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Showing posts from 2008

Grouchy to growing

By popular request..... (Thanks, by the way, to those of you who commented or emailed that I should not be afraid to put the "real" out there.) It's a bit rambling, but again...it's really for me, and a few of you who have been helpful in this process. But the rest of you are welcome to peruse if you like. As a fair warning, this is no short, light post. But I want to remember my process in this journey, so allow me the opportunity. Please feel no obligation to hang around for it if you've got better things to do. As an FYI though... the next post will be a counting of the blessings, so happy things are on the horizon! It's no secret that I've been less than giddy about this Christmas season. I keep saying I don't know why, but that's not really an acceptable end to the story in my book. Things don't stay in the "I don't know" range around here very often. I have to figure things out. Things happen for a reason. I firmly believe

Christmas in hindsight

I have a big long post written about why I've been grouchy this year's holiday season, why I now see what I was needing to learn, and what those lessons are. It's really long. And I'm not sure it's really something to put out there yet, though I really want to have it around for my sake, so as not to forget these things. So for now, it'll wait. In the meantime, be sure to pop over to the actual blogs if you're on a reader. Braska and I both have new winter layouts, including my first attempt at pictures IN the background setting. See what you think. We had a good Christmas. One at my family's place on Christmas Eve and one at M's family's on Christmas Day. No overnight stays this year, and that was nice. Both gatherings were fun. Both taught us a few little lessons. Both showed us things that help us gain insight into our own lives. Both brought up good talking points on the way home. We agree that this was a nice Christmas. And that pleases me

Lessons learned: Dec 23 shopping

So much for not having to do any Christmas shopping. Granted, I had to do very little in comparison to most, but still. There were a few things I needed to go pick up, so I did....last night. Yeah, you might be able to see the problem. Some things I noted... ~It's just wrong to go Christmas shopping when one is grouchy. (Why grouchy? That's a later post.) ~It is NOT right for it to be raining for hours on end on December 23. That's wrong. It should be snow. If I'm going to be in and out of 4 stores, I shouldn't have to deal with being soaking wet, just enjoying the soft falling snow. Really! ~It is no fun at all to deal with busy shopping crowds, a cart full of stuff, and a very far parking space when the big symptom of this 8-month-old pregnancy is very sore hip joint issues. And in the rain...did I mention?!? Then factor in 3 more stops... ow!! is how I felt when I got home. ~When you don't know what you want, but it's in the toy section...that's just

Prego update Week 33

Because so many of you are more interested than I expected in the progress of this pregnancy... here's some quick info. ~I'm going every 2 weeks now. Just to the OB. Done with the MFM. ~As of yesterday, I've gained 8 lbs. Yes, 8 lbs. And that's 21 lbs more than with Braska at this point. (I'd lost 13 lbs at this point with her....but that was a whole different story.) ~Everything has been good, no causes for concern. My blood pressure was up just a tad this time, but still in a safe, normal range. ~There is still discrepancy on the exact due date. I'm going with earlier than they are, but we'll see. Still probably looking at week 2 of February. ~The achy sore stuff that's been bothering me for a couple months is still around, guess it's just something to deal with this time around. It's no fun, but we'll live. ~Kinlee's moving alot. ALOT. Braska did too, then she was mello on this side...hope we get a repeat of that. Wishful th

Your opportunity to help NOW

I just found out about a need, and you can help. Yes, even you over there! The Newbold family is in the Ukraine right now to bring home their little girl with DS. They had a daughter with DS who died from leukemia at age 2. They have since committed to adopt two children, one is home, and now they are there to get little Dasha. I don't know them at all, but they are working through Reece's Rainbow. They have just learned that the amount they were told by the government to have ready is incorrect, and they are short $2000. They also have to come home without their daughter, for the second time, as they can't get the final adoption process done until next month now. So more plane tickets must be purchased. And so their expenses are sudden and significant. I can't imagine how devastated they must be! And how difficult when they thought they would be coming home with their best Christmas present!! I gave right away. I just had to. This is what our community of

Colded in? (Preface to Google Reader users)

(Google Reader users: I'm publishing this at 1:52 pm CST. What time did it show up on your Reader? Ball park estimate? Anyone know why it would be taking hours to post to the feed reader?? Braska's site posts immediately to Reader, but this one takes up to 7 hours lately...just this past week. Ideas?? I'm researching, but no answers yet.) ____________________________ Is that a thing? Can you be colded in, like snowed in? I don't know, but that's how I feel. It's currently 8 degrees outside and windy. And yep, we're still sick. Grrrrrrr... This is day 11 people. Day 11! Of a cold? I'm starting to get very frustrated! Either Braska and I are just handing it back and forth, or we're missing the cause of the symptoms. But this is just plain ridiculous. We opted out of church this morning, though I hate to miss Christmas Sunday especially (I hate to miss any Sunday really...screws up the week in my brain.) because I can't see it being a good idea to

On giving and receiving with thanks

After a recent post on giving, I want to clarify a few things, and expound upon a few more. In the midst, I'll answer a few questions...they're not in the comments, don't feel like you have to go look. First, on Christmas gifts-- I'm SO not opposed to gifting in general! I love to buy gifts for people. I love to buy stuff for people all year round, just whenever I see something that someone might like or has mentioned. I love to go all out on birthdays and anniversaries for M. And up until a couple years ago, I was also all about buying Christmas gifts. It's not that I am NOT into it now, it's just that we have found that we cannot afford to do as we previously could. (That whole gave-up-half-our-income-thing.) Some of it is the actual number and math, and some is just priorities. And we also found that many of our gifts, though appreciated, were not needed and in some cases were in the way or more hassles than helps. Our family had a big yard sale this fall,

A crazy slow mend

I'm so tired of being sick. But I suppose that goes with the territory. Today makes it a week for this bout of cold and cough for me, though it's been it's worst the last few days. And I just went through this whole thing about 10 days ago. Grrrrr. Thankfully the stomach element was only around for that one night, but I took it super easy for the next 24 hours just to be sure. That stuff is miserable!! This is more than I've been sick in the last year! Braska is still dealing with a runny nose and today it sounds like it's getting into her chest some. We're doing all the recommended things, and I just keep hoping we'll kick it soon. I'm disinfecting like crazy, hoping we don't keep reinfecting ourselves. M hasn't succumbed to it yet, so that's very good. So we'll keep up the sanitizing, nose blowing, sinus rinsing, lots of fluids, rest when we can, and hope and pray that this is over very soon. Here's hoping your house ca

The Direct Line

This morning I made the call. It's sometimes called the Mom Call, or the Grammy Call. It's the call to my mother to come. I always wait as long as I can and avoid it whenever possible. I have to deal with things, everyone does. But when it's about Braska's health, in any way, the call gets made. Braska has been sick with a cold, her first real cold in her life, since about last Thursday afternoon. She's been pretty much a champ, with a bit of grouchy mixed in, but overall, not too bad an attitude considering the goo coming out of her poor nose. I managed to keep things manageable for me with lots of disinfecting and hand sanitizer, etc. But it got me. This weekend was rough since we were both sick and M went to C-U to game it up with the guys. We got sick of each other in the midst of our sickness, but we made it through. Braska's well check (not AS well as I'd like) was yesterday at her pediatrician. We got the all-clear on the big stuff and th

Great gifts for therapists, Angel Tree 2008

I just went and made my second round of "gift buying" at Reece's Rainbow. We did this last year and are doing it again. The response from our team last year was amazing. Alot of us buy for Sunday School teachers, school teachers, therapists, daycare providers, etc. It's can be a chore to find the right thing, and if we admit it, most often what we give is either edible (not that it's bad!) or it's a dust collector. The thought is nice, but who really benefits? So we started last year with donating to Reece's Rainbow in honor of our therapists and service coordinator. They were so touched, and a couple of them actually ended up paying it forward and using the idea for some of their gifting as well. I heard from more than one of them that they get so many nice things, but they really don't *need* any of it, so this was a way to be appreciated but have it help someone who really DOES need it. I just gave them Christmas cards with a note inside th

Couldn't quit with one

So..... it seems wrong to update my blog and be all pretty when Braska's is just so-so, hence a new background on hers. And, even though most of you probably didn't realize it yet, Kinlee has one too...just getting ready for when we need it to share news and pics. There won't be any new stuff on there for a bit, but you reader-readers can set the appropriate subscription settings if you're so interested. And we can't leave her out, so she's got a new look too. I have to go to bed. I can't believe I stayed up to do this stuff!

First blog background!!

After many, many hours of playing around and researching a few things, I have finally completed my first original blog background and header. In all fairness, this is a compilation of a few freebies from digital scrapbooking sites, so I didn't create the elements, but I did finally figure out how to put them together in the correct format for blog background use. It seemed SO basic and simple when people use The Cutest Blog on the Block and such places for backgrounds. And that's not a slam against them! No! I just like to play with this stuff, both the digi-scrapping and the html codes, css sheets, etc, so I figured I could come up with something. So if you're in a reader, come on over and take a peek when you have a minute. There's still room for improvement and some bugs I need to figure out (so if you see something screwy in your viewing screen size or something, let me know), but for now, I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt! I could SO spend hour

Honeymoon is over

Ok, it's not a honeymoon with a new, peaceful, compliant, baby girl. But still. This oh-so-easy little girl who has lived with us for the past 2 years has somehow morphed into a little grouch. And in the process, she has shared this contagion with her mother, who is now becoming one as well. Is it teeth? Maybe. She's got a runny nose, like crazy. She so rarely has had one that I always try to find a good reason. She is WAY restless. No sitting still to play a while. Fussing when she's corrected. Heck, *needing* to be corrected! Is it turning 2? I've always said it's not fair that we don't get a delay for 2 since we have all the other delays. She's shown some attitude, but it's pretty manageable prior to this week. Suddenly, she's becoming a bit of a pain in the rear at times. I don't cotton to this, no sir. Alright, I know there are several of you who are laughing or rolling your eyes at me. If you know Braska personally, you are t

IFSP fun

I just put up some info on our IFSP meeting from Monday on Braska's blog. It went well. I feel like we're in a good spot. And let me say, that's no small thing. It's nice to feel like some aspect of life is in good shape and under control. It's not like my life is bad, no way. Just that it's good to be able to check one more thing off. Braska's in good hands, and we have a good plan. I'm thankful for our team, and I appreciate how much they like my girl! You moms or parents who have the privilege of doing these IFSP/IEP meetings...do you like them, dread them, go with the flow, or have a planned agenda of things to accomplish and change at each one? Apparently, some parents never have much input, just going with whatever the team says. It's good to trust your team, but I'm surprised that the parents wouldn't have things to say in regards to what they want for their child that the therapists may not be privy to. Just curious...

So sorry, Mr. Lincoln

Governor Blagojevich arrested for corruption. What? No way!?! I just can't believe it. Say it ain't so.... Another situation of shady Chicago politicians? And he seemed so trustworthy. (Ok, I can't get that last one out with a straight face.) Oh, Illinois...how far thee have fallen. So so sad. But are there more surprises to come? Wait for it.... I fear more big fish may be snagged in this net. We move away for a few months and the whole state falls apart!

Guess who's home?? (and related stories)

After close to 7 months in little poo foster care, yesterday Braska and I drove to Springfield, IL to meet up with Nancy and Andrea for the transfer. Some of you will remember when she left back in May . It was harder on me than I thought it would be. And it was a last minute decision not to take her when we moved to the apartment, so that made it hard to. She went to stay with David and Ella, but things there required a change after a few weeks, and my buddy Andrea's mom Nancy was willing and glad to take her. It was a good match, and I was very happy to see her get to hang out at the family compound. (Well, maybe not a compound, but since Andrea, Chad, Josiah, and the twins live next door to her parents, Nancy and Ron, it's a mini-compound....in a good way!!) I was pleased that Belle had such a good home. Belle's been hanging there for these months, learning to use the pet door, doing some fishing, and spending time at both houses. I was fine with her having f

First snow excitement!

I was SO happy to peek out the window Sunday morning and see this.... These are some trees across the street. I just love the snow on trees. Love love love it. This is a view out our back door, past the deck. Hammock stand with no hammock. That's good. Forgot to bring Braska's swing in quite yet... oops. Here's the house, all nice and snowy like. The driveway must have been just warm enough for it not to stick. When I went to wake M up all giddy like, he groaned because he thought he was gonna have to shovel. I assured him this would be his favorite snow...only pretty, not in the way.

Point taken... good news first next time

Sorry to scare so many of you... I didn't think about anything other than the chronological events of the last post. My bad. There was never any great fear or concern on our part, so I am sorry to cause stress or "freaking out" to any of you! Thank you for all your kind words, though. We love having so many people love our little princess. Next time I'll start with ALL IS WELL!!

Little call, big letters

This will make more sense to you DS moms and families out there... I apologize for the cryptic nature, but you'll have to trust my reasoning. Braska had a lab draw on Tuesday last week. The GI called me Wednesday and said there were some significantly elevated levels in the results. Ok fine. Not like we've never had an abnormal lab. But then he used *those* words...the C word and the L word. Said he'd be talking to hem/onc. We needed to go redraw on Friday morning. We didn't freak or anything, but when I hung up the phone, I thought, "Wow, so that's what it's like the first time they mention it." We took her for her draw again on Friday morning, and we figured everything was fine since we got no call over the weekend. Yesterday I checked in with them. Dr. R confirmed that everything was clear, almost in a "weird way," but they checked with the lab to make sure it was a viable result. All is well. Follow up in 6 months as usual un

December denial

Aaaarrrggghhhh!!! It's December, people! What??? I know I'm behind, and I have no great excuses...just the regular ones like holidays, traveling, squirmy human kicking my insides... you know. I did finally get the updates on Braska's day-o'-docs on her blog, so if you are interested, you can check that out, in part 1 and part 2 . I've got some pics to put up of our first snow. I love snow! I was so excited yesterday to wake up and see it outside! But the camera is in M's car where I left it, so that will have to wait for now. We've been off of therapies for 2 weeks, and I have to say....I'm liking it. But we're back this week, and that's good, I guess. I sure enjoyed the break though. Not that I don't like our therapy team, but it's been nice to not have to remember who is coming when and pick up the house and sit through the sessions. Braska's been doing great, so I don't think she's really missed it either. I'm stil

One seriously long day

I can't even fathom going through the details right now, but I need to for good record keeping. It will have to wait. I left the house at 8:03am and returned home at 7:05 pm. And I don't live 3 hours away anymore!! These days usually go so smoothly...but the honeymoon is over. This will be the last day we do the full day of visits. We moved here to be close, so we'll not do more than 2 or maybe 3 on the same day from here on out. Today's accomplishments: ENT--Check DS specialist--Check Cardiology--Check Echocardiogram--Check Eye center--Check GI--Check Audiology--Check Lab--Check Braska did marvelously, with some understandable rough spots. But she was great overall. And thank God that my mother-in-law came along... what a day. Details later, probably on Braska's blog in the next few days. Ahhh! And I still haven't talked about our good day yesterday... I'll get there. Sometime soon.

Rested... for now

We've had a rough couple nights. Braska's birthday party went well. I'll get to that later, but soon I hope. But last night, Braska went to bed at 8pm (quite early, and without full feeds for the day) and I hit the pillow at about 8:45pm. M came in then too, because none of us have had good regular sleep for a bit. He was out in 2 seconds. I laid there til about 10 before falling asleep, but still. I expected Braska to wake up super early since it was an early to bed, but she slept til just after 7:15am and I slept till right around then. Not a bad deal. I'm up with visions of grandeur for things to accomplish today... we'll see. Tomorrow is a crazy busy day, 7 appointments at Children's DS Center and various specialists, from 8:45am til about 4pm. Thank goodness for my mother-in-law coming along to help occupy and be extra hands through the day!

1 for 2 can be a success

I didn't get to the store, but I did get some work done on the house tonight. We did venture out long enough to run through a drive-thru for lunch. That's something... Tomorrow's a big day. I keep feeling like I should have all these wonderful things to say. But I don't. I don't feel bad about it. Maybe something will hit me later, but for now...yay, she's 2! Now to get the cake made, the pictures scheduled, and the rest of the house cleaned up...

Is it THAT bad?

It's Thursday. I've not been out of the house since Sunday afternoon. Like not even to the garage. Not even to get the mail. I need to go to the store...badly. Maybe I'll get to it this afternoon. I guess I have to, actually. Tomorrow is Braska's birthday and some of the fam is coming by for cake and ice cream. We've been out of milk for two days. Pathetic. I've been fighting off a cold with a nasty lingering cough for a week now. Thankfully Braska hasn't had anything more than a runny nose here or there for an hour or so. She's been great about playing this week, but she's getting bored, I think, and we've read all her books a zillion times. This kid could read books all day! Surprise, surprise...just like her dad once again. At least Kinlee's been behaving. Doing her jigs throughout the day. That is, except in the morning when I'm hacking up a lung. She does not care for such things at all. But can you blame her. What mu

Nursery #2

Slowly we're getting Kinlee's room together. Everyone likes to ask if we're "ready" and such. Will they share a room? What's the theme? Do you have colors picked out? Are you moving Braska to a toddler bed? They're typical questions. No, they won't share a room. No way. Braska is a good sleeper, and I'm not taking any chances on jeopardizing that. Theme? Colors? Nope. Not really. Well the room was half white and half green when we moved in with Noah's ark border, so I figured we'd make that work. I didn't like it, but we didn't have anything else really, and I wasn't going to go spend money on a whole new decor. Then as I was trying to clean out the room that had become the main floor storage area after we moved in, I saw a corner of the border was barely peeling, so I thought I'd give it a tug. Whatta ya know?!? Two walls came off in one sheet! It was amazing! I took it as a sign and started making plans. What made it

Random Questions, Fall 08: 5

(Woo Hoo... a new RQ logo!) Random Questions, Fall 08: #5 Hot or Cold? The Random Questions process ~Choose one or all of the questions to answer. ~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response. ~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action. ~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out! 1. What do you set your thermostat on in the winter? A toasty 78, chilly 62, or somewhere in between? Is it different from night to daytime? 2. Has this changed over the years? Are you adjusting your heat use this year due to heat costs/financial frugality? 3. If you have kids, are they cooperative with dressing warmer for the chilly times or do they still prefer to be in the least clothing possible? 4. What is your favorite item of cold-weather clothing? _____________________________________________ 1. We hav

Cuz I'm not online enough!

I've known about digital scrapbooking for a while and purposely avoided learning about it. I knew I'd be addicted. I knew it would eat up time. I knew it would become something I'd want to work on forever and re-do and re-do again. I got frustrated today when trying to rework the blogs and their themes, so I decided I'd investigate doing my own. I'm familiar with HTML a tiny bit, I can work my way through a variety of such things, so I thought I could research it and at least come up with something. DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER! Now, two hours of downloading, arranging, and playing later..... my first digital layout. It's not great, I'm not even sure I like it, but it was fun, and I'm getting a better idea of what I want. I like to have a starting point to look back on... even if it's not good. And the good news is, I have also started to learn enough to do my blogs. Just have to find the time for that....it's not tonight!

Then and now: 8 years

We didn't have any actual pictures of us on our wedding day, just us, so this is a crop. (One area where our super-cheap plan went TOO cheap.) 11/11/00 And last night at dinner... of course, Olive Garden. It's kind of our place, plus Braska likes the marinara sauce. 11/11/08 My sister Rachel and her fiance' Patrick joined us for dinner, and we had a nice time. Today we start year 9... one day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time. Lord, continue to guide us and remind us daily that you are the center of our hope for a future.

Made it to 8 years

Happy Anniversary, M. Go Team! Today's our 8th anniversary. I went back to see what I wrote about our 7th last year, and I didn't even post for a few days around it. But I suppose I'm not surprised after all. The last two anniversaries have not been all that happy, actually a little painful. So the fact that I'm posting is good, I guess, and the day looks promising. Is it about the day itself? No, of course not. This year the achievement is that we've spent the whole year together, as a family, working toward the same goals, and re-learning how to be married in a much healthier way. We've got a long way to go, but we've come SO far from the darkest days. There have been alot of things happening this past year, but we've made it through pretty well. Today we're going to work on the house and go to dinner this evening. M offered to do some honey-do type things that are not his favorite, so that's very helpful. We'll get some things done tha

Play... in slow motion

Thanks to all of you who commented or emailed to check on me. To answer a few questions... Yes, I'm still here. No, I'm not pouting about the election, though I am trying to order my mind properly. More on that later. For now, I'm continuing to pray often for our leaders and our country as we move forward. Yes, I had a rough week physically and emotionally. No, I didn't go to the OB last Monday due to lack of a last minute Braska-helper, so I go tomorrow morning. No, I didn't hop a plane for Timbuktu. Physically--I'm so sore, and I become really achy super easily without doing much. It's very annoying. There are a few other symptoms as well that we'll keep discreet for now. It's beginning to get in the way of general daily things, so adjustments are being made. This was not at all the case with Braska. It's weird and frustrating, to be honest, but as long as Kinlee's ok through it all, we'll deal. M carries her for me whenever

Pause

I've been sitting here for over an hour. It's not that there aren't things to say, it's just that suddenly the blogging thing seems so superficial. For now, my thoughts and prayers will remain largely unpublished. Lord, guide our leaders and light our way.

Was there a line??

I assume that you went to vote, either today or earlier if possible. I expect that of you, know that straight up. How long did you wait in line?? And throw in the state you voted in, just for fun. I'm really curious if all areas have a big wait or if it's just the more congested ones. I voted Friday absentee/in person, and we waited about 15 mins or so. It moved VERY fast for a big line. There's just one place in our very populated county to do the absentee/in person voting, and it wasn't bad at all for what I thought it might be. If you haven't, GO VOTE people... again, please just know what you're voting for, either way. You may just have to live with your choice. God Bless America!!

November is here

Fair warning...I'm not all that "with it" so who knows if this will be cohesive or not. October went fast. I didn't get the whole post-every-day thing, but I did get in 31 total. Does that count for 31 for 21? I'm not going to stress over it, for sure. I did enjoy all the updates from all of you. But there were a few times when I felt posts were below par for my goals with this space. Not the end of the world, of course, but still... November's going to be a busy one too. Tomorrow's the big day. Election day. I've already voted, thankfully, so that's nice. I can't tell you how happy I will be to not see another campaign ad of any kind. I've been praying often about this whole thing for months. No, that doesn't mean, "God, please don't let him win." That's not it at all. It means asking for peace and patience, as well as understanding that often history shows that nations are given what they ask for, even

Random Questions, Fall 08: 4

Fall 08, #4: Halloween The Random Questions process ~Choose one or all of the questions to answer. ~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response. ~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action. ~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out! 1. When it comes to Halloween, which are you? 1) All about it. 2) Don't really care. 3) Avoid it. 2. What's your favorite element of the Halloween season? Candy, pumpkins, costumes, or kids knocking on your door? 3. Which candy is the one you always hoped you'd get lots of when you did your trick-or-treating? 4. What's your favorite costume that you had, either long ago or recently? 5. If you've got kids who are dressing up, what are they gonna be this year? ___________________________________________________ As for my answers... I'

I'm glad we got that straight

I found this and was so surprised. Not at the content, but because I've conducted some of the same kind of surveys with people here and there, just in conversation, and found it so amusing. I didn't know someone had taken it to the next level and aired them. It's short and entertaining, so take a listen. (Don't be startled by the picture or voice...it's not foul or anything.) I'll grant you this, it may be the case for both sides...but in my personal and unscientific experiments, I've found that there are far more on one side who are "riding the wave" you might say without knowing what's in the water beneath them. That's dangerous surfing, you know. Get informed. Vote. Good things. Just know what you're voting for. (Thanks, MH!)

Thank goodness for ABC?

I'm thankful for many things every day. Today, a highlight is cable television , and surprisingly enough, ABC tv! I'd have never thought ABC would be high on my list, but tonight, thank goodness. And luckily, Pushing Daisies is on at 7pm. At least no one is wasting huge amounts of money or anything in this time of financial crisis. Holy Cow.

Intervention insight

I watch the show Intervention on A&E here and there. I've honestly learned alot about addictive personalities and how to deal with them, and that's been helpful in many ways actually. It's a disturbing show, I admit, and often times hard to watch people and their families endure addictions, but the intervention events are amazing. They don't always bring the outcome the family wants, but often they are successful. This week, there was an episode that I found interesting. But one line caught my attention in a very sharp way. Jeff, the interventionist, asked the family this, as they were preparing for what their daughter's response might be... Are you willing to have her hate you for the rest of her life as long as she gets better? If it's neat, great. If it's messy, fine. But we're going to do what we have to help her get better. Even if it hurts to walk away. I used the rewind on my DVR about 3 times to listen to this again. What an amazing choic

31 for 21: Distraction dancer

Sunday mornings at church are Braska's special time with Daddy. She sits with him, he holds her during the music and she dances like a crazy girl when the band gets going and claps right along with everyone else. She always attracts attention from those around, and sometimes I feel like she's gonna burst with excitement. Speaking of which, we could use a bit more of that at church, couldn't we?! Anyway, this week, like most others, she was having a ball. One lady directly behind us played with her, waved at her, and when we sat down for the sermon, she played little games with her. She'd put her hand on the back on the chair, and Braska would push it away and smile. Over and over. (I hope she is a multitasker, because it was a really great message, so I'd hate for her to have missed anything.) Braska usually falls asleep for part of the quieter parts, and then wakes at the end to dance a little more before we go. I haven't figured out a way to discreetly video

31 for 21: Ain't it kinda funny?

We're all wanting to be good little advocates, and it is a priority of mine to put a good and real perspective of life with Down syndrome "in the house." But we're all so busy just living life with our little ones that we're too busy to talk about how we're doing it. Funny. And I guess, as many have said better than I, that's the point. Yes, we were shocked. Yes, I thought life was (cue the dramatic movie music) *forever changed.* And yes, there have been some things to figure out, to say the least. But the beauty is, you don't have to figure it all out at once. You get to wake up just one day at a time, like everyone else. And ya know what's crazy?? Life goes on. We do what we do, and we find it to be so much beyond more enjoyable than what we thought. PLUS, we have these ridiculously cute kids to play with in the meantime! Just wish I could bottle this and share it with all those who are a few paces behind and still freaking out. It sure would

31 for 21: Practice quack

We did a dress rehearsal today of an event tomorrow. Braska will have pics to show I'm sure. And it's likely to have excessive kid cuteness involved. Just thought it was fair to tell you in advance. And yes, this makes me THAT mom. We don't take chances with serious things like opportunities for excessive cuteness. We take the time to get it right. Practice makes perfect.

Money saving tip swap

Gas is $2.33/gal today! I am liking this extra money that we're saving on gas. So everyone is talking about how to save a buck here or there... be it because of the financial crisis that is upsetting so many or the simple nature of life at this juncture for some of us. We might as well share what's working, I figure. So do tell! What's REALLY working, or at least what are you really trying to do? What are you doing that's different than your "norm" to save money right now? Eating out less, shopping more frugally, selling a car, or selling a kidney (ha!)? What are some ways your holiday will be different this year than last due to the financial stuff? Not traveling, buying less gifts, going for the generic turkey over the Butterball ? For us, it's been about the income-cut-in-half thing over the last few months since I'm not working anymore. I grant you this, we've made some major changes that many might not have chosen, but it's b

31 for 21: So much and yet nothing

It's 11:35pm. I should be in bed. Long ago in bed. But it's not been working that way. And I have alot I want to get in before the end of the month, blog-wise. I want to talk a little about discipline and what we do with Braska. (Yes, even our perfect little compliant child occasionally pulls a naughty one on us...and she does get in trouble when that happens.) Part of me wants to talk about politics, but I can't formulate like I want when I'm this tired by the time I get to blogging. And I'm guessing I wouldn't successfully change many, if any, minds. (If you're undecided and just want some interesting perspective to consider, send me an email if you want.) I want to talk about the great things we've learned in these 23 months of being in this club that is living with DS. But I'm exhausted. My kitchen is so darn messy. I need to get off this computer. So for now, these things will wait. And hey, who says I can't talk about them in

31 for 21: 20 Baby Galleries!!

Back in September, we were happy to find out that Braska had been included in the 3rd gallery of the Parenting.com A Special Joy: Babies with Down Syndrome . There are now 20 galleries! 20!! How great is that!?! And we know so many of those cuties...that's pretty cool, I think! Check out all 20 from here . Can I just ask a favor of those of you who don't have kids with DS but have blogs? As October is Down Syndrome Awareness month, would you be willing to post a little something with the link to the gallery page? It's kind of to be expected that those of us "in the club" would be all over it, but I think it would be a neat extension of the awareness aspect if we could spread the word via non-DS related blogs as well. We like to show off our kids, sure. But it would mean alot to have those who have been impacted by our kids to put in a plug for them as well. Thanks, really. (Side note: The Gallery page is down for a bit this afternoon, but it should be back s

31 for 21: Political traffic

Holy vote begging, Batman! Missouri is being sought after by both the big guys in this crazy election...in a BIG way. For example, lets consider who was in my little corner of the state this weekend. (All this in the St. Louis metro area) Saturday Obama was smiling and schmoozing on the Arch grounds. I didn't even know this til today, which is fine, but it's interesting because I drove right past the Arch twice on Saturday, once in the AM and once in the PM, and must have missed everything. Thank goodness I didn't get caught in that traffic! Then today... this is just nuts! ~McCain was about 2 miles from my house here in St. Charles early this morning. ~Bill Clinton was at a rally in Kirkwood tonight. ~Dick Cheney was at a luncheon in Clayton today. ~Mike Huckabee was at a benefit dinner tonight here in St. Charles. I'm surprised anyone could get anywhere today with all those motorcades roaming the streets.

31 for 21: Are you a Modern Mama?

Today I received info about this new business. The owner is a very cool young mom (and most DEFINITELY a "modern mama") who has a really adorable little girl, Karly, who is not quite a year old if I remember correctly. Little Karly has had problems with reflux for alot of her young life, and LeAnn has done a great job at finding ways to help by providing nutritious, homemade baby foods. As of tomorrow, she's rolling it out to the masses. At least to the masses in the St. Louis metro area. Complete with 24-hour turnaround with delivery to your door! I know most of you aren't in our immediate area, but I also know that there are several who are... so check out her site , and you could always send her a note to see if she'll ship to you elsewhere, right? I think it's cool when a mom sees a problem and really does her homework to find answers for herself and shares them with others. And LeAnn is a super nice person too, so I hope things go very well! If Braska

31 for 21: Shower overload

Today I (with Braska in tow) drove 50 minutes to a baby shower for a friend I haven't seen in years. The guest of honor (and her mom) were the only people there I knew out of a large crowd at her church. Made for a kind of awkward time, but it was nice to see them for a quick minute in the midst of things. Tomorrow the tiny one and I drive 90 minutes to a baby shower for a friend I haven't seen in years. The guest of honor, and maybe a sister or relative that might be there, will be the only ones I know at what will probably be a large group at her church. I have a feeling this will be a bit less awkward maybe. This new mommy used to be my roomie when we were young, single, and living large. These girls are worth it, but they better appreciate this! I didn't even look forward to my own baby showers! :o)

Birthday #35

It was a nice day. Quite nice. And it wasn't hardly painful at all, who knew? (BTW, I've been a bit post heavy today, so scroll down if you're a direct blog-checker so you don't miss something.) First, I got a card from Mrs. N. She was in my dad's church from way back when he was in college, a young preacher boy. She has sent me a card all 35 years of my life, I think. My parents would have to verify the first few, but I can tell you that the last 30 at least I've received a card from her. Always with a letter. Used to be with a dollar inside, but I understandably outgrew that. I looked forward to her cards, and now, in an age of few pieces of REAL snail mail, hers has more than once been the *only* birthday card I've received in a given year. It might be a small thing, but it's big to me. I appreciate it, and I'd miss it if it weren't there. This spring I saw Mr. and Mrs. N at my grandfather's funeral, and the older three of us F siblings