7 October 2013

Our Little Star!

Day 7 of the 31 for 21 Challenge.....

Today's blog is just a quick one. :)

As you all know this month is Down syndrome Awareness month. I have both girls entered in The 2013 Gerber Generation Contest.
I think it's time for a bit of a change and I think a good way to show awareness would be to have Adele as the Gerber Star. Down syndrome and adorable! I think she's a perfect candidate. All it takes is a click. xoxoxo
The contest runs until October 27th, 2013. You can vote once a day. :) I can't put the direct link to Adele on my blog.
Click on the link below then click on Gerber Facebook page. It will take you to your Facebook. You may have to put Gerber in the search bar. Go to the Gallery/Vote and find Adele. :)
Sorry it wasn't a bit easier. I know it's a pain, but it's worth it. If we were Facebook friends, you could just click directly on the link on my page. ;) If you find an easier way, let me know.

Gerber Launches Photo Search 2013 | Gerber Newsroom

6 October 2013


I love these pictures!

So, who came up with the brilliant idea to do the 31 for 21 Challenge?? I need to write a blog every day for the next month. I am already starting to bore myself with my posts. My life isn't interesting enough to do this...I need some guest bloggers I think to help me out! :)

Today, we had plans to take the girls out but Adele has been pale for the past two days. I'm wondering if it was the shots. Sometimes she just gets pale. Adele has now started to smile. It has melted my heart. So far, she has hit a few milestones and all early. I think she might be a genius! Down syndrome is not a disability in our house, it's kind of cool! James and I decided to tackle the girl's closet. It took hours to weed out the clothes that are too small for Brinley. She grew a whole lot during the three months that we were living with mom and dad. It was a long day and kind of boring too. We still have more bins of clothes at James' parent's house....SO. MANY. CLOTHES. I can't wait for our basement to be ready. It is taking forever and it's extremely frustrating.

I can't wait to be able to walk downstairs and grab stuff instead of having to drive down the street. I want my home completed. Arg!

Love you!

Today as I was unloading and loading the closet, I was thinking about the Electric Ave. days. I was 18 and had a different bar to go to every night. My favourite bar was Coconut Joes! Usually it was the bar of choice Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night. Sometimes when there was a special event, we would head down around 2:00pm and sit on the patio all day and all night. These were the days when we would gather at somebody's house, have a few drinks and head down to Electric! Once at the bar, it was vodka slime time, usually a triple, or a few triples. After a few bevies, it was speaker dancing time. Yes, speaker dancing time. There were always a handful of girls shakin it on the speaker on the look out for the hot guys. There were the token hotties who always got the chicks. I worry about their health now....it was a dirty bar. Dirty! Dirty!
It was truly such a carefree time. No worries. Still living at home. Not paying rent because I was attending university. Making money working at California Tan. Spending my money at the bar.
I remember when my BFF and I went to the bar for 14 days straight. No break. Just dancing and drinking and dancing and drinking and, you get it. We didn't drive drunk but we also didn't make the best choices. When you're 18 you think you're invincible. Nothing can happen. If I have a few, I'll make it home ok. If the driver has had a few, we will make it home ok. There was a lot of stupidity.
I remember attending 5 funerals in 6 months and only one wasn't alcohol related.
The worst accident was when we were 18 years old. A group of six guys crammed into a Prelude. It was a small car. Three in the back and three in the front. The driver had been drinking but from what I remember, he wasn't drunk, but he was still impaired. He took a corner too fast and smashed into a light post. The three boys in the back shot out the back window and the three in the front went forward and smashed into the window. There were two sets of brothers in the car. The two brothers in the back were seriously injured. One was face down in a pool of gasoline and the other in the ditch. The other boy in the back died. The boys in the front hit the windshield and one of them flew back and hit the passenger so hard that he broke his ribs and punctured his lung. The driver was not injured.
Imagine getting the phone call. Imagine being a parent and getting that call.
The funeral was a wake up call for many but for others it gave them reason to drink even more. It was such a difficult time. The physical and emotional pain still resonates with the boys today.
Another death was a close family friend. He was 18. He was such a great guy. He was loved and adored by his friends and family. It was Halloween. It was a reason to get drunk.
He was found at the bottom of the stairs with vomit in his mouth. His best friend gave him CPR. It didn't work. He died. Reports confirm that he died choking on his vomit.
Imagine getting that phone call. Imagine being his mom and dad and getting that phone call.
One last story was when I was 17 and Ange was 18. Ange loved to party and was a bar hopping kind of girl. She was very carefree. She needed a ride home and was offered a ride by one of her friends. Ange got distracted and went off to another bar with some friends. The driver of the vehicle asked another girl if she needed a ride. She accepted. They were on Elbow Drive, turning right onto Southhampton and smashed into the light post. She died on impact. The owner of the car was intoxicated so he asked his intoxicated friend to drive. Ange was supposed to be in that seat.
I was at a dinner with her family a few months later and it was sad. It was a very sad dinner. Mom was on medication that made her almost zombie like. There was no laughter and no smiles. The parents ended up divorced because of the stress of their daughter's death.

We are not invincible. It doesn't matter our age. We are not invincible.
I think about all the students that I have taught over the years and I worry about the choices that they will make. I wish I could tell them all that it isn't worth it. It isn't worth risking your life. It isn't worth risking the lives of others. Be responsible. Think.

Had enough!
Little girl....big soother!
Just giving me the finger!

5 October 2013

NOT 50 Shades of Grey....

Day 5 of the 31 for 21 Challenge.....

When James and I conceived Brinley, it was total excitement. Ok, I just re-read that...you may think that the moment was total excitement but I was referring to tinkling on the stick, that was total excitement. The conceiving part was decent. ;)
Anyways, it was a long and rough pregnancy, I was put on bed rest, we had to live with my parents for six weeks and home care visited every other day. There were many trips to the hospital and morning sickness, well day sickness for almost the entire pregnancy. When we were induced at 37 weeks, we decided that we probably wouldn't have another baby. It was too scary being pregnant with Brinley and to be honest, pregnancy isn't fun. Pregnancy does something to me mentally and psychologically. I ended up in the hospital one night because I was having a panic attack that I just couldn't get under control. I don't freak out. I don't cry. I don't go all crazy. I don't want to die. I just feel hopeless and helpless and my mind is sad. I think I get so overwhelmed at the unknown. I am a planner and I make decisions and control my decisions and I'm in charge of my life. Being pregnant, you lose the control. You can't control what is happening to your body. You can't control whether or not you will have a healthy baby. You can't control the outcome. You can't control anything and I think this sends me into a panic.

One crazy night in December, I guess we were feeling randy and spicy.....I guess. We were careless, or maybe carefree or just not thinking or using good judgement. I'm not too sure. We couldn't blame it on alcohol because I know we were sober. I won't get into every detail as this is not an excerpt from 50 Shades of Grey but we did it! No whips, no chains, no red room, no kinky lingerie, no music, no candles, no back massage, no sweet talking....man, I think it might be time to spice things up a bit. :)
Anyways, after the joyous minute of loving, I was calculating in my head when I would be ovulating, just to make sure that we wouldn't be having a baby in nine months. Hmmm.....
I said to James that I think I was on day 17 and that would be the start of ovulation. He said that we would be fine and not to worry. I think he was in denial.
Towards the end of December, I was crampy and actually felt the implantation stage when it was happening one night. I thought I was just having cramps.
The next day, I took the test and it was positive.
I peed on the stick and immediately I saw two lines.
I walked into the kitchen and said "HOLY SHIT!"
James looked at the stick and said "HOLY SHIT!"
Ok, I'll get my 600 hours in at work, at that time I was working once a week at Rowan House, a shelter for abused women and children. (I will go back to teaching when the girls are in school). I would then go on maternity leave again and it'll all be ok. I've done this pregnancy thing once before so I know what to expect. Maybe it'll be a good thing that Brinley has a sibling.
I stopped working at Rowan House because I was sick for months. I felt awful. I am not feeling sorry for myself, just stating that I felt like crap. I kept telling myself that this was supposed to happen. We got pregnant not long after the whole Newtown, Connecticut shootings occurred and baby was due on my Nanny's birthday. It was all good. It was meant to be.

Jump a couple of months.....while waiting for the Trisomy 21 results, I went into a panic one night in the middle of the night. Here we go again. I called my sister, she tried to calm me down, I called Health Link and spoke with a nurse and she tried to calm me down. I decided to go in to emergency and talk to somebody. Again, I had no control over the results and no control over the health of this baby. It was a long night. Again, I am calm and collected because I know that when I am in a state of panic, I know that everything is ok and that I am safe. It's difficult to explain.

My point....things happen for a reason. We conceived Adele for a reason. We were chosen for a reason. I want my girls to wake up Christmas morning and run down the stairs together, excited to see what Santa left them. I want them to hide their teeth under their pillows and share in the excitement the following day after the tooth fairy leaves a small amount of money under their pillow. I want them to walk home together from school and talk about their day. I want them to argue and make up. I want them to love each other and be there for each other, always. I want them to be the best they can be and learn from each other. I want them to respect each other and teach others about respect. I want them to make a positive difference in this world.

I have received many messages from old and new friends telling me that they admire my strength and courage. I am not always strong. I am not always courageous. I am not always smiling. I am not always a good wife. I am not always the best person that I can be. I don't always say the right things. I don't always have patience. I don't always feel good about myself. I don't always feel confident in my abilities as a mother. I struggle too. I've cried and wondered if I have the ability to raise a child with special needs. It's tough.

All I know right now is that when I see these two girls look at each other, I have never seen a love that is so strong. They make eye contact and hold it and I feel that they are telling each other that they will always be there for each other. They have a special bond.

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.
~ Isadora James.

**You may have noticed the Top Mommy Blog badge on my page. Feel free to click on it. One click counts as one vote. You can vote once every 24 hours. Just a click! :)

 If you want to rank my blog or leave a comment.....I am in the Special Needs section....I am number 20, I need to get to number 1! I am not doing this for my ego, I am doing this because this journey is important to me, it is important to share and to hopefully educate, entertain and show others that it can be done. I've said for a while now that these two girls, with the help of family and friends, will change the world! :)

4 October 2013


Day 4 of the 31 for 21 Challenge

Today's blog is all about how beautiful Down syndrome is and the bond and love that two sisters have for each other. <3

**You may have noticed the Top Mommy Blog badge on my page. Feel free to click on it. One click counts as one vote. You can vote once every 24 hours. Just a click! :)

 If you want to rank my blog or leave a comment.....I am in the Special Needs section....I am number 20, I need to get to number 1! I am not doing this for my ego, I am doing this because this journey is important to me, it is important to share and to hopefully educate, entertain and show others that it can be done. I've said for a while now that these two girls, with the help of family and friends, will change the world! :)



3 October 2013


Day 3 of 31 for 21 Challenge.....
Another hospital picture....Adele loves her sister!
Since I started the blog, I have met so many amazing people. Allison is one of my new friends from Florida. She is beautiful inside and out and one of the sweetest ladies I know. Things happen for a reason. People come into your life for a reason. I am so thankful that that Allison has come into my life! I keep telling her to start writing a blog! She would be awesome! She sent me this email and I decided to use it as my blog today......
PJ top...fancy shoes and no pants!
I think of you and Adele often.  I was sooo sad and heart broken to hear about your friend who lost her precious daughter.  I cried and cried when I read your post.  I cannot imagine losing my Maxwell.  He was a surprise and yes we struggled with it (and somedays still struggle) but I wouldn't change him for the world, I love him with my entire soul, so much so that it hurts at times!  My heart goes out to her and her entire family... she has been in my prayers.  I also pray for Miss beautiful Adele that she EATS!! and gets off that oxygen and grows stronger and stronger everyday!  Max wasn't and still isnt the best eater when it comes to taking his bottle, although he is a breastfed baby he only takes it with the bottle because he didnt latch well and his suck wasnt strong enough.  So I feel your pain.  Even to this day there are times when getting him to take his bottle is painful.  He still only takes about 4 ounces but sometimes he will only take 2 ounces.  I am like Max.. seriouisly you are almost 6 months old... it is time to start chugging these bottles.  Not sure if that will ever happen.
I also saw that you are going to get her 2 month shots... good luck.  (since Adele is your second maybe you have gotten used to it) I cried awful when he had to get his shots.  Poor thing. I wanted to ask you why you guys decided to get the RSV shots.  We went over it with our pediatrician, cadiololgist and Max's pulmonologist but bc his holes are closing they didnt think it was necessary.  Does Adele have a hole?  I think you said something about an ASD.  Max had an ASD and PDA at birth... but it seems like they have closed up.  We get confirmation in December.  Our Cardiologist is amazing and has had many babies with Down syndrome and felt that we didnt have to go for the shots.  That made me happy but also scared bc I know he is at risk for RSV and he can be a definite hospital trip if he got it.  My nephew got RSV and it was scary for him and he is typical.  The shots in the States are not covered by most insurances and cost $1,200 PER SHOT!  I was crazy but we were going to get it done if he needed it.
Brinley's baby that she feeds and burps!
I was sad to hear about your trip to town that was devastated by the flood.  We've been through two hurricanes and although they were CAT 2 the devastation was awful.  I can't imagine what it must feel like for you. 
I have to tell you... You are one of the STRONGEST people I know.  You always sound so uplifted and positive.  It is amazing and you are an inspiration.  I had a meltdown the other day because I was meeting new moms that have babies and children with Ds.  I met one mom that has a little girl that is 3 1/2 and she just started walking... I looked at her and wondered if Max would have some of her characteristics when he got older... and I had a total meltdown.  Thankfully my mom was with me.  I just kept saying... it is so hard to come to the realization that for the rest of his life he will be seen as different and have obstacles thrown his way.  I want to take it all away.  I want to make it all better for him.  I know I cannot and I know this is his path, we well as ours and all I can do is love that baby boy with every fiber of my being (which I do of course) and tell him and make sure he always knows how loved and supported he will forever and always be.  Then I also have to be so thankful that I get to hold my baby boy every day and rock him to bed every night and that was taken from your friend. 
Loves hats and shoes!
I hope we someday get to meet my dear friend... I really hope we always stay in touch.  I think I am going to start some ground work on my blog this weekend.  Thanks to you.  I keep meaning to share your blog of my facebook... but my memory is like a gold fish and I get on facebook while I pump (every 4 hours).  You think I couldremember.  LOL
Kiss your girls for me!  (is that weird or odd that I would love them and kiss them up if I had the chance?)  Tell Adele that she has prayer warriors and that I pray for her and your family.  She gets stronger everyday and I can see that in your pictures. 
Sending our love from down south....
All the best my dear friend... until next time.  Keep smiling and blogging and what an inspiration you are!
**You may have noticed the Top Mommy Blog badge on my page. Feel free to click on it. One click counts as one vote. You can vote once every 24 hours. Just a click! :)


If you want to rank my blog or leave a comment.....I am in the Special Needs section....I am number 20, I need to get to number 1! I am not doing this for my ego, I am doing this because this journey is important to me, it is important to share and to hopefully educate, entertain and show others that it can be done. I've said for a while now that these two girls, with the help of family and friends, will change the world! :)



2 October 2013


Day 2 of the 31 for 21 Challenge...... 

So precious <3

Well, we are getting to know Adele more and more each day and how she works. She has a cranky period that starts at around 8:00pm and goes until 10:00pm or sometimes later. She needs to be held and loved. She would sleep through the whole night if we let her and it's tempting but we wake her up....well, we try to wake her up. She is such a sleepy little girl which has turned into another setback lately. Her feedings have been painful. Very painful. I would gladly take suggestions but my guess is, we have tried it! If we feed her when she's super sleepy, more then likely, it's coming right back up. Trying to rinse formula out of a burp cloth is also painful, it's gross and sticky and stinky. I understand that it's not about me, but burp cloth laundry has increased dramatically.
We have an appointment this Friday with the pediatrician, I sure hope that her weight gain has been steady. She was 8 pounds 8 ounces at the PLC, which is up 3 pounds 4 ounces since birth. I think that's pretty good. I hope it's good enough. I seriously don't want to go back to the NG tube. I would be upset.
She also has her shots tomorrow evening. I know that at 2 months, it's 3 shots. It stresses me out but I need to get used to it as she will be getting RSV shots every month.

Always need to be close :)

I have to be honest though, I think that we have been lucky with her when it comes to her health. So many babies with Ds have cardiac issues as well as digestive problems. I am thankful that right now, her heart is doing great. :) Fingers crossed.

I've been looking into music therapy for Adele and for Brinley. I truly believe that it aides with brain development, speech, anxiety and memory. I am looking forward to hearing back from the places that I have contacted. I would love to have somebody come to the home and spend some time on a regular basis with the girls.

When do we start speech? Occupational therapy and physical therapy? I was thinking that this should be starting soon. Thought I'd ask friends first then contact the Developmental Centre.

High River

I haven't driven around too many areas in High River since the flood, but yesterday I was downtown and checked out some of the stores. Everything was closed. Some businesses are re-building and some just don't have the energy or the money to start up again. I also heard that 32 homes in one of the communities, will all be knocked down. Those homes were deemed inhabitable since the flood. They are filled with memories and keepsakes. I couldn't imagine not having the opportunity to go back into my home to retrieve my belongings. How do you cope? How do you start over? There is a small community that has been set up just south of High River for those who have been displaced. This is home. It's a bunch of portable type trailers all set up in a row, filled with families. Makes me sad every time I drive by. It's not home.
I guess they get to live there rent free for 90 days then they need to start paying. I think that it's reasonable as long as the rent isn't too much. Must be so tough on them right now.
I'm wondering if there will be an increase in anxiety and depression throughout High River? I truly hope that services will be set up to assist those in need. This is something that will resonate with many for a lifetime.
Adele, Brinley and myself, were given quilts as a gift from local quilters and quilters in Ponoka. It was so kind and generous and heartwarming. One of the families receiving quilts lost their daughter in the flood. She was trying to save somebody and in turn lost her own life. Made me sad. There was no water then seconds later, cars and homes were washed away.
I know that I've talked about the flood quite a bit, but I need to. One of my friends drove through High River recently and she told me that it upset her so much that she had to leave and go home. Homes are crumbling to the ground, there is mud and dust everywhere, businesses are closed, some are set up in trailers throughout the community. It's quiet and eerie sometimes. It's sad.
I know that we will re-build and in a few years, things will be back to normal, but right now, it's difficult for so many. I pray for the elderly and I pray for those who are not being covered by insurance. It's so confusing that we all pay insurance every month, then a disaster happens and they don't help, they run away with your money and refuse your claim. I sure hope that those companies end up without any clients. Shame on you!

You can't wake me up!!

I think I forgot to mention that our smart little peanut rolled over at one month and three weeks. She went from her belly to her back. I was floored. We were so excited. Just another milestone accomplished. It's funny because some people see Ds as a disability, but right now, I see it as the complete opposite. I know that I will get frustrated when some milestones are met later then a child without Ds, but for now, I get excited at the smallest steps. We do this with Brinley too. We celebrate any milestones. I still think it's crazy that one small, tiny, little sperm, swimmer, tadpole thing, swims and finds one egg and calls it home, then nine months later, you have this being, a real live human, with 10 fingers and 10 toes and ears and a nose! :) It's crazy!

Time to go play with a toddler and hopefully feed a baby.
Have a wonderful Wednesday...is it Wednesday? I think it's Wednesday. :)

A couple pictures from our photo shoot :)
Modern Nest Photography


**You may have noticed the Top Mommy Blog badge on my page. Feel free to click on it. One click counts as one vote. You can vote once every 24 hours. Just a click! :)

If you want to rank my blog or leave a comment.....I am in the Special Needs section....I am number 20, I need to get to number 1! I am not doing this for my ego, I am doing this because this journey is important to me, it is important to share and to hopefully educate, entertain and show others that it can be done. I've said for a while now that these two girls, with the help of family and friends, will change the world! :)

1 October 2013

31 for 21 Challenge! :)

31 for 21 Challenge

Are you ready?

By now I think most people know all about the challenge, what "31 for 21" stands for, what the challenge is, what to do etc.

For the new bloggers & readers out there here is a quick summary:

- Trisomy 21 is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome (ie Down syndrome).
- October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
- There are 31 days is October
- Blog every day in Oct (31) to raise awareness of Down syndrome (T21)
- So ... 31 for 21 Blog Challenge

 A couple of guidelines:
- You don't have to blog about Down syndrome every day; just blog every day about whatever you want
- You should mention, at least once, that you are participating in "31 for 21"
- You don't have to be a parent, or grandparent, of someone with Down syndrome to participate
- Grab the button and post somewhere on your blog or in a blog post
- Sign Mr Linky so other bloggers can see all the participants
- Meet new bloggers (there were about 170 last year!)
- If you tweet, use #31for21

Go over to Big Blueberry Eyes and sign up!!