Friday, November 27, 2009

And it only gets busier…

So much to write about. No time to write.

Braska’s 3. Alot of thoughts. Three years flew, but yet it didn’t. If you ask her, she’ll tell you it was a “happy burfday” and she’s “phree!”

The IEP. Came, went, and I’m glad. It was a big process. I probably made it bigger, but I’m pleased with how it all went, and I’m not convinced it would have gone so well had I not made it a big deal. But I’d like to document for me and for those of you who will be crossing that threshold soon. So much learned.

Finances. No one likes to talk about or probably hear about them, but we all live it. We’ve just this month implemented a very strict budget (like in a spreadsheet, no room for cheating), changed several things, and I’m still struggling to adjust. I thought it would come easier to me, but it didn’t. I’m blessed with a few little elves around who help me get through when I need a QT cappuccino fix for $1.28, because all such frivolities got left on the cutting room floor. And it’s almost time for would-be gifting season…

Fall. I love fall. And winter. Thanksgiving is my fave! Christmas used to be, but the inability to get gifts this year is kind of a bummer. NOT that I’m not thankful for every single thing we have, and that’s ALOT of things, but it does get me down a bit to have no shopping to do. I love to give, but this year, I’m going to have to get creative and homemade--and that's not likely to actually happen. The girls will be well cared for from their extended family, even if I told them not to, and we don’t really NEED for a thing, so I’m not bitter. It’s just so fun to shop for others, to give things that make them *gasp* and “wow!” Soon enough, we’ll get back to that, I hope.

Movies. I live 3 blocks from a $1 movie theater. Though it’s not in the budget either, I found a buck and Joy and I went tonight to see Julie & Julia. Good movie, I thought. But why do they have to throw in one single solitary super-unnecessary F-bomb? It didn’t even fit. It actually made me sad, because I could have enjoyed watching it with people who would be very upset by that. It’s a cooking movie, people! It’s pretty much a chick flick. There’s no great drama, no action, no real tension…SO unnecessary.

Enough. I’m late for bed, and I need the sleep. I hope to be able to let the writing juices flow soon… but who knows.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful, and teary…with joy!

I can be grouchy and I can whine with the best of them, but I have much to be thankful for and I make a point to spend time thanking God EVERY morning and EVERY evening for the things in my life, not all good things, but things that bless or teach me in some way.

This morning, though, I’m amazed at his provisions for another family and for a little girl. Many of you have undoubtedly heard of Darya and the mission of 11-year-old Lydia on her behalf. A little girl determined to rescue her new little sister and bring her home. Her mom agreed to adopt Darya if Lydia could raise $20,000 in 8 days, by today! And she DID IT! Far over $20,000 in fact!!!

Go read the story and announcement of success. Really, do NOT miss this chance at seeing truly what giving is all about. I read it to M this morning and got all choked up. First because little Darya is in a place where she is not even held or spoken to. How wrong is that?!? But mostly that she will be coming home. She has a family who wants her and will be going to get her very soon!!!

God will do more than we can imagine if we will do what he asks when he asks, get out of his way with all our limited-ness and doubt, and let him show us.

Happy Thanksgiving! We remember the “thanks” usually, but don’t forget the “giving” part!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Scrapping for good

I enjoy digital scrapbooking alot.  That’s how I do the backgrounds, headers, and fun picture alterations, etc.  But it’s even better when I get to do what I enjoy and it benefits someone else.

I’ve mentioned sweet Laynee a few times, and I hope you’ve all been to her blog to see and read about her.  Her smile is more than worth your time, and her mother has a beautiful way of painting pictures that allow you to see her daughter as if she were right next to you. 

This week, I worked with Karol, Laynee’s mom, to come up with a little makeover for her blog to represent Laynee in a special way.  I’m working on a few more now, that highlight different things about her, but she chose this direction first, and I so loved working with it.  It’s humbling to do something so fun on my end that will bring a smile, though possibly including tears as well, to a dear friend that I’ve never met.  Karol, I’m truly honored.  I wish there were a better word, but that’s all I can come up with.  Honored, indeed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not our best fashion shoot

It went from bad…

To worse… at least for KiKi.

It’s too bad, because they looked so cute in their little matching outfits.  It could have been a quality shoot.  But something upset Kinlee and she was not to be consoled.

This was also the night I tried my hand at making hair bows.  The girls have bunches, but it seems they never have just what I want at the time, and since Braska often needs two, we’re sometimes limited in our choices.  So I bought some things a while back to try it out, make some simple things, but I never got to it.  Then this week as we were getting dressed for an event in the evening, I had nothing for Braska that was just right for her outfit.  So—with 30 minutes til we left the house—I pulled out the bag from Hobby Lobby and grabbed the lavender spool.  I found the hot glue gun in the basement storage and get it heating.  With a quick flip and flop, twist and turn, a bow was assembled, and I stitched it quickly to hold it in place.  Glued to the bare metal barrette and added a little piece on top to hide the work underneath.  Got two done in under 20 minutes and still got out the door (almost) on time.  Not bad for a first try, I think.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yes, it's shallow and ridiculous

BUT if you just feel like something shallow and ridiculous for a moment of silliness in your Monday... click here.

Ah, the good old days... I could have been so "popular!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One very precious angel


That beautiful little face has found a home in my mind in a way that few have.  Little precious Laynee.

Jalayne Grace.

A couple months ago, I posted about an accident that I’d read about that day on one of the DS forums.  I didn’t have much info at the time, but I was struck by the story in a way that surprised me a bit.  I remembered the precious face, and it hurt to even think about such a situation happening to this family.   

I never had the chance to know her personally or see her giggle or watch her play with her siblings and cousins, yet I miss her in an almost palpable way. Recently her mother has started a blog to share their story, to talk about her sweet daughter, and to understandably grieve this new emptiness where such a joyful little girl once lived.  I’m riveted by this blog. The honesty with which Karol shares, the pictures of little Laynee—it is not hard to spend time there.  There is obviously sadness and remembering, but there is always a tone of hope.

In these last couple of months, I kept feeling like I wanted to do something, but my words often betray me and I don’t live near enough to be physical, tangible help.  So I’m very honored to have been able to assist with a little blog help, and I’m working on a background/header to properly show Laynee’s love for her family, hee hee’s (horses), moo’s, and bawk bawk’s (chickens), as well as recognizing the family’s deep faith.

Several of you have been praying for this family since we found out about the accident, asking if I’d heard anything, so I asked permission to link to the blog, and Karol graciously agreed.

Take a moment to visit Loving Laynee, read from the beginning, enjoy the adorable pictures filled with smiles and silliness and personality.  I do so deeply wish that I’d have been privileged to know dear Laynee.  She sounds SO much like my Braska, it’s amazing at times. Please continue to pray for this lovely family as they walk such a difficult path.

And once again, be sure to get in an extra hug or two with your little ones today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

9 years down…


For our anniversary (today), we went to a comedy club on Saturday where a favorite of ours was performing. John Heffron.  He won Last Comic Standing, season 2, and his stuff is just funny.  It was a tad less PG, but still really fun! Thanks, babe!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday night fun, a.k.a. ER trip

Spent the night at the ER with M writhing in pain. I’m exhausted or I’d tell you the whole story.  The short version is that he’s now feeling better thanks to pain meds, he has kidney stones, (One is 5mm!! Several more behind it too.) and the pain will probably return as this all continues on.  Yay.

Overall it wasn’t a bad trip.  I mean, for me.  I read a book and relaxed.  He hard time til the meds kicked in, but then all was ok.  CT scan and all, we were there a little less than 3 hours.  So I missed a Girls Night Out event…no biggie.  There will always be next month.

Let me mention, woefully inadequately, that my friend Julie (Jack’s mom) has just gone above and beyond lately.  She kept the girls this morning while I had Braska’s first of two IEP meetings, shared her yummy sandwiches for lunch, and we dropped them off in a hurried fashion tonight as we went to the ER.  And that’s all in one day!  She has fished me out of more than a few binds in the past few months, and I really appreciate it.  Spread the word, Julie rocks! (And the rest of her family, too. :o)


Need some blog links please

Can you share some links to blogs you know of with babies with DS 6 months and younger?? Anyone? And anyone know of DS bloggers in Louisiana, especially southern La?

Spread the inquiry around a little and see if you can assist me with this one. Thanks!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Loaded question—Prenatal testing

A student working on a project on Down syndrome in college posed a question yesterday on one of the forums I frequent.

What would you suggest for someone else who is going to have a baby? Would you suggest that they get the amniocentesis or any blood work directed towards finding any potential problems or was it just easier not to know?

And this was my response…  I know this is a controversial topic, but I wanted to share my perspective.

This is quite a loaded question, in most circles, but I'll answer as honestly as I can.  I didn't know prenatally and I'm very glad that I didn't.  For me, that is because my marriage was in a very fragile place, and if we'd have known this, I'm sure it would have been over before she even arrived.  I would not abort a baby for any reason, so when I was offered an amnio, there was no reason to do it and take any risk related to it. 

Even though we struggled with the first couple weeks of adjusting to all the news, I wouldn't trade that for the months of worry, unknown, fretting, etc, that I know would have come if we'd have known prenatally.  The time we had to adjust was helped in that we had a baby to hold and SEE and cuddle as we adjusted. She was "just a baby," not an unknown disability with problems and delays ahead of her.  That made ALL the difference, I firmly believe. 

I'm aware that not everyone handles this the same way, but I know without a doubt that we were blessed in not knowing, and every day since and because of her arrival, as well.

In an "ideal" situation, I'd love to see much less prenatal testing, because I do believe that the majority, by far, react to the information they are given based on that initial fear and emotion, and in doing so give up a child that they would love and treasure if they only had the chance to meet him.  If pregnant women could learn about DS, have the opportunity to read stories like those in Gifts and Gifts 2, as part of their education during pregnancy, then the "preparation" that so many desire would be there, and those who did not have a child with DS would be that much more aware of those they will encounter later on.  Increased awareness across the board, and inevitably more precious babies allowed to be born...seems win-win to me. :o)

I know we don't live in "ideal."   I also want to stipulate that I know that not EVERYONE who gets a prenatal diagnosis aborts, but the current stats, as recently as this week, still state that over 90% of those who DO know prenatally DO abort their babies.  But the truth is that in all our desire to know and be prepared we still can't know what our child will be like, we can't know their strengths, what they have to offer the world, and how they will bless the lives around them, even through struggles.  If the parents do not know prenatally, information can be found, adjustments can be made, all kinds of options are available, even if they feel unable to raise the baby.  BUT if they do know, and in doing so if they decide that the fear and unknown is too much and they decide to abort their baby, that decision can NOT be adjusted to, changed, or reversed. 

So to me, the benefit of knowing is not worth the very high cost of knowing.