Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Et tu Mater?

Mater has joined Brutus in the ocean.

It actually happened over a week ago, but I forgot about it until Anna's therapist (who missed last week) noticed that our fish was gone and inquired about.

It's official...we are fish killers. We are not sure what happened to Mater. He seemed so healthy and lively, especially compared to Brutus. But, one afternoon, Jonathan noticed he wasn't moving and flushed him to the ocean. The kids and I were at a birthday party, so there was no farewell ceremony this time - just a quick explanation as to what happened, a few "so sads", and life returned to normal.

I think we will be taking a break from fish for a little while...I think.

The Pooh Sleeps Alone...

This is where Pooh Bear is sleeping tonight, and quite possibly the next couple of nights.

Pooh Bear is Charlie's Best Bud. And, it breaks my heart to have to separate them for the night.

But, alas, some sort of disciplinary action was/is called for. I won't go into the details, but Charlie has had a rough couple of days. And, I am fairly certain that there will be more discipline, in the form of missing soccer or Pioneer club, handed down. Yep - that bad. =(

He was so sweet tonight, though, when he prayed for forgiveness, and then he ask Jesus to keep Pooh Bear warm tonight. Seriously, I almost gave him Pooh back right then. I love that little man!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gifts 2: How People with Down Syndrome Enrich the World

It's on my Christmas list!

Shortly after Anna was born, my sister-in-law gave me a copy of Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children With Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives . I don't know if I ever thanked her, but I should have many times over. It is such a book of inspiration and hope...especially for a mother (or father) who is struggling with the diagnosis of Down syndrome in her new baby. It was such a relief to read real-life stories about children with Ds, as opposed the scare-you-to-death clinical type reference books. I cried my way through most stories, and laughed through the rest. But, in each story, I could feel the love that these mothers had for their chromosomally enhanced children. And, with each story, I could feel the hope for Anna's future and ours.

Now they have come out with Gifts 2: How People with Down Syndrome Enrich the World. I am sooooo looking forward to reading it and rejoicing(and laughing, and crying) with each story. As an added bonus for me, I feel like I have come to know some of the contributors through the blogging and online world.

If you haven't read either of the Gifts books...pick one up today and be inspired!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

4 Scores!!

Charlie had a great time at soccer today! And we had a loads of fun watching him =)

Today during the scrimmage, Charlie had his friend Payton on his team. Payton is a little neighbor girl who was in Charlie's pre-school class. She has a little sister who is in Paige's class. We, therefore, see them all the time at school drop-off and pick-up.

Anyway -- Payton is a gamer! And together, Payton and Charlie made a pretty good team (not to mention that they are the two cutest kids out there!) Payton scored three goals and Charlie scored 1 (but missed 3 others by less than a foot). Charlie, however, wisely tells everyone that he and Payton scored 4 goals - leaving everyone to assume that they scored 2 each (smart kid!)

And yes, I know it does not matter how many goals your kid scores. We emphasize it's about having fun and playing nicely with the other kids. We, and he, would have had just as much fun if no goals were scored. But it sure is a lot more fun when you do well. We just hope that Payton is on our team next week also! =)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hump Day Happiness

Trying out pig tails...very cute, but a pain to get Anna to sit still while I put them in!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kindergarten Soccer: Quality Entertainment!

Today was Charlie's first day of soccer!

In our town, for Kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders they do a 10-week clinic as opposed to a league. They spend the first half hour teaching fundamental skills such as dribbling, stopping, etc. Then the last half hour they divide up into teams and play a scrimmage.

Anyone who has seen little kids' soccer knows what I am talking about when I say that the scrimmage is some good, quality, comedic entertainment!
All the kids run after the ball and just kick it with no regard to which direction their goal is or where the out of bounds line is. Two kids on the same team were fighting over the ball, and both of them were trying to score a goal in the wrong goal. Two little girls plopped down in the middle of the field and were picking grass. Another little girl ran off the field crying because she wasn't getting a turn. One dad thought his 5-year old was David Beckham (poor kid)....Yep! Comedy at its best!

Anyway, Charlie had fun - and that is really what it is all about at this age. Learn the basics, and have fun!

Paige and Anna were great cheerleaders! Paige practiced her skills on the sidelines while Charlie played.

Anna enjoyed the game so much that she completely wiped herself out. On the way home she crashed in the stroller -- check her out!

I am definitely looking forward to next week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Look

I have been receiving a few complaints from a couple of frequent Banana Pants readers (husband and inlaws --- gotta' keep that group happy!) that they are unable to read my blog on their phones due to the color of the text. The brown background did not show up on their phones and therefore the yellow text on white background was hard to read.

So......I decided to try a new look. I like the old one better, but will give this a go for awhile.

What do you think?

MOPS Today

Today was our first MOPS meeting of the year. We were excited to kick-off a new year as we have lots of great things planned.

Last year I had the honor of sharing my testimony with our MOPS group. It was touching today when I had at least 3 ladies come up to me and say how much they still think about what I said and how it has affected them.

Anyway, if you are a mother of pre-schooler, I encourage you to check out your local MOPS group - if for nothing else than the opportunity for a hot breakfast once a month =)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And a Quick Brag!

On Sunday morning when we went to get Anna up, we found her sitting up in her crib! Not sure how she got into that position, but it doesn't really matter.

She has been sitting on her side for a couple of weeks now, and is just one good push from sitting up, but she has never sat up on her own. Now that she has done it once, hopefully we will see her do it again, and then again...

As you can imagine, we were very excited! =)

School Picture Update...

For those who are wondering...

Charlie's school pictures are today, and we purchased package F plus 2-5x7's. Jonathan thinks I could have done without the extra 5x7's, but I wanted one for my frame (pkg. F did not include any 5x7's). Thank you to everyone who lobbied on my behalf!

Anyway - he looked handsome when I dropped him for school this morning. Let's hope he smiles pretty! =)

Oh - and Paige has school picture next week!

A Few Funnies

I love my kids! They are adorable and they make me laugh.

Yesterday, Jonathan was eating some hummus with roasted garlic. Charlie asked Jonathan what the garlic was and if he could try some. So, he gave Charlie a bite, and Charlie declared, with a big smile, that he liked garlic. Then Jonathan told Charlie that garlic is good for his heart. Charlie smiled and said, "Yeah, Jesus likes garlic!" Ahhh....the reasoning of a 5-yr. old..."Jesus lives in my heart. I like garlic and it is good for my heart. So Jesus must like garlic!" Not sure if that is doctrinally sound, but it sure is cute!

And here is a cute video of Anna playing peek-a-boo with Daddy at the park. Please do not be offended by the disgrace shown toward the Red Sox hat at the end of the video =)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Recap: Therapy, Ophthamologist, Kindergarten, Pre-school, New Venture

Now that school is back in session, life is a little bit busier and more settled at the same time. Routine is nice sometimes.

It was a busy week around here...lots going on. Here is a quick recap.

Therapy: Doing Well!
Anna did really well in therapy this week. She usually fusses the entire time during PT, but this week, she fussed little and actually seemed to put some effort into what her therapist was trying to get her to do. She is slowly bearing more weight on her legs each day.

During her session with Ms. Cynthia, Anna was a complete ham! She really had us cracking up with her little expressions. She is also starting to understand a lot more of what we are saying to her, and trying to do more imitating.

And she is finally starting to sign "More" to us!! Ok, it looks more like she is clapping than signing "more", but she definitely uses it when she is supposed to. She asked her daddy for more drink today. And yesterday she kept asking me for more playing. I will have to get some video soon!

Ophthamologist: Left eye - all clear, Right eye - not so much
I took Anna in to the ophthamologist yesterday to have her tear ducts looked at again. The left eye is clear, but the right eye still has some blockage. Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed that her eye is getting worse - more gunk in the mornings and tearing a lot more. The doc. prescribed some more drops and give it two more weeks to see if it clears up any. If not, then we may have to repeat the tear duct probing procedure. (booo)

Also had the doc. check Anna's left eye in detail. I showed him the picture of Anna with one white eye and one red, and he agreed that he should dialate them and do a thorough exam on them. Good news - he did not find anything!

Kindergarten: Still loves it!
Charlie is still really enjoying Kindergarten, though I am not sure he quite yet understands that he has to go to school everyday. Ahhhh - a sad reality that he is growing up =) Here is a pic. of his project from the first week. (I know - I can't believe that Kindergarteners have homework, either!)

Pre-school: Great First Day!
Paige had a great first day of pre-school! She can't stop talking about it. In fact, I learned more from Paige about what goes on at pre-school in the 5-minute car ride home than I did in 2-years from Charlie! =)

New Venture: Somebody thinks I'm Smart! =)
And, I hope I don't prove them wrong.

I have taken on the project of tutoring a couple of high school students and prepping them for the SAT and PSAT. I haven't done tutoring in awhile, so I am a little rusty, but hopefully it should come back to me. Solving some of those math problems (a definite strong suit of mine in school) is a little difficult if you are out of practice. =)

Since becoming a full-time Stay-at-home mom, I often feel like people (not other SAHMs - people who have actual jobs where they get paid $) treat me like I am a complete idiot. Sometimes, it's as if I never graduated high school (let alone at the top of my class), or got a college degree or held a job. It is nice to have some validation again.

And that is about it! We were supposed to start soccer today, but rain has changed those plans. I think we are, instead, heading to the store to look for a mitre saw for our upcoming home improvement project (more on that later). Should be fun! =)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Day of Pre-School!

There was not an ounce of hesitation as she walked into her classroom. In fact, I don't think she even looked back.

Paige has been so excited about going to school ever since she was old enough to say "Me school too." All summer long she was bursting with excitement about going to school. Each time we drove by her school she would proudly point it out and announce that it is no longer Charlie's school -- it is her school.

And her school it is! I pray for Mrs. C. She is going to have her hands full with Paige if she talks even a fraction as much as she does at home =)

I am certain that Paige is going to have fun. She already knows, and is friends with, 4 other little girls in her class. In fact, we had a playdate with 3 of them yesterday so they would have a familiar face in the crowd.

I love my little (big) girl! I am so proud of her!

Here are a few pics from her big day...

Big Brother Charlie offered lots of encouragement.

Mommy and Daddy are so proud of Paige!

First Day Donut!


Friends Already!

Friday, September 4, 2009

School Pictures: It's About the Memories

So yesterday, Charlie came home with a brochure for school pictures. You know the one...choose a package, A, B, C, D, or F, and pray that your kid smiles pretty =)

Anyway, I was looking at the form and Jonathan informed me that we would not be buying school pictures each year for the children. I was dumbfounded. What?! Not buy school pictures? That's unAmerican!

I am not talking about getting the super deluxe package with 2-8x10's, 4-5x7's, 3-4x6's, 24-2x3's, and a class picture. I am not talking about getting the custom background, the retouching, or the name and school year. I am talking about getting the cheapest package that has at least one 5x7 for my frame and a class picture. Maybe a few of the little ones to trade with friends...We used to trade pictures with our friends - do kids still do that?

Either way, I want my children to have their class picture. I want them to have their school picture.

I remember all of my school pictures. I remember the one in first grade when I wore my bluebird earrings. I remember my one from fourth grade - the first with my ginormous bug-eye glasses. I remember my freshman picture, but would rather not.

The point is, school pictures is about memories for me. I want my kids to have great memories from school, and one of the ways to do that is to get school pictures: good, bad, crooked smile, barces, glasses and crazy hair.

Then, Jonathan dropped another bomb on me. He told me that we do not need to purchase a yearbook each year for the kids. "They only need a yearbook from their Senior Year of High School", says he. 'Wrong-o!' says me!

I could not believe my ears! I love my school yearbooks! (and Jonathan knows this...he gets made at me each time we clean out the storage and come across my memory box...I get lost for hours) I love each year that I have! I don't have one from 1st-3rd grade because my school must not have offered them, and I wish I did. I love looking at them and remembering the kids I went to school with. I like reading what the other kids wrote in them. I think it is fun to laugh at the way our teachers looked.

I know we take tons of pictures with our own camera. And, we just had super awesome pictures taken by Carissa, but it is not the same. Those are not the same as the cheesy, sometimes scary, often funny, school pictures. And they are certainly not the same as the yearbook!

So, Picture Day is September 15. Will there be memories made, or forgotten? I will let you know =)

Out with the old...In with the new

Brutus is a thing of the past...Meet Mater! (That's Ma-ter....Like tamater, without the 'ta'. )

He is a beautiful red betta fish. We hope he is a little more healthy than Brutus. But, if he isn't, then $3.99 is not too much to replace him.


Warning: This post could get a little emotional, so do not read if you do not have tissues nearby!

I woke up crying in the middle of the night last night. I was emotional about a little girl I never knew, and never will know. What little I knew about her, I read on her blog, Brianna Gives Hope.

Brianna had Edwards syndrome, or Trisomy 18. Unlike Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), T18 is most always fatal. The majority of T18 babies die before they are even born, and those that do miraculously live through childbirth usually only live a couple of days or weeks.

Brianna was a miracle beyond miracles. She lived to be almost 2.5 yrs!

I came across Brianna's blog back in March and have been following her story. Her parents are such great testimonies to God - giving Him all the glory. It broke my heart last night when I read that Brianna now has her angel wings.

We are blessed that Anna is healthy. She has an extra chromosome, but she is healthy - Praise the Lord! But, there are so many other children out there who are fighting the good fight. Some will prevail, but too many of them will not. I follow the stories of other bloggers (who I don't know, but feel like I do after following their stories) such as Jaxson and Zoey and Ashlyn. I pray for them, and I pray for their families. Sometimes it seems so unfair.

But, like Brianna, they give Hope. Hope that a cure will be found for whatever disease they are fighting. Hope that miracles do happen. Hope that others, outside of the T21 (and T18) will see the joy that a child with Down syndrome can bring to a family, and how precious, and valuable, and wanted their life is. Hope that, when all is said and done, there will be no more pain, and all tears will be wiped away by Jesus, our Savior.

After reading about Brianna last night, I couldn't help but run in and hug and kiss my sleeping babies, typical and chromosomally enhanced, and thank God for the precious gifts he has given to us. I pray that they remain healthy...but if they do not, I have Hope, and part of that hope came from Brianna.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Big Day!

Welcome to the Class of 2022!

Today is Charlie's first day of Kindergarten!! He has been looking forward to this day all summer. He jumped out of bed this morning and couldn't get dressed fast enough. He was all smiles all morning, and he more than willingly walked into school with his class. He did look back, though -- so I felt somewhat validated. =)

I think the first day of Kindergarten is the most bittersweet day for a mom. We are so excited to see our children growing and learning and spreading their wings. At the same time we are heart-broken that our babies are growing and becoming more independent.

I can't believe he is going to be gone all day. All day someone else is going to be taking care of him. All day someone else is going to be answering his questions. All day someone else is going to be the major influence on my child. I think my job of teaching right from wrong just got infinitely more difficult now that Charlie is in school.

I am so proud of my little boy. I know he is going to love school!

Here are a few pics from Charlie's first day...

...Can't wait to hear the stories from the first day!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All Drains Lead to the Ocean

Today we bid farewell to Brutus.

He actually lived 3 months longer than we thought he would, as he was not well from the get-go. For the past couple of days he has been just laying on the bottom of the tank. We changed his water a couple of times in hopes of reviving him, but no such luck.

So, today we had a little ceremony for Brutus in the bathroom before we sent him off to 'sleep with the fishes'. We said a few nice words and sent him on his way.

The kids were surprisingly not upset about Brutus passing. Perhaps because they just recently watched Finding Nemo. I am pretty sure they believe that Brutus is happily on his way to the Ocean.

For those of you who never met Brutus - you didn't miss anything. He was a fish.