Saturday, March 26, 2011

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

Last Monday was a gorgeous day to get out and celebrate and we did just that!  Jayden had a dentist appointment, which she did AWESOME at, and then we headed to the park for a picnic and some play time! 
Sophia loves the slides!

Jayden and Sophia in the tunnel, another favorite :)

Jayden pushing Sophia in the swings

Turning her back on the camera, or me?

I think she was getting annoyed at me taking pictures.  It was getting in the way of play time :)

Jayden, showing her support for her little sister

Down they go

I don't know why, but I LOVE kids wearing sunglasses!  And Jayden decided to sport her shades, for a little bit that day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Clabber Girl Fundraiser!

From left to right: Chocolate Chunk, Sugar Cookie, Mississippi Muddle, Jezebels, Funnel Cake, Original/Strawberry/Chocolate Cheesecake, Cranberry Chippers, Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Charlie

Jayden's Preschool, Memorial Preschool, is holding their annual Clabber Girl fund raiser from March 20-March 31.  Jayden is helping her school out by selling these amazing looking Clabber Girl cookie, cheesecake and brownie mixes!  The mixes are available in two different sizes, the one pound size is $10 per tub and the three pound size is $15 per tub.  The cheesecake mixes are $13.  The mixes are made in Terre Haute and are made in a peanut free environment.  The mixes are easy to store and use.  No refrigeration is required.  You only have to add egss, butter, stir and bake.  The shelf life is up to 1 year.

The cookie mix order will be placed in early April and will be delivered before Mother's Day.  All orders must be prepaid and checks need to be made out to Memorial Preschool.  If you would like to place an order, and mail me the check, Jayden, and her preschool, would be very thankful!  Just leave a comment or contact me through facebook or email!


Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day!


I am a PROUD mother of a 21 month old angel, Sophia, who happens to have Down syndrome.  Today, March 21st, is World Down Syndrome Day, and I invite all of you to celebrate this day with me!

"World Down Syndrome Day takes place on March 21st every year.  This date, 3/21, represents the 3 copies of chromosome 21, which is unique to people with Down syndrome." -Damon Hill

"The aims of World Down Syndrome Day are to promote awareness and understanding, seek international support, and to achieve dignity, equal rights and a better life for people with Down syndrome every where." -Muttiah Muralitharan

When I was thinking about what I wanted to write in this blog, I went back to some earlier posts that I did during the month of October, and I found the perfect post, that says it all for me:

Yes, Sophia has Down syndrome, but Down syndrome is only a small part of who Sophia is.  It doesn't define her as a person, just like the color of your hair doesn't define you as a person.  Sophia is beautiful and full of life.  She loves to laugh and smile and giggle, especially at her big sister Jayden.  She is growing and thriving and doing new things every day, and even though she may not do things at the same speed as a "typically" developing child, she is meeting her milestones, just at her own pace.  See, the biggest thing about Sophia is that she is very stubborn and hard headed, what approaching 2 year old isn't!  She will not do anything just because we want her to, or we think it's time for her to be doing something specific.  In fact I think she deliberately does the opposite of what we want her to do just so SHE knows that WE know SHE is in charge. :)  She refuses to be rushed to do anything and is happy living one day at a time and soaking in all the beautiful things in the world around her!

Down syndrome was something I knew very little, if anything, about before Sophia was born.  And even though I am educating myself more and more every day, our lives don't revolve completely around Down syndrome, but instead they revolve completely around Sophia.  While Down syndrome may have a single cause, an extra chromosome 21, no two people with Down syndrome are identical.  Each person with Down syndrome has their own personality, strenghts and weaknesses.  Sophia is simply, SOPHIA.  Yes, she has Down syndrome and that is nothing that we are ashamed of.  She is PERFECT and SPECIAL and she is ALL OURS and I wouldn't have it any other way!  We love her for who she is and for what she has brought into our lives, and all we want is for everyone else to see who she is on the inside, not what they think she may be just by looking at her from the outside.  CELEBRATE, BECAUSE WE ARE! Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

A few AWESOME reads that were first brought to my attention after Sophia's birth were Welcome to Holland and The Creed of Babies with Down Syndrome.  I've posted about both of these in the past, but I love reading them and I think that they really say it all.  Welcome to Holland focuses on getting the inital diagnosis that your beautiful baby has Down syndrome and The Creed of Babies with Down Syndrome puts into words just how special and wonderful babies, and individuals, are when sporting that extra chromosome!  Definitely check them out if you haven't read them before, and even if you have read them before, check them out again!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gone Fishin

We spent the weekend with some of our favorite people and had a BLAST!  We took Jayden on her first fishing expedition, along with her two cousins, her Uncle Andy and Aunt Jarah and Nana and Soph took it easy away from all the action :)  Everyone came away with a catch that day and we can't wait to go fishin again!
Mallory had the first catch of the afternoon.  It's a little hard to see the fish :) but it's there!
Niles and Andy with their fish

Jayden's first fish!

Jayden and Daddy fishing.  Randy was in heaven doing this!

Jayden, waiting patiently.

Andy, Niles, Mallory, Jarah, Randy and Jayden waiting for a bite
Sophia, just relaxin
Jarah and her fish!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In, Out, All About

Sophia will climb into, or onto, anything she can get her little leg up on to pull herself in!  She really doesn't care how small the space is, she always finds a way to squeeze herself in!

Inspiring things I've read about Down syndrome: Part Four

"This is what I have always wanted for him: Acceptance." -Nicoi

""And her love was completely unconditional-the kind of love that says, 'you are good enough, just the way you are.'" -Janis

"I had all these views of Down syndrome based on outdated studies and people that had not been blessed with all of the opportunities available today." -Katy

"Celebrate what you ARE doing.  Instead of mapping out your path, we join you on your journey." -a dad writing to his daughter

"Inclusion always seemed to be a fight, but the more we fought for it, the more the school administration realized its benefits-not only for Alex, but for all the students." -Nicoi

"I'm learning to avoid setting my sights too high, but refusing to set them too low." -Nicoi

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (spirit)." -1 Samuel 16:7b

"...But when I looked at him, I saw perfection." -Tammy

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Playin at the Playground

Walking and riding to the school playground

Jayden on her Diego bike

No afternoon nap and a stroller ride makes for a sleepy Sophia

Now she's awake, it's play time!

Jayden :)

A little climber

So sweet!
I LOVE this girl!

Going up the slide

Sophia wasn't up for a sister photo

Sophia LOVED the slide,especially when Jayden went down with her.

Good times

Ready to conquer the twirly slide again!

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Inspiring things I've read about Down syndrome: Part Three

"We have an appreciation for a slower pace, we take greater delight in each small step.  And we have a newfound understanding of the preciousness of all people." -Valle

"We no longer wonder if people can 'tell' (it just doesn't matter to us anymore) and are even surprised when someone recognizes the fact that Matthew has Down syndrome." -Michelle

"I learned to enjoy him as a baby first, and loved every milestone he met, no matter how long it took to get there." -Peggy

"Meeting other children and adults who have an extra chromosome, I understand that Liam is not alone in his beginning, but part of a community of unique individuals who are continuing to prove that they are more like everyone else then different from them." -Renee

"Ironically, my biggest fear has become my biggest joy." -Katy

"My life was normal before I had Nolan, and I've come to realize that it is still normal today.  The only difference is that now I have new dreams." -Catherine

"Cariana showed me that merely seeing an analysis of someone's chromosomes tells you next to nothing about the person herself, and that the most important questions can never be answered by a blood test.  No test can tell us who our children will be, or what gifts each child might bring into the world." -Janis

"...I could never have predicted that this amazing little girl with Down syndrome would turn out to be the best teacher I ever had." -Janis

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Have Down Syndrome--Know Me Before You Judge Me

"its whats on the inside that counts"
When I was looking for some cute t-shirts at Wal-Mart today, I found this and LOVED it :)

I came across another GREAT article that was published in National Geographic for Kids and wanted to share it with my readers!  Clicke HERE to read, I Have Down Syndrome--Know Me Before You Judge Me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inspiring things I've read about Down syndrome: Part Two

I finally finished my book, Gifts, and it was amazing to see how people take this diagnosis of Down syndrome so much differently.  But what I noticed throughout the whole book was that the scariest part of this whole journey is not knowing what the future holds for your baby, but in truth, do any of us know what the future holds for any of our children?  There are so many misconceptions out there about Down syndrome and still today women are getting outdated information from their own medical professionals that make them think and feel like their life will never be the same again after having a child with Down syndrome.  That it will be a horrible life for the baby and the family, but I can say that my life is far from horrible.  Sophia is an amazing blessing sent to us from God and I wouldn't change her for anything in the world.  She is a true gift to our family!

-  "Doctor's deal with facts, but children are much more than a collection of facts.  They defy expectations;
     they do their own thing.  We must never limit them based on some set of statistics, or define them based
     on a diagnosis." -Robin

-  "Like the rest of us, he was born with his own combination of limitations and talents.  And just like the rest
     of us, he deserves to be accepted and appreciated for the unique impact he will have upon the world."

-  "When assumptions based on ignorance or outdated information abound, they perpetuate a society that
     will not embrace or even accept differences." -Janine

-  "Although we are all born unique, we come to this earth needing the same things: love, affection, and
    security.  No matter how different we may seem, we all deserve to be cared for and respected as human
    beings." -Alexis

-  "After all, my baby is not a diagnosis, not a list of her potential woes.  She is a beautiful person, full of
     laughter and grins.  There is a world of possibilities laid out before her, and I love exploring those 
     possibilities with her." -Nancy