Saturday, October 31, 2009

Strawberries and Bananas

Today is the last day of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. It is also Halloween. I have decided that pictures of Anna in her costume are the best way to celebrate both events!

This year, Anna is a Strawberry. I like to call her "Strawberries and Bananas" =)

She is none too happy about the hat on her head (going to be a long winter), but I managed a few pics. =)

The baby doll helped occupy her hands to keep the hat on.

Ha! Ha! Mommy! I got it off!!

Will post some more pictures from Trick-or-Treating later!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Costume Parades!

'Tis the season for costumes and candy!

At Paige's school yesterday, they didn't wear their costumes. Instead, they pretended to be different types of animals. They each chose an animal plate (Zooplates), and then they were to wear clothes that matched the color of the animal they chose. Paige chose a bird. The plate was blue and yellow, but we didn't really have anything to match. So, me being cheap, convinced Paige that she was a colorful parrot or macaw, and that she needed to wear a read shirt.

Here are a few pics and a quick video of the day.

Today at Charlie's school, they had a big costume parade. We had the option of picking our kids up and taking them home for lunch. After lunch, we change them into their costumes and send them back to school. Once everyone was back to school and in their costumes, they all paraded around the parking lot.

And, here are a few pics and quick video from Charlie's parade. (BTW, Charlie is Batman)

Paige also insisted on wearing her costume (Cinderella) to the parade. She had fun hanging out with her friend Ryan and laughing at all the costumes.

Looking forward to Trick-or-Treating tomorrow!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More School Picture Results!

Isn't she a doll?! =)
Sooooo glad that we purchased school pictures for both her and Charlie!
And, how cute is her class?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Doggie Book

Anna loves her doggie book.

She loves to pat it gently.

Notice the nice use of her pointer finger to show me the doggie's nose.

Anna thinks peek-a-boo with the doggie book is the most fun!

And when she is all done, she looks around for Maggie =)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Last Friday we had parent-teacher conferences for both Charlie and Paige.

Here is a brief recap of the highlights of each conference:

We weren't quite sure what we should expect to hear from Paige's teacher. We were concerned that she was going to tell that Paige is loud and talks all the time (at least, that is how she is at home.) We were quite pleased when Mrs. C told us that she is "little ray of sunshine", and "always eager to please and help out". She also said that Paige listens well and follows instructions, and that she plays nicely with the other children. In fact, Mrs. C said she is almost motherly toward the other children and always making sure they are okay. (BTW, this is not a trait she gets from me...I am a mother, not motherly).

We did giggle a bit when Mrs. C told us that "Paige sometimes gets a little excited and just needs a gentle reminder to settle down". I thought it was a very nice way to say that Paige can get loud sometimes =) But, she said that she did listen to the correction and settled down when asked.

All in all a great report! We were very pleased to hear that she is behaving as expected and is right on track for a 3.5 year old.

Just like Paige, Charlie got a glowing report from his teacher. (We expected nothing less after being named Student of the Month). Mrs. T said that Charlie is very cooperative and gets along well with the other kids in the class. She said that he listens well to stories and is able to answer questions about them later on. And she said that Charlie always has interesting show-and-tells, meaning that he likes to get up in front of the class and has a lot to say about whatever object he brought to class. (And this trait is not from me, either...when I was in Kindergarten, my mom and teacher had to have a talk with me about speaking up in class. My teacher would ask me a direct question, to which I knew the answer, and I would just bury my head-- I have come so far!)

Mrs. T also went over the Kindergarten assesment reports (report cards), and how and what they would be assessing the children on. We were thrilled to see that Charlie is doing quite well with his "academics".

I think our favorite comment from Mrs. T, however, was, "Charlie eats very slowly". She said that she even tries to give him a little headstart during snack time, and he is still one of the last ones done eating. Well, if that is the worse thing she has to say about Charlie, I will take it!

Needless to say, we are beaming with sinful pride that our children are doing so well in school. I pray that they continue to enjoy school and learning...they are there for then next 12-16 years!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Buddy Walk 2009!!

Last Saturday was the Buddy Walk for the Down Syndrome Group of Northwest New Jersey!

It was an awesome day, depsite the weather. There was rain off and on all day, but it was warm. And, just like last year, God gifted us with a nice window of no rain so we could get the walk in.
Even with the yucky weather, the turn-out for the walk was great! Our team, Anna's Banana Pants, had 39 walkers and raised over $2500!!! That is 39 walkers who showed up to walk...that does not include the 5 or 6 that were unable to make it due to illness or other reasons. Each time I turned around, there was another family that was walking with our team coming in the doors. I couldn't help but feel God's love each time I saw a new familiar face! We had family, and family friends, and neighbors, and friends from church, and teachers...all coming out in the nasty rain to show their love and support for Anna.

After the walk, everyone was invited back our casa for some grub. We made sure everyone was fed plenty, as the walk was long and probably took a lot out of them =).

It was a great day! It was a day that was definitely blessed by God. It was a day where, despite being dog-tired and my head about to explode from sinus congestion, I went to sleep smiling and praising the Lord for His many blessings.

Thank you to everyone who walked and/or donated to the Buddy Walk. Your continued support means so much to us!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Student of the Month!

I couldn't be more proud =)

Charlie brought home a certificate today for being named Student of the Month. The certificate was awarded for being a Good Listener.

When interviewed about his award, Charlie had this to say:

Me: Charlie, that is great! You got an award at school?
Charlie: Yep.
Me: It says here that you are a Good Listener
Charlie: Yep.
Me: I am glad to hear that you are behaving and listening to your teachers.
Charlie: Yep.
Me: Do you think you should start being a better listener here at home?
Charlie: Yep.
Me: We are having Chocolate Cake and Ice-cream for dinner.
Charlie: Yep. - Hey! What did you say?

Uh-huh. That's what I thought. =)

Congratulations Charlie!! Keep It Up!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Starring (in order of appearance): Anna, Jonathan, Charlie, Lori and Paige

18-Month Check-Up: Healthy!

Healthy! That is the report from the doctor! =)

Today I took Anna in for her 18-month check-up and shots. She is growing and is in all-round good health. Praise the Lord!

At her appointment Anna weighed in at 21 lb 6 oz which is in the 85th percentile on the special Down syndrome growth charts, and between the 5th and 10th percentile on the typical growth charts. Not much of a weight gain since her 15-month, or even her 12-month check-up, but she is still trending upward.

Anna has grown significantly taller, though. Her length today was 31.75 inches. This off the Down syndrome growth charts and in the 50th percentile on the typical growth charts.

Her head, though tiny, continues to grow as well. Up to 17.385 inches, up from 17.25 at our last appointment.

After a thorough examination of eyes, ears, throat, lungs, heart, belly and all other parts, the doctor pronounced her "Healthy!" We are not due back until Anna turns 2. And I pray that we have no need to see them again before then! =)

I especially pray that we do not have to see them for the H1N1 flu. I asked about the H1N1 vaccine. The doctor's comments to me were this: "The H1N1 poses no more threat than the normal flu to individuals in good health. Anna is in good health, and does not have asthma, or any other ongoing respiratory conditions, that would make me really concerned. But, Anna does have Down syndrome(read: low tone), a history of respiratory complications, and a small heart issue, that make the vaccine worth considering, if only for peace of mind. I, personally, would like to see a little more data on the vaccine. I am not getting the H1N1 vaccine for my son (20 mos) because he is in good health, but we did do the regular flu vaccine. If Anna does get the flu, however, we want to see her right away because we will want to monitor her a little more closely in case there are signs of complications or distress."

Well, that was helpful -- NOT! =) But, there is no decision to make today because they don't even have the vaccine to give if I decided to go with it. So for now, we are sitting tight.

And here is a picture of our beautiful, healthy, little girl...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

School Pictures: The Results

You may recall the "Great School Picture Debate". Well, here are the results!

Isn't he a handsome little devil?! =)

So worth every penny! =)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hug Your Baby!

Anna loves her baby!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apparently, I've Been Tagged =)

I never did chain letters as a kid, and I don't forward emails now (unless they are wet-my-pants funny, or you-might-die important) - but I will play along =)

The lovely Stephanie (Daily Smiles), mother of the uber-cute Emilia, tagged me in one of her recent posts. I am supposed to write about how we came up with our children's names, and then tag others out in blogland to hear their stories.

So, here goes...
When choosing names, Jonathan and I both agreed that we wanted fairly traditional names - or at least ones that didn't make people go, huh? We also both agreed that we wanted to use traditional spellings. Also, we wanted names that were cute as children, but could also "grow up" with them and be respectable names as adults out in the workforce.

Charles (Charlie) Jonathan - If it was a boy, then we knew the middle name would be Jonathan (my husband's first name). We actually came up with Charlie fairly easily and quickly. We were sitting around tossing out potential names when someone (not sure who) said Charlie. Jonathan and I both agreed that we really liked that name.

If Charlie had been a girl, his name would have been Elizabeth, and we planned to call her Ellie. But, as I was in the hospital laboring, one of the nurses' name was Ellie. We mentioned to her that we planned to name our baby Ellie if she was a girl... She said nothing: Not a smile, Not a 'I Love my Name'...Nothing! So glad that Charlie was boy!!

Paige Elizabeth - Again, we didn't find out the sex, so we had to come up with both a girl and a boy name. We had a really hard time. I knew that if was a girl, I wanted the middle name to be Elizabeth (my mom's first name - even though she goes by her middle name). Was going to do Elizabeth (Ellie) for a first name again, but we moved into an area where there are several Elizabeths, Beths, Lizzies, etc. Plus, we now had a niece named Eliza.

We actually had a baby naming contest among Jonathan's family. Everyone submitted a first and middle name for both a boy and girl, and, if we used any of the names, they won a prize. Jonathan's older sister submitted Natalie Paige as her girl name.

The boy, btw was going to be Theordore James. I loved it, and couldn't wait for a little 'Teddy' to be running around, but it was not warmly received by others. Again...Good thing Paige was girl!!

Anna Kathleen - Once again, didn't know the sex, so we were trying to come up with both a boy and girl name. I was certain that Anna was a girl, so I was not even thinking about boy names. I was reading the Christmas story in the Bible and continued on to the part where they bring Jesus to the Temple on the eighth day. Most people stop at the part where they meet Simeon, but if you keep reading, they also meet a woman named Anna. For whatever reason, that name stuck with me. Also, Anne is my sister's middle name, so it seemed appropriate.

So, I was certain our baby would be a girl and we would name her Anna. In fact, I was not even entertaining other girl names, even though I pretended to so my husband would feel like he had a say =). We still needed a middle name. We tossed around several options before someone suggested Kathleen. That someone was Kathleen, Jonathan's younger sister. I loved it!

I am not sure we even had a boy name when we went to the hospital. It's a good thing Anna was a girl!!

And that is our story. =) Now it is your turn! If you see your name below, play along (hey - I did and it wasn't so bad). If you have already been tagged, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

Denise - Sweet Ella Grace
Kim - Blessed with Girls
Jenee - Kaitlyn's Corner
Ria - Bill and Ria Sharing Experiences about life, parenting and Down syndrome
Ch - Little LC Boom Boom

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Soccer - 1 and 1!

Saturday Soccer was once again a lot of fun...for the kids and the parents! =)

I get so much enjoyment out of watching the kids, all of them - not just mine, having fun and running around and kicking the ball. A few of the kids are really good. Others - not so much. But, they all have fun, and that is what counts.

Charlie scored two goals today -- 1 for his team, and 1 for the other team. =) It didn't matter -he celebrated them both with excitement. And so did we!

The Pumpkin Patch - 2009

Today we made our annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch. It was a beautiful Fall day, and a good time was had by all!
Enjoy the pics!