Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland

We didn't have a white Christmas, but the day after it started to snow about 11 am, and now we are enjoying a Winter Wonderland!!
My Pink Snow Bunny




Hey - This stuff is pretty fun!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ours Was Merry...

Hope yours was too!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Last Ditch Plea...

After screaming her head off the last time she met Santa, Anna decided that she had better "make nice" before it was too late.

We were at the mall today, and not planning to visit with Santa, let alone take pictures. We were just going to wave from the sidelines. But, Anna was jumping out of her seat to go see him, so how could we resist?

Look at the joy on her face!

Too bad Mommy didn't think to comb her hair or dress her in jeans w/o grass stains on them.

Paige was also quite stoked to see the Big Man.  It was fun to see/hear her talking to him with the true belief that only a child can have.

We shall see if their efforts to kiss up to the Big Man has paid off.  I'm sure it has =)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Charlie's Winter Concert 2010

There is nothing cuter or funnier than elementary school concerts.
Here is a quick snippet of Charlie's performance.  He is the handsome boy with the red sweater vest in the middle of the front row. =)


I think the kids did a great job of singing Mele Kalikimaka, but I still think Jonathan's and my performance from a couple of years ago takes the cake =)


Ha! Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Warm Up the Bus!

Anna is just over 2 1/2 yrs. old.  She will turn 3 on Friday, April 15, 2011.

She just started walking about 2 weeks ago. (And she is doing so well with walking now -- pretty much walks 90% of the time vs. crawling. But more on this later).

Anna is tiny. (Ok, she is actually pretty big for her age - and actually huge for a child her age with Down syndrome - but she is still tiny in my eyes.)

Anna doesn't talk. (Yet - we know it is coming...eventually.)

Anna is very much a Mama's girl.  She does not like it when I leave.

So, you can imagine my heart when I was told during our meeting with the local school representative that Anna will take a bus to pre-school starting in April.

I am having a hard time picturing it, and therefore, I am glad that I have 4 months to prepare myself for that day.  Anna has no clue that she is going to be going to school.  I just keep picturing the bus pulling up to our house, me putting her on the bus and waving good-bye.  And I can only imagine what will be going through her mind about where she is going and why Mommy isn't going with her.  Oh, what an adventure it will be!

Actually, though, we are very excited about the program that Anna will be entering. It sounds like they have a great program, and we have heard nothing but good things from other parents' whose children have been through the program.  She will get all her therapies at school in addition to "academics", and socialization and friends. =)

She will go to school 5 days/wk from 8:30-10:30.  Because the pre-school is located in the elementary school on the other side of town, she will take a bus to and from school.

They do have extended school year which runs for about 4 weeks in summer.

Anna will start in April, but not on her birthday.  Her birthday falls on a Friday, and the following week is our spring/Easter break. So, we will start her after that.

This year (Spring 2011), and next year (2011-2012), she, and the other 3-yr. olds will go from 8:30-10:30.  The following year (2012-2013) when she is 4, she will go from 10:30-2:30pm (still busing across town - which really isn't that far).  Then, when she is 5, and hopefully ready for kindergarten, she will be going to the same school as Charlie and Paige (no bus) 8:30-3:00 pm.

We have our next meeting, our "Eligibility Meeting", scheduled for Friday, January 7.  I thought her extra-chromosome made her a shoe-in, but apparently not. She still has to go through all the evaluations.

So, between now and April, I am going to have to some serious prepping for that inevitable day.  I wasn't teary for Charlie or Paige, but I am pretty sure the sight of Anna getting on the bus will just about do me in.

Warm up the bus!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Three Weeks Mashed into One Post

I have been busy (or so that is my excuse), so I am going to try to mash about three weeks worth of posts into one...

First, Anna went for her annual check-up with the Cardiologist just before Thanksgiving.  Basically, her status is "No Change" - which is a good thing.  Anna has a small coronary fistula (coronary artery dips back into one of the chambers), but the Dr. sees no reason the be concerned.  At this point, we monitor once per year and take antibiotics for dental work.  That we can handle!

Anna had a follow-up with her pediatric ophthalmologist today.  Her eye looks good -- or good enough, at least.  There is still a little tearing in the right eye, but nothing like it used to be when we had to use a warm washcloth each morning just to get the eye open from all the gunk.  A vast improvement that we will take!  I am hoping that this silly issue finally behind us

And the fun thing we have going on -- Anna and I just started Kindermusik!  We go on Wednesday mornings.  The girl loves her music, and now that she is vertical, I think she is going to love dancing as well! =)  Look for more posts, and hopefully some pictures,  on this topic. =)

Did I mention we got a new computer?  It has a built in camera, and Anna loves to sit on our laps and watch herself on the computer screen.  Here is a cute little video Anna and her Daddy made one night while the Bigs and I were out.


We were supposed to be going for a fitting for new orthotics this week, but they called us to tell us that our insurance only covers new orthotics once every three years?!  An okay rule for someone over 18... but a 2-yr. old?  They said all we need is a note from our doctor stating that she needs new orthotics because she has outgrown her old ones (ya' think?  She has gone from a size 4 last January to a 7 now).  Just a minor bump in the road, but I was really hoping to get them in under this year's already met deductible.  No such luck.

We have Anna's 6-month IFSP on Thursday...Her final IFSP before she starts pre-school in April.  Also on Thursday we have our first transition planning meeting with our service coordinator and a representative from the local school district.  I am not anticipating any issues, but am nervous, none-the-less.  I can't believe Anna is less than 6 months away from going to pre-school!

And so go the days of our lives...Crazy Wonderful!! =)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

DSG Christmas Party!

Today was the annual Christmas Party for the DSGNWNJ.  We were very excited to attend this fun event, and it is getting more fun each year because we are getting to know more and more people.

Of course, I forced my kids to try to take pictures before the party.  We managed an okay one -- but not too bad when you consider it was well past Anna's naptime.



The party was hoppin' with music and dancing.  But, Anna was queen of the dance floor as she strutted around and showed off her new walking skills!!


Too much dancing...need a drink!

Then...the Big Man came!!  Oh, the excitement!!

Patiently awaiting Santa's arrival

And the terror!!!   Anna was not too thrilled with Santa, but again, it was well, well, past her naptime at this point.

Charlie and Paige, on the other hand, were quite cozy with Santa.  They seem to think they have been good this year...we'll see!



And finally, we tried to get a picture of all the kids with Down syndrome around this lovely, and yummy cake that made and donated by The Cake Boss.  As you can imagine, it was a bit of a fiasco =)  But, we managed to get Anna to sit for a few minutes.

 By then, she was completely wiped out.

Can't wait for next year's party!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kickin' Off the Season in Style!

Wishing everyone a Rockin' Christmas!!


Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

(Link in case you are not able to play video in blogger...http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/s6q6eZSVFZMm6OcZ)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks!!



Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  

Go stuff yourself with some turkey! =)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Standing and Walking!

After Anna's bath this morning, she just couldn't be contained! Look at her go! She is getting so much better at standing and walking. She just kept going and going.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Lori !!!

Hi Blogworld,
This is Jonathan...Lori's husband. I'm guest blogging in celebration of Lori's birthday today.

I could go on and on about how much I love Lori, how beautiful she is, what a great woman, wife, mother, and friend she is...and it would all be true. But I'll save you all from that...and instead I'll share with you a video I made about Lori a few years back. I made this video when Lori went away for the weekend and I really missed her. Hope you enjoy.

Happy Birthday Lori. I love you.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

A BIG Week!

Paige has had a big week.  Scratch that...She has had a HUGE week!

I am always bragging about Anna's milestones (and there are a few more to come as soon as I can catch them on video), but this is Paige's turn in the spotlight.

Paige (4 1/2 yrs.) decided to tackle some major milestones this week, and I have to say that she is doing quite well, and I am quite proud of her =)

First, she decided that she was ready to learn to read.  I thought, "why not?", and broke out the Hooked on Phonics material that we used (with great success) with Charlie.

She has worked very hard, and is starting to get it.  Here is a video of her reading one of her first books.


It won't be long before we are no longer able to talk in "code" (what she calls when we spell words) with Paige around.

Then, Paige decided it was time to ditch the training wheels!  Woohoo!

She was a little nervous and scared at first; she didn't want to fall and get hurt.  But, we encouraged her to keep trying, and in no time she had it down.  Now she whizzes around the cul-de-sac (or corner sac as Paige likes to call it)!
Paige and Daddy taking off her training wheels...forever!!


Paige has also declared that she is going to stop sucking her thumb this week. We shall see!  But, it appears that when this little girl makes up her mind to do something...watch out, world!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rapunzel in the Making

I love little girls in braids, so I was very excited that Anna actually let me braid her hair the other day.  I am, by no means, any good at braiding, and I can't do the french braid, but look at how cute she is! 

I will probably never be able to get her to sit still that long again, so I am going to relish this one for a little while =)




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Origami Yoda

We just finished reading a very funny book with Charlie. It is called "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" by Tom Angleberger.

He picked this book from his school's book fair.  We read it out loud to him because we thought it was a little bit over his reading level, though he probably could have handled it.  He is such an awesome reader.  (I am such a proud mama!)  But boy, I am glad we did read it out loud.  I think Jonathan and I were laughing harder than Charlie through a lot of it. 

Anyway, if you have a Star Wars fan at home, I highly recommend this read.  I do caution about some crude humor/language that is probably typical of 6th graders like the characters in the book, but nothing I want my 1st grader repeating. 

At the end of the book, there are instructions for how to make your own Origami Yoda.  Here is Charlie's...


Origami Yoda: Read it you must!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

There's Nothing Like a Pile of Leaves...

There's nothing like a pile of leaves to bring a smile to a child's face.

The kids were itching to get outside, but claimed there was nothing to do.  So, I gave them each a rake and told them to go rake a pile of leaves and jump in it.  ( I know, my 'motherly wisdom' never ceases to amaze me - ha!)

Here are the results...








Tuesday, November 2, 2010

School Pictures 2010-2011

School pictures are in!

My handsome boy! (Going for the serious student look this year)

And my crazy beautiful girl! (Wish she would leave her hair alone before pictures!)

BTW - for those wondering...after our debate last year, I didn't even bother asking Jonathan about pictures this year - I just bought them.  =)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween, Halloween...Such a Spooky Scene!

"Halloween, Halloween...Such a Spooky Scene"

That was the title of a poem I wrote when I was in the 4th grade.  It is quite humorous and I should include a copy on here sometime; it would give you a good laugh. Only problem - my husband won't let me anywhere near the box in which it resides as I am sure to get lost in memories for at least a couple of hours.  But it is good stuff, I tell you...good stuff. =)

So, it is on to current memories in the making!

We had a great Halloween weekend.  This year we had Anakin Skywalker, Merliah (from Barbie in a Mermaid Tale), and Sleeping Beauty.


 Charlie and Paige were both thrilled to wear their costumes to school on Friday where they had a party and parade.
Merliah - "The Queen of the Waves"

Merliah's totally gnarly pink hair



Anakin Skywalker (The Padawan years)


Side Note: If you are thinking that Charlie's costume is missing something, it is not his light saber (not allowed at school).  He is missing his Padawan braid.  
 This was not due to lack of effort on my, or Paige's, part.  See, the day before Paige had a couple of friends over for a playdate.  During a brief moment when they weren't being watched like a hawk by me, Paige managed to grab the scissors and cut a chunk of each of the girls' hair (yes...both of them!).  Trying to make lemonade out of lemons, I took the discarded strands of hair and made a very nice Padawan braid out them. But, Charlie refused to wear it citing the arguments that it was "gross", and it was "girl hair". =)


On Saturday, we carved pumpkins.


Storm Trooper pumpkin...Nice Work, JR!




And on Sunday, we got dressed up again for trick-or-treating and bringing home bags and bags full of candy!

Merliah, Anakin, Sleeping Beauty and Dr. MD =)

Paige and her guinea pigs...their hair doesn't look lopsided at all!

"Trick-or-Treat!!!"

I think my poem for this year would read: "Halloween, Halloween...Such an Crazy Scene", but then again, that wouldn't be very distinctive from any other day around here. =)
I know what is in here!

Candy!!

I knew it!

Can't stop thinking about it

Candy!

Pleeeaaaasee!!!!

Fine - I will just go out trick-or-treating and get my own candy!

And now, it is November.  It is my birthday month in case anyone was curious =)