Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Vacations

For the past few years Darren and I have skipped family dinners and headed out of town instead.  The two days off from work are hard to resist when we both have limited vacation time available.  A couple of years ago we drove up to the Black Hill in South Dakota.  We saw all the sights (Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, The Badlands), gambled a little, and had a great weekend getaway.

Last year we drove to Moab to hike through Arches National Park.  Now keep in mind I was 7 months pregnant when we did this!  I wasn't able to do quite as much hiking as I normally would, but we still covered multiple miles a day while we were there.  If you haven't been to Arches, go.  It's a beautiful park, and definitely one we will go back to.

Yes, I know Darren's eyes are closed...
 This year we are headed to San Diego.  My brother is there, and we haven't seen him since he moved with his family in May.  We are going to go to the beach, Knott's Berry Farm, and are hoping for a chromosomally enhanced play date too!  My computer is staying behind, so this is probably the last you'll hear from me until we return with lots of pictures!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

This year I'm looking forward to sending out holiday cards.  Usually, cards are one more thing on my never ending holiday to do list.  This year, instead of a generic card, my little beauty will be staring back at you!  My goal to have a family picture on the front of the card, but that will require all three of us to be home for at least a few hours on a weekend.  This is easier said than done...But it really needs to happen since this photo from the summer is the only good one of all of us.

I used Shutterfly when I sent out Claire's birth announcements and they turned out great. The cards were easy to make, and there were lots of options to choose from. It took me forever to pick a design for her announcement, and I can see that choosing a Christmas card from all the options available won't be any easier.  I'm leaning toward a card with spots for multiple photos like this one.  That way I don't have to choose just one Claire picture!  If you still need holiday gifts for people Shutterfly has many great options like calendars, photo mugs or ornaments.

Disclosure:  This post was written as part of a promotion for Shutterfly, which I really do love!  For telling you about their holiday cards I will receive a code for 50 free cards.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Them, They and Stereotypes...

There was a post on a Ds forum recently that got me thinking. The original person used they word 'them' in regards to people with Ds. The wording was something along the lines of...'Are people with Ds handicapped? I don't see them that way at all'. The second person took offense to the word, as she saw it as excluding the group of people we were trying to include. I saw it simply as referring to a group of people.

I am conscious of my word choices now, where I might not have been in the past. The R word makes me cringe every time, and I wish everyone used people first language. There are times where I don't appreciate the usage of 'them or they'. For example, they are always happy, or we don't hire them, or it takes special parents to raise them. I don't appreciate it when doctors say they have...as a way of explaining away any health concern. My issue with these examples is that they are discriminatory or stereotypical.

But, the fact of the matter is, that our kids are part of a group that most people aren't. We do things for them because they have Ds. We check their thyroids, we have appointments with PTs, OTs and STs. So, I'm curious, is the usage of they and them offensive only when it's stereotypical or discriminatory, or does it rub you the wrong way when people with Ds are lumped together for any reason?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 Months

I cannot believe my girl is already 10 months old.  I need to start thinking about her first birthday party.  But in the meantime, doesn't she look so grown up?

...and feisty?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Down on Ds

Today was one of those days when I've felt a little discouraged.  We had a community group meeting this morning (nothing against the group, it's wonderful!), but after talking about IEPs, therapy, medicaid and crappy EI service coordinators, I'm just feeling a bit out of sorts.  I just wish I didn't have to deal with the stuff that comes with Ds, or any special need, for that matter.

I don't want to feel like I need to move so that she can have better services.  I don't want to have to fight for her to be included in school.  I don't want to worry about whether her someday siblings will feel blessed or burdened by her.  I don't want to worry about where she'll live,and who will provide for her when I'm gone.

I don't have these days very often, but frankly, I don't like them much.  I know I can, and will, handle whatever comes our way, but today, I don't WANT to have to handle it.

It's days like these that make me feel silly for even considering adoption through RR.  But then, like this afternoon, I spend time on blogs, FB and babycenter, and I slowly get back into the Ds is no big deal frame of mind.  And I know tomorrow will be better, but today, I'm down on Ds.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Day in Our Life...

Erin has a link up post where we can share what a day in our life is like.  I often wonder how others seem to get so much accomplished, while some days I'm lucky to get a shower!  I hope a lot of people will join in.  I love the diversity of all of our families, and our days.  I'm especially interested in how the days of those with lots or kids, or those that home school (or both!) manage.  My day home today with Claire shaped up like this...

-- The first 2 hours of my day are pretty much the same whether I'm working that day or not.  It is: get up, pump, get Claire up and give her some meds so they can work before her bottle, shower, feed Claire, get us both dressed.
-- Claire played in the living room while I started some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, and got a list together for our trip to the store.
-- We squeezed a little PT practice (90/90 sitting and supported standing) into our play time
-- Pump
-- Trip to the store because we are out of EVERYTHING!  I really dislike big shopping trips on my day off because my pickup is a regular, not extended, cab.  So, today, everything I bought went in the cab with Claire and I.  Today we had a very tall tower of toilet paper and paper towels between us.
-- Home for a bottle for Claire
-- Lunch with a friend.  Chinese!
-- Pump
-- Dr appt for Claire because I was afraid her cold had turned into a sinus infection.  The dr said it was sinusitis and gave her some antibiotics.
-- Bottle for Claire.  She didn't get an afternoon nap with all our running around, and she fell asleep before she finished.  I hated to wake her up, so she napped in my lap for about an hour.
-- Pump and freeze milk.
--Dinner for Claire.  Tonight included grilled cheese, sweet potato chunks and yogurt.  Finally, after 2 months of refusing, she is eating mushy foods like baby food and yogurt again.  She is still not a fan of baby food, but LOVES yogurt.  She'd much rather have table food than baby food, so that's normally what I try to give her.
-- Play time, which included a little more PT and ST practice.  Some days I'm very motivated and we do lots of "work", other days, if we get even a few minutes in I'm happy.
-- Last bottle of the day, bath, story and bed time.
-- This leaves me about 2 hours to eat dinner (Darren usually ends up cooking!), watch a little TV, and get online before I pump for the last time and go to bed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

I originally had this post titled Wordy Wednesday...and then I realized it wasn't Wednesday anymore!  It's sad when you lose a whole day just like that.

After all the blogging I did in October, I needed a bit of a break.  There are plenty of posts floating around in my head, but I can't seem to find the time to get them written.  A lot of my internet time is absorbed by my google reader, which seems to be stuck at 1000+ unread posts. I'm afraid I might just have to mark them all read and start over.  But I have a hard time doing it because I hate to miss something!

Since I'm not feeling inspired by deep thoughts tonight, here are a few pictures from the pumpkin patch.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reece's Rainbow: Meet Celine

Today is the launch of Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree and the Christmas Warriors.  The Angel Tree is the biggest fundraiser of the year, and the goal is to increase each of the waiting children's grants by $1,000.  If you donate $35 or more, you will receive a photo ornament of your chosen child (or many chosen children!).  $5 of your donation covers the cost of the ornament, and the rest goes directly to the child's grant.  These ornaments are a great gift, and a wonderful way to teach children about other people that have less than they do.

I'm so excited to introduce you all to Celine.  Celine just turned 5 in October, and is at very high risk for transfer to a mental institution soon.  It will be much harder, or maybe impossible, to adopt her once she is transferred, so she needs a family soon!  While a donation of $35 or more will get you an ornament, ANY amount is greatly appreciated.

From Reece's Rainbow:  She is a pretty little girl who is blessed to still be at the baby house. She is facing transfer soon. Celine has blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She is quite self-sufficient and independent physically. She very much enjoys the attention of adults, and likes to read books and engage.  Celine will do very well in a family setting. Lots more photos available, along with FULL MEDICAL RECORDS. Married couples only at this time.

If you are able to help fund Celine's adoption, there are a couple of ways to do this.  First, if you want an ornament, go through the Angel Tree Sponsorship page.  Celine is about 9 rows from the bottom, so it will be quicker to go all the way down and then scroll back up.  She is the second one in from the right.  Look for her bright pink shirt and beautiful smile!  There is also a chipin available in the right sidebar if you would like to donate less than the $35 on the Angel Tree page.  Any amount truly does help, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

Whether you are able to donate or not, please take just a moment and pray for Celine and her forever family, where ever they may be.