Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why to Enjoy the Small Things

By instruction of one of her therapists, we are supposed to be teaching Fiona "NO". The no as in, "NO! What you are doing is bad or dangerous and you urgently need to stop". Its something, at her age, she should understand. Because, at her age, she should be moving around and getting into things that could be bad or dangerous, but she's not (Thank God for this blessing in disguise!). All the same, we were told to start working on teaching her this when the opportunity arises...

So she was playing a little too rough with her new friend Addison, or she was eating yet another piece of paper (her favorite teething soother) and this is how Fiona reacts to being told NO

The BIGGEST bottom lip ever. I love this face more then anything. Oh, don't let her fool you. This is her acting. (Her crying face is much different then this adorable, exaggerated pout) This is her saying, "You can't be mad at me, I am too darn cute" And its working, girl.

Mom and Dad, Fiona has the Squiggy hair style, too :)

Yes, she knows it works.

Especially on her daddy, who she totally has wrapped around her finger.

Okay, I am completely wrapped around her finger, too. Only no one takes pictures of me with her.

I am a Kelle Hampton follower, along with 14 plus thousand people. I credit her and her honesty coated in surgery words and pictures to helping me find peace with Fiona's diagnosis as quickly as I did. But as I was searching Google for some info on her upcoming book and an article she had in a Parents magazine, I accidentally clicked on the second search Google pulled up with her name- Kelle Hampton Annoying- and was surprised with how much came up.

There is a lot of hate towards this woman, who is a fellow SWFL resident and an acquaintance of mine. Most of it is open jealously. Moms admitting they despise her because she is the kind of mom who plays with her kids, is really crafty, has impeccable style and is in really good shape. ( Almost everyone mentioned how they thought it was conceded she posted so many pictures of her self, that all probably goes back to that they are jealous they don't look as good as her?). Some of the hatred was towards how they think she used Nella's diagnose for fame or reacted poorly to learning of Nella's diagnosis. These people, mind you, never had to be told "Your baby has Down Syndrome" and their judgments were ignorant. And even worse, some were attacking that she sugar coated Down syndrome. Direct quote, "Its easy to love a baby, but what is she going to do when Nella's 30? It aint going to be so pretty then". I'll come back to this one in a second. But a lot of the hatred stemmed from people who thought she was all lollipops and rainbows. How she only talks about the good things, finds sweetness in even the bad things, and people were seriously disgusted by her because they think her life is too good.

I think these people missed the title of her blog. Enjoying the Small things. A place for her to solely concentrate on the good things in life. She focuses that big fancy camera of hers, crops out the surrounding chaos, and shows the beauty around it. Her choice to look at life this way is invigorating. Refreshing, from humans natural urge to poor out negativity and complaints. (Hence, the vast hate Kelle comments and posts out there).

I am writing this post because I haven't been able to get this off my mind all day. Especially, the comments about how Kelle sugar coats Down syndrome into a fairy tale. The same fairy tale that gave me so much comfort when I was learning of Fiona's own diagnosis. They accuse her of deceiving people, but they are so wrong. So wrong. Enjoying life is a choice. My life is now filled with doctors and therapy sessions,  inconveniences and an unknown future, but it is also filled with love and laughter and joy in many many small things. Kelle shows exactly what I wish more people would see, she shows that there are still moments worth having with a baby who is less then medically perfect. Back when Fiona was still just a growing baby in my belly, Kelle taught me, through her rose-colored glasses, to see my daughter as my baby, first. Not to let Down syndrome define her. To concentrate on the cans, not the can'ts and enjoy all the small things.

I appreciate that the Internet, this blogging world, gives everyone a voice. A platform to share opinions, all which are respected. A lot of the hate comments came from fellow DS moms. Moms who can't look past the diagnosis to see all the amazing things their child has to offer. Moms who are stuck in a negative, self-pitting place. I just want to thank Kelle for her sugar-coated view on life. That she doesn't dive into what our human nature tells us to when bad stuff comes along, but she treads along till she finds something unique, something beautiful, and then and only then she shares it with the world. We don't only have a choice of what to write here, but we also have a choice of what to read. And I like the option to read something positive every once and awhile (or how ever often Kelle posts :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Parenting Dilemma Resolved

There is a war going on in Mommyland, that probably has been going on since Eves first daughter became a momma of her own. Since there were two moms in the world. I best heard it put somewhere that I cannot remember the source, but it went something like this. You spend hours researching and contemplating over how to parent. How many kids to have, how to discipline or not discipline, how to feed them, nurture them, teach them. And when you finally make a decision that you are pretty sure is the "right" way, someone comes along and does it different or challenges your choice. You have put so much effort into this choice that you are only semi-sure is right, (because there is really not just one right way to parent) and so you get hurt and defensive. That is the daily war going on with moms.

Why moms can't be friends video

Its a silent war, mostly just thoughts in heads, sometimes spilled over with a snide comment or two. Moms, whether we like to admit it or not, are constantly judging other moms by the choices they make. By how their kids behave. Because subconsciously, we judge parents by how their kid turns out.

I owe an apology for the thoughtless comment I made about a spoiled kid. I was not being general with what I said, I did not intend to indicate that every child that cries for his mom is spoiled or an only child. Or that all only children are that way. I was talking specifically about a child that is an only child, that I feel is spoiled by the life style his family has and the way his parents treat him, and how he is kind of a little rotten kid because of the excessive coddling he has received. I joined in the mommy war, ran with my pride and made a low blow comment that I truly  am sorry for. I parent differently then this mom, and so I got defensive with my choices. I in no way intended to offend any parent of a child who is attached or an only child. And I really didn't have any intention to hurt the mom or kid I was talking about because she doesn't know me or read my blog,  nor any intention to accuse this kid of being Drew  to her or the teacher.

Drew does exist. And he is not the little boy who cries everyday. Drew is new. He started last week.

I talked with the teacher, approaching the topic indirectly at first. Before throwing any accusations or names out, I wanted to see how my boys were doing. She reported good kids, play rough with each other but well with the other kids, and they are just really high energy. A.K.A... They wear you out. Sounds like my boys. I asked if Breiden specifically was having problems getting along with anyone in the class and besides the occasional fight with Gavin, no. It turns out the Drew incident was nothing more then two high energy boys playing and an accidental kick. No mean intentions, no fighting, just boys playing like boys. And I saw Drew, whose mom also has a baby girl and drives the same white mini van as me. He was a high energy, fun loving little boy. Nothing to worry about.

Over reacted? Maybe a little. But my mind is at ease that a. It seems that I have some pretty decent boys and b. There is no bully in their class. And I feel better that the teacher is aware that Breiden was concerned about the accidental incident and it was a good learning moment to teach Breiden about letting people know when he is hurt.

So thankful for kids who, besides being high energy, are getting good reports from their teacher. Thankful that they have each other to look out for one another, and that Gavin looks out for Breiden when he is upset about a mishap at school or missing mom a little. Yes, my kids cry for me too.

A lot of not so great things are happening right now. Things like my mom is back in the hospital with blood issues again. Breidens eczema is taking over his body and severely interfering with his daily (and nightly) life. And Fiona had to endure 4 needle pokes that all failed to draw blood, so we will be heading back soon for more blood work. Along with a lot of other little stressful things. So I am trying to hone in on the many other under appreciated blessings we have to be thankful for. From the house that shelters us, to the relationships that hold us up to every breath we take. Being thankful for what you have in the midst of the not so great is what keeps me grounded. Because, when it comes down to it, its those little things that really are important in life. Something that in the world of "YOU NEED THIS" marketing and advertising, is important to keep reminding myself.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Moose, a turtle and a Moo...Moo..Moo...

When Moose A Moose is the only voice you can hear in your head, you have officially been inducted into parenthood. We got artsy and crafty today with a little homemade play-dough action. Thanks to a recipe I got from Pudge and Biggs.

This is how you should do it...

*not my image*
Ya, this is how I do it...

In my defense,  when you have two kids pulling at you to play with this play-dough that don't grasp the concept of time and a little one begging to be picked back up, you just don't have time for the organized, pretty way.

Gavins "sidewalk" Breidens person. Gavin wins for creativity.

The hairdresser in me came out and taught the kids the color wheel, and had some fun mixing the primary colors to make the secondary ones. The boys just enjoyed me finally letting them smash the colors together.And Gavin was thrilled we were turning everything green. Ya, and that's not poop in the middle... I promise.

20 minute prep, a full hour of fun play, a full hour plus of clean up. Worth it? I think so. Even with having to scrub blue play-dough out of our brand new play area rug? Yes, still  worth it.

We have a new addition to the family. 

My husband swears we are only keeping him a week and then letting him go back to his home, the pond behind our house. He swears that he is safer here with us because he is so tiny he has a high chance of getting eaten by a fish or a gator. But Mr Turtle (whom Gavin calls G and Breiden calls B...  we've got some real out-of-box thinkers here) hates his new little cube of a home. I say I am sorry to him a hundred times a day as he is peeing his shell in the corner of the aquarium, planning his escape route. Thanks, little buddy, for putting up with us for a short while so my boys can dote over G, or B, or whatever we are calling you for the week. Just enjoy the free meal each day and soon you will be back to your big spacious pond, I promise.


I never thought this would be a hard thing. I mean I dreaded this every day, 5 to 7 times a day, for the last 12 months. Solely pumping for my solely breast milk fed baby. And literally have been counting down the days when I could pack up that noisy boob sucker and say good riddance forever. But day 0 came and went, and here I am, still pumping, pushing it further and further apart, but still pumping.

Too much information? Ya, then this post is not for you. Breastfeeding is an awkward and uncomfortable topic for a lot of people (although it is a perfectly natural, non sexual thing), but milking yourself like a cow with a machine, just not something most people want to visualize. Hence why you will night see ANY pictures of such on here. But it has been a huge part of my life for a full year and somehow as much as I find it inconvenient and slightly uncomfortable, I just can't let go of the thing my body has done for my daughter. 

Its definitely not bonding in the way that breastfeeding is, but there is a connection in knowing that my body produces all my baby needs. And while we have finally started supplementing with cow milk , I am finding it hard to completely let go. To let my self dry up. The point of no return. I went almost two whole days without pumping and then caved at 11 at night. Filled up a whole bottle that I happily fed to my baby.

Moms talk about not being able to let go of breastfeeding, and I get that. But every one hates pumping. Its a task, not a moment. So I think I am just a little crazy. And you probably do, too.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Parenting Dilemma

The drive home from school. Even more sweet then the drive to school because the excitement isn't from anticipation of the days events but from the days events. Just like every drive home, I ask the what did you dos (following the list they give each day telling me what they did so I can ask specific questions) and who did you meet. They parrot back the things I ask that they did and always respond with an enthusiastic "YES!" when asked if they made friends.

"What are you friends names?"

This questions is either followed by " the kids", "the boys", ",Gavin (or) Breiden (depending one which one answers)" or just silence. They had yet to respond with an actual child's name. Until today.

Today I learned about Ava. Okay, they made friends with the ONE girl in their class. They told me that Ava was smaller then them, that they were bigger. Which was probably just repeating an exercise from class because they have been learning about size relationship. So I pried more. I want them to make some guy friends. No offense little Ava, happy to get to know you, its just we have a lot of girl friends already.

"Did you make any other friends"

I wasn't prepared for this one... " Drew. Drew kicked me."

Pause. Absorb... okay is this real? Is there really a Drew in their class? My mind searches the list I look at every morning when I check them in. I can't remember a Drew but I really only look at the two names the surround my boys. One being Ava so I know she really does exist. Which makes me think Drew exists too.

I have spent all afternoon playing detective. Watching what he does and says when I ask him about Drew and about what happened. Breiden is not usually a liar, Gavin tends to lie more to me. But still, I don't want to go making accusations to the teacher if my son is just making up a story. And I don't want to go tattle tell on this little punk who picked on the wrong kid if actually its my little punk who initiated it. But I can't get the full story out of B. He can't tell me why Drew kicked him. In the nose no less. And I can't help but think this story is being blow out of proportion because Miss Angie told me today was a great day, the kids were all great.

I don't know how to approach the teacher about this. Gosh, I so do not want to be the over involved parent who stirs up trouble. But I also don't want a little bully pushing kids around. And, honestly,  I am slightly scared that she is going to tell me that its my boys who start the trouble. My biggest fear since I realized all the rough brother-twin play they do isn't going to fly on kids that aren't used to having siblings.

Funny thing is, I think I may know who this Drew is. There is always a little boy who is crying when I drop the boys off who doesn't seem to be handling being away from mom too well. It kinda just screams hes never been away from mom and is a spoiled only child. The kind of kid that would get really pissed off if someone took his toy.

Too be continued this thursday, when I nervously confront the teacher.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Year

Party decorations still hang from our ceiling, a lingering reminder that my baby has turned the big ONE. And while I have been avoiding cleaning the party aftermath taking my time getting the house back in order, we have been enjoying what we can of Florida's summer. The only way you can enjoy it.... in the water.

Little sister has become quiet the personality. Dare you not include her in everything you are doing, she will make her opinion known. And after the third or forth time, we have decided that her crossing her arms at Miss Sophia when she has had enough of therapy, is not a fluke movement. She's sassy, this little one.

You may wonder why we always play in our front yard? Well besides the fact the we had not only a 7 foot gator but also an 8 foot gator and a 9 foot gator removed from the pond in our backyard, our grass is infested with red ants that no matter how many times we have it sprayed, they are still there. Some of the small prices you pay for 365 days of sunshine.

Once again, a Thursday came and went and I forgot to do my thankful post. Scratch the Thursday part, its just Thankful day.

Thankful this week for friends who have cool toys... and share :)

 Thankful for Florida rains giving breaks to beautiful skies like this.

Thankful for the bond between brothers, and how together or apart, they are strong, unique, one of a kind boys. Proud of them for doing well on their first day apart since Gavin's surgery back when they were barely one. B was sick Thursday, and Gavin ventured off to school on his own... and did great. Thankful B is feeling better.

Thankful to be able to witness the bond of brotherhood. A world of trains and trucks, dinosaurs and super heroes  and the never ending wrestling match. Thankful that I have Fiona to do the whole tea party and doll thing with, but I have fallin in love with the way that my boys play.


Thankful for good friends, nights out, and the chance to refresh so I am better with my kids.

Thankful for Fiona's knew equipment!!
Old Bar

New Bar!

She's free! Sorta. At least she is free to bend her legs independently. This allows her to be more comfortable and makes it next to impossible for her to pull her foot out of the shoe since the bar will come up with her if she pulls one leg. Try to get out of this one, Houdini! (Any moms who follow me and have or are expecting a baby with clubbed feet, I HIGHLY recommend the Dobbs bar. Wish we had started with this one)

Thankful for my dad and step mom coming down for Fiona's first birthday. It was short and sweet, but always great to see them. 

Thankful for meeting new friends this week! More on that one later.

Thankful for my husbands new work schedule. SOOO thankful for my husbands new work schedule. And thankful that because of his job, my boys get opportunities like this...

...I wanna drive the zamboni, yes I do...

Thankful that Naples is doing the Buddy Walk again this year. I applied to run one in our town, but we are too close to Naples and they had already applied. I was bummed for a moment, but then realized now I can just enjoy that day :)

Thankful forAlexis Novak (and completely flattered) that she nominated me to be featured on Hot and Healthy Mom  as Hot Mama of the Week.

Thankful for this little peanut who rocked our world. I am thankful every day for what she has done for us and how I continue to grow and learn from this sweet blessing God has given us. The hard times are hard, but makes the good times that much sweeter. Thankful for Hylands teething tablets, as she has started cutting her first teeth... her molars. Yes, her back teeth are coming in first. I've been told although this is not the norm, its not a bad thing. But it sure is painful for her.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Fiona sure blossomed in just one year. From our tiny 6lb 8oz 19inch baby who's heart made her so weak she could hardly eat, to my frosting licking, canckle sporting, on her way to crawling, little girl. So it was only fitting her celebration was bright, loud, and beautiful.

Thanks Katie for sending me the video on how to frost the cupcakes like flowers, to Mindy who taught me how to make the tissue flower puffs and for making that adorable banner for me and for letting us borrow some props, to the Walsh's for letting us borrow quiet a few stuff, and Jae and Marco for lending some stuff and for the sangria. And of course, to my dad and step mom, who supplied the great spread that we had and ran numerous errands with us. I failed to get pictures of Fiona with any of these people.

That's it. Those are the only pictures that were semi not blurry that I managed to edit a little. Thank you everyone for celebrating with us such a big milestone for our princess. Its the company that really made the party. And if any of you (ahem, Marco, I saw you were taking pictures with my dream camera :) have any good pictures, please send them my way.

I wish I had a more appealing slide show to give. My camera (Fugi FinePix) takes great pictures outside in natural sunlight, but it being dead middle of August, in a Florida summer, that wasn't really an option for a party venue. The importance of a good camera and good pictures is priceless to me. Now if only I had the money to support that statement.

For eye candy, we'll just keep admiring the beautiful work of Sean Ocean.

Happy Birthday again, my sweet little blessing. To you, it doesn't matter if the cupcakes looked like flowers, or if you received gifts or just paper... and some day, when we are looking through pictures together and I am apologizing over my crappy photography and lack-there-of, we will embellish on how beautiful your big blue eyes were, and how you couldn't get past the frosting to the actual cake and how proud Mimi, Papa and Grandma were to hold you that day.

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