Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Semi Wordless Wednesday

clean from the bubble
time for a squeeze

chin attack

picking lilacs

Just a few words on one of the pictures. In the picture with Sophia, Emmie is attached to her chin. We laugh so hard when she does this. It seems Emmie's favorite thing to bite on is someones (preferably clean) chin. She will attach herself to anyone who gets close enough.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Thank you to all who protect us
A lesson


Sophia takes the plunge

Snug as a bug in Daddy's arms

beautiful setting

the arts and crafts

Yesterday we went to an arts and crafts fair.It's well known in our area and everyone goes, it's always on Memorial Day weekend. This year we took the kids to the Pawtuxet Memorial Cemetery for a lesson as to why they don't have school today. It's not because everyone is at the crafts fair. We had a great time, as always. It was Emila's first time and she did great. Olivia was allowed to walk around with her friends, (first time ), it's a very safe environment, the street is closed and seriously every two steps you bump into someone you know, but Mom had a little anxiety at first, but Olivia followed the rules and everything was fine(of course). Thanks Livie!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What a Difference a Year Makes

May 21st, 2008
May 21st, 2009

One year ago today , it was a beautiful spring day. One year ago today the kids went off to school like every other day. One year ago today I was four months pregnant,and my world came crashing down (temporarily). On May 21,2008 I went for a level 2 u/s, that was the day Peter and I heard the words Down Syndrome for the first time. Suddenly, that beautiful day was gone, replaced by darkness and fear, actually complete panic. For the next five months our lives were filled with mixed emotions, really good days and far too many bad days. I remember sitting there as the doctor was explaining an echogenic bowel (that was the soft marker seen on the u/s) to us, thinking, is he really talking to us? So many insane thoughts were running through my head. I thought, "see, this is where greed gets you, you couldn't be happy with the kids you already had ...just had to have one more." I was a mess, I wasn't being logical. Of course God would not punish us for wanting another ridiculous! I would pull myself together for a while, then loose it again. I carried the u/s picture with me in my handbag, I would look at it everyday and think how can such a beautiful baby be anything less than perfect and healthy? I could see from the u/s picture that the baby(we didn't know if Em was a boy or girl) had Sophia's chin... it was soooo obvious. Everything looked perfect. "Perfect" to me meant, without DS. Being born healthy, to me meant, without DS. What a difference a year makes! My perfect, healthy baby, with DS is a treasure beyond all treasures. A blessing to our whole family, and a lesson in "perfection".

Saturday, May 16, 2009

And the blind shall see... least a little. My mother has been loosing her eyesight since I was a little girl.One eye was completely blind and the other was following close behind. By the age of 10 I could challenge any seeing eye dog,dare them even double dog dare them. I was good.I had to be,my Mom depended on me to guide her safely. She, somehow never lost her independence, even with her failing eyesight she continued to cook, clean, and take excellent care of me .When I got married and moved out, she kept up her apartment on her own. Over the last 5 years there has been a huge decline in her vision. She can't see anything but shadows, so she hasn't seen her sweet grandchildren. She remembers Olivia and Sophia as small little girls and Bella as a baby. Andrew and Emmie are only a vision in her mind.Eye doctors in the past have all but given up, we all did. Let me mention that my mother has never complained or lost faith.She's not thrilled and has definitely let God know(in a nice way) but her faith has stood strong.We were always hoping for a medical miracle... well, my mom went to a new doctor,who saw a huge cataract on her eye. He told her when he removed it ,she should be able to see something. At first I was upset at him, I thought he was giving her false hope.I didn't want her to get her hopes up.I mean it's been so long since she's seen anything. Thursday morning she had the surgery, everything went well.I talked to her Thursday night and she felt good,no pain.I didn't even ask if she could see anything.This morning I got a message from my mom.It went like this. "Hi Steph, it's mom, when you get a chance can you give me a call, I have something good to tell you... I saw a tree today, and a house." I had to listen to it twice, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Of course I did call her and she proceeded to tell me that she picked out a stripped shirt from her closet. She couldn't even see her closet before. She can see her stove and kitchen sink.There is no color yet but we are not complaining.She went on and on telling me what she could see.Now it's not crystal clear but it's something... it's a miracle. Her doctor is going to do a laser treatment on her (for free) that should give her about 20% more vision. He never doubted. Now why did he have faith when no one else did? I thank God for putting my mom in the care of this wonderful doctor. Hopefully, she will be able to see all those grandchildren soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Little bloggers

My two girls, Olivia and Sophia, started their own blogs , they're so cute. Take a peek.

I am so impressed they are only 11 and 9 years old

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just For Fun

Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Ma
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you
None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.
I love this, I laugh every time I read it. Sent to me by a true blue friend, thanks, Missy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Try To Smile Monday

Who do these stinky feet belong to?
look out, she's gonna blow!

I said no more pictures!

Emmie gives a thumbs up

Must have been a ruff night

All smiles

Will the real American Girl please stand up


Sophia took the picturese of Em at the top, we laughed until we cried. Hope they make you smile too ,on this Monday morning.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

our first Mothers Day together
Celebrating Mom's Day at school with Andrew

Self explanatory

God's Masterpiece Is Mother
God took the fragrance of a flower...The majesty of a tree...The gentleness of morning dew...The calm of a quiet sea...The beauty of the twilight hour...The soul of a starry night...The laughter of a rippling brook...The grace of a bird in flight...Then God fashioned from these things A creation like no other,And when his masterpiece was through He called it simply - Mother.
- Herbert Farnham
To all you wonderful mothers, may today bring you a time of peace, a day to simply enjoy your family. A day to put aside whatever weighs heavily in your heart. Just one day to walk lightly and laugh loudly, to celebrate the masterpiece you are.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Good Visit

In this ,the smallest state, lives the biggest man. His name is Dr. Pueschel, M.D., Ph.D., J.D., M.P.D., He has studied in Germany,and Canada, earned a Master of Public health degree from Harvard. He became director of the first Down Syndrome Program, at Children's Hospital in Boston. Luckily for us in 1975 he was appointed director of the Child Development Center at RI hospital. His greatest accomplishment...raising a son with DS. When Emilia was born, the first thing the nurses in the delivery room said to me was , make sure you get in touch with Dr. P. , He's so wonderful, he works with children who have DS. Upstairs in my room at the hospital, again the nurses are telling me to make sure I get in touch with Dr. P, then one added with a smile, "he'll find you". At 2:00 am, the nurses came to inform me they were taking Em to the NICU, because she was having trouble breathing (it wasn't serious). After she was settled and I could see her, what do you think the first thing the NICU nurses said, oh, wait until you meet Dr. P. "OK, who is this guy and why is everyone so crazy about him"? I asked the nurse. Oh you'll see , she said, He'll be here before you go home, he always comes when one of these sweethearts are born. She added, "he retired 20 years ago but never left." Well , he did find us, I don't know how. The hospital must get in touch with him when a DS baby is born. He has his office at RI Hospital and the babies are delivered at Women and Infants, its all connected, there's also Hasbro Children's Hospital, it's a massive complex, really beautiful. I missed his first visit, Em was still in the NICU, he came and examined her and set up another appointment to meet us before we left the hospital. The second I saw him, I knew why everyone just smiled when they spoke about him. He just instantly relaxes you, He is soft spoken and kind, and he is so happy for you and your baby. He really seemed excited for us and the journey we were just beginning. And humble, I mean I didn't even scratch the surface of all his accomplishments and awards and honors, books, it just goes on and on, the man is a genius. At that first meeting Peter said something like ,we are really in good hands with you, and his reply was , "I know something about DS."I love this man. Another reason why I love him, he refers to all DS children as, "our children". I just can't say enough about this man. If any of you have met him you know what I mean. He is the Prince of DS. And glad to report Emilia, got a big thumbs up from Dr. P at her visit yesterday.
*Picture- this is about 2 minutes after having blood drawn, she's so good.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tradgedy Hits Our Community

Yesterday morning a 15 year old high school student was struck and killed by a school bus,while walking to school. She apparently had earphones on and her hood up because it was rainy and was texting. The bus had a green light and was making a left hand turn onto the street the student was starting to cross. She was in the crosswalk, but what the news is saying is that she couldn't hear because of the earphones and the hood and texting limited her vision, she never saw the bus, and literally walked right into the front of it. A teachers aid was driving in to school at the same time (and was actually behind the school bus) and saw what was unfolding and tried to get the students attention by laying on her horn, but to no avail, she couldn't hear it. I am still wondering why or how the bus driver couldn't see the student. I think it all happened so fast there was no reaction time. The local high school is right down the street from my house, it's the school my children will go to and it is a school filled with children we know. We live in a small community, it's a town that when you go out to run errands you will definitely run into someone you know. I know yesterday we were all praying for the parents of this child. I can't imagine the grief they are going through, my heart is broken. She was just going to school, she didn't do anything wrong, and now she's gone, so quick. I am asking for anyone who happens by today to say a prayer for these parents. Keep them in your hearts. And please pray for the children who were on the bus at the time and also the bus driver who has to live with this for the rest of her life. I'm sure she is "what ifing" herself over and over. And give your kids a huge hug!

Friday, May 1, 2009

One Proud Moment

Thumbs up for Bella
(above)waiting to go onto the field, (below), watching the game


Last night Miss Bella received the Most Improved Student Award. The Pawtucket Red Sox started this program to recognize children who have improved over the school year, it could be academically or behavioral. Bella was nominated for her improvement in reading,by her wonderful, fabulous couldn't live without first grade teacher ,Mrs. Robinson. Bella has really worked hard this year on her reading skills. It was a great night, we are so proud of you Bella, keep up the good work!!