregnancy body, clothes that fit, and running! Or working out at all. I get uncomfortable in bed, much less working out. I had such high hopes of gettin my fitness on during this pregnancy. I ran occasionally up until 16 weeks, but then just couldn't do it anymore. I plan to try some pilates and easy workouts when I get home from this trip.
Movement: Yes. And Craig has also felt a few kicks, which is awesome. I LOVE feeling him move around.
Food cravings: Nope. Just food. I am craving a really good home cooked meal right now, though. Chicken or pork chops, with jasmine rice and steamed broccli. How's that for specific? I'm hungry for anything other than fast food right now. Can't wait for some real food on Easter Sunday.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.
Gender: BOY!
Labor Signs: no
Symptoms: Just some major weight gain. Bleh.
Belly Button in or out? in, kind of getting flat.
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: happy.
Looking forward to: This weekend!! We get to be in Minnesota with Craig's siblings! Always a good time. Can't wait.

Looks like I need to take some belly pics. I want to take one week by week to see how I am growing. Maybe I'll start today.