31 December 2013

I'm a HORRIBLE Mom!!

I just wanted to share a few pictures that prove to everybody that I am a horrible mother and when my child is in crisis or could use a hug, I grab the camera. Why does social media play such a major role in my life? :)

Just had my two month shots!
The start of monthly torture!
You'll like the Bumbo! It wasn't cheap!
Come on, the exersaucer is fun! This could be interpreted as a smile!
HA! HA! Keep picking...I'll grab the camera!
Here, take the toy and smile!
Just stay in the box! Come on, it's fun!
Ha! Ha! She's scared of the bunny!
Spilled my juice all over myself in the NICU! Now, I'm naked!
Just give mommy another 10 seconds!
We do this every month. SIT DOWN!
I actually took this picture to email it to daddy...but pretty eyelashes!
Ha! Ha! She's scared of the donkey!
I just fell on my face now you want me to smile for the camera?!?!
Mom, I can't breathe...like for real!
BOO!!!! AHHHHH!!!!
Oh come on kids, it could be worse.....I think!!
Hurry!! Take the picture! It's so funny!
Happy New Year!!! :)

26 December 2013



Today is Boxing Day and all we did was unpack all the toys and games and tech toys and more toys and books and some more toys. Adele napped on me for a couple of hours, which was nice. I haven't showered yet and I'm tired. It's funny what Christmas does to your body. It knocks you down and I didn't even cook dinner. It's always busy with two girls who are just over 16 months apart. It's beautiful and busy. Spending time with family is truly all you need and maybe a yummy turkey dinner.

We celebrated my birthday as a family on the 23rd, then spent Christmas Eve at my parent's house, where Danika and Ryder were just itching to open up gifts. I don't really help matters because I tease them relentlessly. We decided to get them only one big gift this year instead of a bunch of smaller things that my sister will eventually post on the swap n buy site when she needs a toy clear out. Ryder got a kid's tablet and Danika got a grown up tablet. Ange texted me today and said that the kids love their tech toys.
We were all spoiled on Christmas. The amount of gifts under the tree was unreal. Sometimes I actually feel bad and that maybe we take it too far....it's a lot.

Danika playing with the tablet :)

At the end of the gift opening, mom and dad came back with a little box and handed it to Danika. They had the family gather around and dad grabbed the camera so he could record the moment. I was thinking 'HOLY CRAP, Danika is getting something so sweet, maybe it's her whole college education paid for, maybe the promise of a car for when she's sixteen.'
Danika opened the box and pulled out a piece of paper. Ange was looking over her shoulder then I saw tears.
Great, somebody is dying and this is how they tell us, Christmas morning.
Mom and dad are calling it quits.
Mom is pregnant. :))) HA! HA! HA! HA!

A TRIP TO DISNEYLAND for the whole family, all ten of us!

There were lots of tears and laughter and excitement in the room.
Mom told us that everything is paid for, four days of Disney fun!

My parents were so excited to give us all this gift. Dad said that they have waited eight years, since Danika was born. We all talk about it often and just couldn't decide when would be the best time to go, now it's the whole family.

Danika and Ryder are the perfect age for Disneyland, eight and almost five years old, whereas Brinley and Adele are a bit young. Brinley, I know would have a blast, her and Danika are best friends, it is the sweetest sight and seeing them in Disneyland would be priceless. We worry a bit about Adele and are going to speak to the pediatrician and see if she would be ok to go on the plane etc. I know that families travel every day, I just worry about their ears on the plane and if Adele would need her oxygen, what if she gets sick......

I'm not worried about the work part of it as we have our family there to help and support. We just need some other questions answered first before we make a final decision.

I want to write about how one person made it sound like it would be the worst thing ever to take the girls to Disneyland, but I don't want to stoop to a level that will only cause issues. I chalk it up to jealousy. :) I wonder sometimes why people can't enjoy other's excitement and joy. It is the Christmas season. Boo on negativity.

Another gift that meant a lot was the one I got for James. As most of you know, James lost a lot of personal belongings in the flood. He has downplayed the loss and tells me that his plan was to get rid of some items, but this was no way for his stuff to go....
I bought him the first GI Joe comic in the original series, signed by the creator of the story and the artists. I cried, James cried. I can't replace all of the items, but this helps a bit to put a smile back on James' face. It was a nice moment.

This year, we opened some of our gifts at home and our stockings. I wanted to take my stocking to mom and dad's house to open but James said that it wouldn't be a good idea. Usually we fill it with gum, magazines, gift cards and some fun stuff. I was confused.
It was quickly cleared up as I opened up a stocking full of items labeled TROJAN. Yes, TROJAN. I now understood why he didn't want my dad to see. My mom, ok, but my dad, that would take it to a whole other creepy level. So, I guess it's time to spice things up. I'm not too sure about cherry and chocolate.....my sister and my mom just gagged!! :)

Grandma and Brinley <3

I love this post!

How I Told My 7 Year Old Son He Has Down syndrome! :)

A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by a local television station. The day they were coming to our house, I woke up at 2:48 in the morning, convinced I was going to have an anxiety attack. Part of the interview was to talk about Down syndrome.

Why did I wake in such a state? My husband and I had never told our 7-year-old son he has Down syndrome.

It isn't like the subject hadn't come up. But how would it help him to know at this age? Can a child -- any child -- understand what that means? Honestly, I find most adults, including educators and other professionals, know next to nothing about Down syndrome.
The other thing -- how would I do it? I can't adequately explain how Curious George is entrusted to navigate ships into New York harbor or why the tediously boring Caillou seems popular. How could I explain Down syndrome?

But, now I had to. What if some kid's parent from school saw me on TV? What if they talked about him having Down syndrome? Then, what if that kid said to our kid at school the next day, "So you have Down syndrome, huh?"

My heart was racing during the next couple of hours as I lay in bed trying to turn this thing in my mind. Finally unable to contain myself, I decided to wake my husband.
"We have to tell him today!" I yelled, sitting upright in bed.
"What's happening?" came my husband's voice from under the covers.
"Wake up! We have to tell him he has Down syndrome!" I said.
"OK," said my husband in a resigned, tired husband way. At this point, I know he does not actually have any idea what I am talking about, but he has heard me in this we-must-do-something state before, so he then said what he always says -- "Settle down," -- followed by, "What time is it?"
"I'm not sure," I lied.
"Oh, God. Give me 30 minutes. Make coffee."

After much whispered debate, we decided we would both take the day to figure out how to tell him. Very thoughtful planning on our part. Teamwork would be our key to success.
My husband left for work. Then I told our son on my own.
The thing is, I wanted to be Team Us, but I could not manage my anxiety. I believed the only way to not have an anxiety attack was by telling him that morning.
I am convinced if Little Ricky had Down syndrome, Lucy would have done the same thing after Big Ricky went to the club.
As I watched our son from the doorway of the den, I thought, this is the last minute he doesn't know he has Down syndrome. He was watching "The Magic School Bus" and eating waffles.

I walked in the room swinging my arms in a Julie-from-"The Love Boat" sort of way.
"Hey, guy, dude, little man, buddy..." I trailed off.
Maniacal smiling.
"I'm going to turn the TV off for a bit so we can talk."
Like all males when notified they need to "talk," he put his head in his hands and yelled, "No, no, no, no. Noooo!"

As I sat on the couch and looked thoughtfully at him across the room, I realized I had no concrete idea of what I was going to say.
I am not sure where the following came from. It may have had something to do with seeing his collection of Avenger action figures on the floor. Also, a couple days before we had all gone to Thor, The Dark World. In fact, our son had worn his Thor costume to the theater.
"Have you ever heard the words 'Down syndrome'?" I asked.
"No," he said. How's that possible, I thought?
"OK, OK. Have you ever felt like you were different from other people?"
"No," he said in an almost indignant tone. This shocks me. It that true?
"OK. Well, I want to tell you something. Yeah... you... have a super power. It's called Down syndrome."
My son looks at me wide-eyed and makes like Mr. Universe with his biceps.
This isn't so bad.
I continued, "Down syndrome is an extra chromosome in your body..."
He started feeling around his mid-section.
"You can't see or feel your chromosomes, they are so small." I am realizing the scientific route is too abstract.
"See, Down syndrome gives you almond-shaped eyes and a terrifically adorable flat nose. And it gives you super powers. Some of your super powers are big love, photography and... um... um... farting. It also made you a little small, talking and being understood is hard for you right now and learning some things takes more work."

Auntie and Brinley :)

I saw by the nodding of his head and smiling that my son accepted all of this information. I am his mother and at age 7, that still pretty much means I have credibility.
The physical characteristics and the cognitive challenges are not debatable. The fact our child is very loving and has an obsession with farting is likely more typical 7-year-old kid, particularly boy, stuff. However, his photography is a gift from somewhere. I am feeling my way here in a world that does not provide a manual for how you tell your kid they have Down syndrome.

I leaned forward and said, "Not everyone sees your super power, so some people just see someone who needs help for some reason."
This piece of information resonates and my son starts laughing.
I continued, "The thing is, Daddy and I always wish we were better parents, but we never wish you didn't have your Down syndrome super powers."
That is absolutely true.
"Magic School Bus?" he asked, directing me to turn the TV back on with a waffle-crusted fork.
"Of course!" I said, relieved. And I was relieved. My anxiety was gone.
I emailed my husband to tell him what I had done. I included: "He's fine. Now it's like a lifelong conversation."

This is why my husband is my husband: He wrote back: "It's OK. You did good."
For almost four years, I have written about our family's experiences, including Down syndrome. My contention has been our son is not that different from "typically" developing peers. My husband and I do not see Down syndrome as a defining characteristic, but one of many our son embodies.

Does that mean our son has a super power? Maybe. Maybe we all do. This is what I do know about his having Down syndrome: it cannot just be about what he cannot do. Down syndrome is not objectively bad. For our family, Down syndrome is something to be respected.

Kari Wagner-Peck authors the blog atypicalson. She is a writer and Down syndrome advocate/activist. You can find her at: www.atypicalson.com

21 December 2013

Controversial Posts....

Love this picture!

The other day on Facebook, I posted an article about myths surrounding the flu vaccine. Whenever I post about vaccinations or immunizations, it causes a bit of an uproar. Moms and dads are either completely for or completely against vaccinations. I am a very strong and opinionated person. I voice my opinion and I stick by what I believe. I respect what you choose, but in the end, it is about keeping my family healthy.
A friend sent me this message this morning. I know that she does not immunize her son nor does she get the flu vaccine. She believes in vitamins, healthy eating, exercise, taking care of your mind and body. I respect her so much more for sending me this message. When you support other's opinions and are able to see both sides, it makes you a better person.

Normal is a setting on a dryer....

Hey Momma. I want to say this because I can see and feel your frustration as a Mom, with a child that has amazing needs. (Sorry "special needs" term just doesn't sound right to me, not meaning to offend) No matter what you post, or hear from others, you are doing just what you need to do for Adele. Vaccinations are just another hard choice in Motherhood, no different then all the other choices we are faced with. 

First: It's if you had one drink in the time before you found out you were pregnant. Funny because all stories I've heard is that most were hammered 2 weeks before they knew, then looked at like the devil. Then if you're going to eat Feta and a million other "you can't eat that!" foods while you're pregnant, what vitamins to take, what doctor to go to, Midwife or doctor and if I do one or the other am I a good or bad Mom, don't sleep on your right side because if you do you might cut off baby's flow to the baby's finger and the world as you know it, do I find out if baby is a boy or girl, what crib to buy, why am I so f**cking tired, only 270 days to go at work, why do I pee myself when I sneeze (or move!) Why does that girl look so much better and happier than I do pregnant like it's easy or some sh*t, why is it so cold in here, just kidding why is it so hot in here, HOLD THAT THOUGHT I need to puke! I love my spouse/I hate my spouse, NEVERMIND all that- how am I going to get this baby out, no drugs, drugs, C section.....then we take a break. 

Baby is here, we're blessed. We remember all the good things that come with this feeling of a new baby. It's wonderful, and she/he is beyond words or sight that anything in life could bring. Then, breast feeding, formula, I'm over tired, I can't think straight anymore, why was this different for the next person, will this nice decoration on my wall strangle my baby or that cute toy, like the recall I just saw on the news, or should I get this monitor, or maybe I should just lay on the floor with my eyes open all night long to make sure nothing will happen! F! F! And that is IF all is "Normal". Some of us are faced with much more than the above, if you can imagine. If this happens we fear everything, it can be too much. We start to wonder if everything we know and everything we feel is wrong or right.  

Then we have Facebook, where we can also express our feelings and get advice, but also feel like a bad Mom for what the next person is doing different....like we don't have enough to worry about already. Remember, Facebook is all about expression, good and bad, it's why it's been so popular. Take it in stride. Don't worry about what you post, if it causes and up roar, that's life, and actually Facebook is a good reality. No one ever posts something without wanting to give knowledge, some to show off, others just plain don't know what they are talking about, but they deserve some respect too. It's like any other area of life, take what you need and discard the rest. Just always be certain about your own choice. So post away, make others think, if they are certain, nothing comes between them and their own choice. Knowledge is power, knowledge at different times in life is different for everyone.   

You are doing the best you know for your children. You know what feels right from all what you've heard and what you truly know feels right, that's where you need to be. Done. You know Adele, better than anyone else out there, you do what you feel is best for her. I've personally seen you rock a room of children with troubled lives, as a devoted teacher and overall amazing person. I don't think, I know, it was inspiring, I wouldn't have ever come to that classroom otherwise. You have a vibe about you that inspires people to want to grow and be happy. With all of that said, you know what you need to do as a Mom, no matter what that choice may be. Every choice you make for Adele and your family is what it should be. You'll always "feel" what is right. The rest is background noise. In a good, and real life, there is no such thing as normal.

Merry Christmas to you, and all of your family that have hiked through life this year.

19 December 2013


Kids with Down syndrome are always happy!

Life continues to be busy in the Collins' house! Both Brinley and Adele caught the stomach flu. I took Adele to the hospital to make sure that she was ok, we left within a couple of hours and it was all good. I can't stand seeing my babies sick. It breaks my heart. Today, everybody is healthy and well but I am so hyper vigilant when it comes to Adele's health. Always focused on feedings, poops, pees, breathing......it just goes on. So many added worries with this little girl.

We went to ACH yesterday for Adele's respiratory appointment. The weather was brutal. I gave myself two hours to get there, we made it on time with half hour to spare. We always get in right away and things usually run smoothly. We were there for three hours...holy crap! We met with a few people, including the physiotherapist. She said that because Adele is so floppy, it will be difficult to get started right now. She wants us to focus on her core, bringing her legs to her chest and having her reach for her feet. She also mentioned that the left side of her head is a bit flat. We knew this, as she favours the left side, but she is also fully capable of turning to the right. She said the word HELMET a few times. I don't think we are anywhere near the helmet stage. She said that if she continues to favour the left side, we could end up with a helmet and that it costs 2000 dollars and it's not covered. She mentioned a few times that it's not covered. Maybe I was dressed like a slob yesterday and I looked like 2000 bucks would do us in! Who knows.

The appointment ended with the doctor coming in and he was pleased with her oxygen levels. I didn't think he would say that we could go oxygen free during the day, but yup, we are free of tubes all day long. We will stick with the oxygen at night until they send us a monitor. Yay for Adele!!!!

We left the hospital at 4:30pm and I knew that it would take a while to get home. It was snowing, windy and rush hour. I just hoped that Adele would sleep.  It took us an hour and a half to get to Glenmore, then I find out that it's closed. I was pissed. I knew that I would have to take Blackfoot, with everybody else. Get onto Blackfoot and it's slow. Adele starts crying, I was starving and I was going to miss Ryder and Danika's Christmas concert. I realized that there was a car stalled on Blackfoot, not far from a set of lights. It's cold out. There was a young girl sitting in the car, everybody was pulling around her, heading for home. I contemplated. I contemplated some more. I got out, ran to her car and asked her if she was ok. She said that AMA was on their way. Nobody stops for a young girl in need? So sad.
Adele and I made it home in three hours. My ass was asleep. My tummy was so empty that I would have eaten brussel sprouts! Yes, I said brussel sprouts!!

I later found out that a little boy, 18 months had been taken to the hospital with another young boy and the 18 month old died from his injuries. All I could think of was, I am happy that I am hungry, I am happy that Adele was a bit cranky, I am so happy that it took me three hours to get home. We made it home, a week before Christmas, healthy and happy and alive. I can't imagine the devastation that the family is feeling. No time is a good time, but I think about all if the gifts that have been bought, the family was ready for Christmas and now that little boy is no longer here. My heart breaks for the family.

This brings me to my next thought....
My dear friend sent me a message a little while ago and mentioned that a good friend of hers lost her brother to a stroke. He was 35 years old. Had a stroke and a few days later, he lost his battle.
For some reason, this really affected me. We all hear stories, we feel bad, send love and prayers, then move on. This one bothered me.

I bitch at James....

Here's my list....

Wiping his mouth on the black towel after he brushes his teeth.
He doesn't clean Brinley's bibs after she eats.
He doesn't fold his shirts the way I fold shirts.
He farts in the fan.
He used a Lysol wipe on the couch when I was feeding Brinley.
He leaves toothpaste in the sink after he brushes his teeth.
He stares at the TV when Brinley is eating and she chucks her food.
He shaves and leaves little hairs in the sink.
He doesn't listen when I'm talking.
He humps my leg.
He buys 600 of something instead of just 1 item.
He doesn't drive the way I drive and I get car sick.
He talks to me when I'm in the shower.
He doesn't do his hair.
He hits the walls with objects because he isn't careful.
He spills.
He sometimes uses the wrong words in a sentence and because I am a teacher, I correct him.

Yes, I bitch! My sister and mom right now are going "Yup, that's Krista."

My point is that if I woke up one morning and there was no toothpaste on that towel, I would wipe my mouth on the towel. All I need to do is clean the bib. Who cares about the shirts. I fart in the fan too. I've used Lysol wipes while he's feeding Adele. I can take two seconds to wipe the toothpaste out of the sink. I can clean up the mess that Brinley makes. He cleans up the mess that Brinley makes. I can wipe out the sink. No man listens when a woman is talking. I would hump my own leg if he stopped. I like that he tries to impress me by buying all different types of an item so that I smile. He does need a driving lesson. I would talk to myself in the shower if he stopped. He doesn't want to do his hair because he doesn't want another woman to hit on him. :) He does his hair when needed. He paints the damaged walls. He has his psych degree and he's smart.

Merry Christmas!!!

I don't ever want to be faced with the upset of losing a loved one in a tragic accident. I don't want to be faced with regrets. I need to appreciate all of the amazing things that James does for his family and to let go of the petty, ridiculous and minute things, that mean nothing. We get so caught up in our lives. We get so caught up in bills, sickness, kids and our busy lives, that we don't stop to breathe and enjoy all of the fabulous moments. I know that it is cliché, but we are here on this earth for such a short time, we need to make it amazing. We need to be the best that we can be. We need to call friends. We need to send out Christmas cards. We need to tell others that we love them. We need to appreciate those who are closest to us.
In a moment, one breath, one heartbeat, it can all be lost.

8 December 2013


I think today's blog needs to be about my own issues. :)

I love Facebook but I also detest Facebook. Maybe I detest Facebook sometimes because I have such a strong, opinionated personality.

#1 - People post pictures because they want others to Like or comment on their pictures. People don't post things for their own benefit, or do they? I know that I like to post sometimes, so that I can go back a few years and see what I wrote and posted. I like the timeline review that I get to do. My primary purpose is to share with others, so they can see what is going on in my life. Now, if I posted a picture or wrote a status and nobody commented or Liked it, would I be crushed? Probably not enough to cry or curl up in a ball in the corner with a bottle of rum, but I would probably over analyze why others didn't just LOVE the picture or status. I thought I was hilarious and the picture was so sweet!

This brings me to my #2 point - There are people on Facebook who ONLY comment or Like certain friend's posts. I don't understand. You only Like Joe, Johnny and Jake's pictures and statuses even though Kate, Katherine and Khloe have hilarious pictures and statuses. I don't get it?? Why do you keep those other friends on Facebook? Why bother? You should have 10 friends and Like everything that they post. Everybody is happy!!

#3 - You purposely avoid a friend's status and pictures because you want to piss them off and you have some vendetta against them. Are you kidding me? Grow up and delete. It will be better for all involved.

#4 - You are one of those people who scroll through Facebook and look and browse and read but don't ever Like or comment. I think you should find another social media outlet. Imagine if we all did that??? Facebook would be so boring and lame.

#5 - You only comment and Like pictures and posts that make you laugh. You refuse to Like or comment if the message is touching or even remotely emotional. You should get therapy.

#6 - You re-post and share everything that you read. Get your own thoughts.

#7 - You share all posts that involve loving you children, your son, your daughter, your niece, your nephew, your dad, your mom, your great aunt Hildie on your dad's side twice removed. We all know that you love your children. Of course you do. When I see these on your wall day after day, I want to call Social Services because I think something fishy is going on in your home.

#8 - You fall for every - Like this picture because this really unattractive girl is actually really beautiful and let's see just how many Likes we can get in a month. Does #8 really bother me or affect me? No! I just find it silly that a lot of these posts are a hoax and made up by some loser to draw people in to get your information.

#9 - Missing people - Don't post a missing person without sufficient evidence that it really is accurate and it shows a date. So many missing persons' posts are from years ago and the individual has been long found. Don't re-post to be cool.

#10 - I am a part of a mommy site. I'm not too sure I can remain a member on this site. Woman can be ridiculous. Some recent posts....

My friend is coughing up blood, what should I do?
I am wearing this dress to a Christmas party and although the back is sheer and the front is sheer and my woo woo is hanging out, do you think these heels match?
Here's a picture of my neighbour's garbage, it's in my bin, what should I do?
The roads are bad, should I stay home?
I've had diarrhea for days, should I call the doctor?
There's a mouse in the house, should I call an exterminator?
Somebody said that it's snowing out. I don't see snow.

I'm going to stop at #10 but let's be honest, I could go on for days. :)

I am going to end the blog with an awesome poem that has been shared with me several times. It truly is beautiful.


I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.

Have a wonderful Sunday! :)

7 December 2013

Chilly Picture Saturday!!

I figured that today would be a good day to share some amateur photos....
Brinley had the stomach flu this week, for the first time, daddy and mommy both had colds. Our goal the entire time has been to keep Adele healthy. Don't panic, I do not have pictures of barf or snot. :)

Sometimes the pillow is the best place to sleep :)
Princess Brinley
I love this picture - fell asleep holding her stuffy :)
Starting to move around - that is not how she goes down at night!
Bed time stories have turned into IPad Air fun!
Not the best place for your nose prongs Adele!
BEST PICTURE - You're Gonna Hear Me Roar!!!
So pretty :)
Loves her sister and lately a rosary that she found :)
Could only take this picture with the IPad!
Sprinkles has a drinking issue - then she twerked all night long. Santa needs to send us a new elf :)
Have a fantastic weekend!