Friday, April 29, 2011

Children of the Balloons

I am afraid of balloons. Okay, that sounds crazy. I am not afraid of the balloon itself, but more the many noises a balloon makes. Call it sensitive ears or just a weird tick, but the squeaking, rubbing, thumping, popping noises send me into a panic. Its a nails-on-the-chalk-board kinda sound to me. My whole life I have run from balloons. Seriously, a waitress went to hand me a balloon when I was just a little girl, and I ran out of the restaurant hysterical.

My kids love balloons. Love balloons. If there is a stronger word for love, then that would describe how much they go crazy for my worst nightmare. I have been asking what they want for their up-coming birthday, their response, "BALLOONS!" The Publix staff knows us well. (Probably because we are there every other day because some how food just disappears in our house) They love Gavin and Breiden. They see my sweet, blue-eyed boys and think, "Now, they need balloons" I know to dodge certain employees because they will insist on giving my kids each a balloon. But as much as I HATE balloons, I love to see my kids with that balloon drunk-love look on their face. Today, we got balloons.

My shoulders may be a little tense, but I had two very happy kids today. That is, until Breiden's enviably popped, which brought a brief whining and mourning period over the lost blue polka dot balloon. I had to blow up a new balloon from our hidden stash. So, not only did I put up with balloons all day, but I actually blew one up my self. I don't think any one understands or believes how horrible this was for me. Fiona joined in on the torture-mommy-party and discovered she was a balloon lover too.

This is a fear that a mom just isn't allowed to have. Balloons and kids go hand in hand. So I gladly clench my teeth and live on edge for a day so my kids can play with their first love.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cross your fingers, no more surgeries for Fi

I'm just going to go ahead and both nominate and award Fiona with the Best Baby of the Year award. Surgery in the morning, playing with her brothers by noon. My girl is a rock star. Okay, maybe it was a little presumptuous to give her that award because everyone has amazing babies. But I am just so proud of our littlest peanut who has so enhanced our life. Her easy going spirit stole the medical staffs heart, and her amazing ability to handle these procedures with zero complications and perfect recoveries literally leaves them speechless. Did I already mention how proud I am?

Pre-surgery- Had to sneak this picture because for some odd reason there were signs everywhere saying no cameras. Come on, like I am not going to document my daughters surgery?

Post surgery- just a few hours after

Three more weeks with the casts and then I will get to see these sweet legs again...

Fiona, our fighter, our blessing. God is good. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Normally I would not post twice in one day , but it's the night before Fiona's surgery... the second time I will watch my princess go under the knife before even her first birthday. This time is not nearly as scary, for one, because we have been there already, but mainly, because foot surgery is not nearly as risky as heart surgery. It will be short, with no stay in the hospital. I feel like I should be taking this a lot more seriously then I am... that I should be feeling some sort of anxiousness or worry about tomorrow. But I am not scared. I am ready for this to be over, and to be snuggling with my drowsy, drugged up, casted baby all afternoon tomorrow.

I have gotten to enjoy two wonderful, kid-free, girl nights (thank you Charlie!) the last two nights. One of which, we went to an actual movie theater. The movie theater is like going to a fancy restaurant for me- a very rare occasion. I expect a extraordinary meal when we get that opportunity for a nice restaurant, and I crave a good movie on my special theater viewing. Since the only TV I watch is Noggin, I had no idea what movies were playing or what any of them were about. I trusted my girlfriend to pick a good one, and she did not fail. I literally have never watched a movie that moved me so much. My sobbing was uncontrollable. Soul Surfer- the true life story of surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a shark. I remember when that happened years ago. The movie had a lot of Christian influence because Bethany is a Christian. And her faith is a huge reason for her strength. They actually read a verse in the movie from the Bible, and that's when the water works started. Because Jeremiah 29:11 was the verse that I held on to through Fiona's diagnosis.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

And its that verse that I decided I wanted to name our daughter Fiona Hope. Whether Fiona was okay or not, I knew either way, God was going to give me hope. And she is okay, and medically almost out of the clear from all her major issues. Pray for a safe and smooth surgery tomorrow morning, and that this will be the last time we have to watch our daughter go through this.


I came across this interesting information HERE.

Down syndrome can not be prevented. It happens at conception, so if the chromosome isn't going to split correctly, it's not going to split correctly. There isn't anything you can do about that.

Yet money continues to be spent on prenatal testing and creating new tests that will detect Down syndrome earlier in pregnancies. (remember, this is primarily so families can ABORT the baby)

Life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome has more than doubled over the last decade. Cognition research is imperative to help them lead more independent lives. Isn't that what all parents want for their kids? To be as independent as their abilities allow?

2010 NIH (the government's National Institutes of Health) funding for Down syndrome was 22 million - near the bottom of the list. By comparison Parkinson's, MS, and Autism are all well over $100 million. Down syndrome funding is a minuscule .01 percent of the NIH's research budget. It equals out to be $55 per person; 95% less on average than what the government spends per person for similar disabilities. Cystic Fibrosis is almost $3K per person.

That's why the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation created the +15 campaign - to improve learning, memory, and speech for individuals with Down syndrome.

It's really sad to know that most of the government funding for my daughter's condition is going towards helping families terminate rather then to help improve the lives of those living with Down syndrome. Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation has an awesome and simple campaign to help raise money for what it is really needed for. They simply ask for a small $15 donation, and then tell 15 friends. Over the last 10 years, so much has been improved with our knowledge of this disorder, but you can imagine how much more could have been accomplished if the funding was primarily put towards cognitive improvement rather then prenatal testing? It may take a little time out of your day to click on the link, fill in your credit card information and to post this on your Facebook, Twitter or Email, but those minutes can greatly improve these kids future. Your time, money and thoughtfulness is tremendously appreciated.

Click HERE to donate, share this link or the link straight to the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation and then leave me a comment so I can thank you for your help!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


After researching how bunnies and eggs got tied into Easter, I still got nothing. But its fun, and well balanced with  the true celebration for this weekend. We'll still stay away from the Easter Bunny, he is just creepy ( and unnecessary torture tradition to introduce to the kids)

I am keeping the words to a minimum in this one, because God knows, you come to see pictures of my cute kids and not read my ramblings. Wish granted.

Gavin ran for all the green ones and Breiden dashed for the blue. We literally had to make them pick up the other colored eggs.

So generous to share one egg with their sister :)

 Fiona's magic wand... fine motor tool and teething all in one. Not really called the magic wand, that's just my name for it.

Could that face be any cuter?! Love this little high chair that clips to our table and keeps Fi part of the action.

Seriously, they are going to be the biggest heart throbs.

Building a tower for Fo-na.

Let's Go Fishing was definitely this years hit. The fish are the boys new must-have-at-all-times toy.

After two down pours in a half hour, we gave up and went home. But the sun in between was warm and worth it.

My boy, playing in the rain. 

Egg chalk. Perfect Easter basket gift.

Sundays best. Love our church and the close-knit community we have there. In Christ alone, I have hope. And its my faith in everything He has done for us why I celebrate this weekend. Its so much bigger then the egg dying, candy and time with my family. Its a glorious celebration that the tomb is empty. 
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