Monday, October 31, 2011

Farewell, October

There are very few days that we spend the majority of the day together as a family. Errands, guy time, girls night, play dates and our dates all leaves Blaeske family time very limited. And although today was still filled with work and errands, it was a good family day. Including a daddy-sons hockey outing, mommy-daughter kitchen Halloween dance party, pumpkin carving, teaching the boys to Monster Mash, some front yard play in our beautiful cold-front weather, and my all favorite, kickin together it on our bed.

Today, 31 for 21 ends, and so does Down syndrome Awareness Month. Although, for us, Down syndrome awareness never really ends. Advocating and educating for my daughters acceptance and rights is a badge I wear 365 days a year. I am one small voice in a sea of voices. But its interesting to see where my waves reach.

November is the calm after the storm. Nothing planned until my little sister comes down for Thanksgiving. And I am so looking forward to down time and hopefully more days filled with family time. Maybe a little less blogging and a little more running, because I will run the Turkey Trot this year. ( Only took me 6 years to follow through with my goal). I am sure you are as sick of me posting daily as I am :)

If my posts made you interested in learning about Down syndrome, or why those of us blessed with a T-21 child indeed say we are blessed, I encourage you to check out National Down Syndrome SocietyReece's Rainbow, or any of the awesome blogs listed on my side bar. Cheers, October. Until next year.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I want Candy

My crazy, outgoing, life of the party boys are the most quiet, shy and timid trick-or-treaters. Their barely audible "trick-or-treat" and "thank you"s are accompanied by eyes glued to the ground and some gentle guiding from mom.  If it wasn't for me, they would never walk up to anyone.  

Two of three trick-or-treating completed. Looking forward to carving pumpkins with my pumpkins today, and to tomorrow evenings party and walking with the neighbors. Happy Halloween from Wolverine and Mrs. Incredible.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bottle this, please

I can't get enough of her smile and laugh. And lucky for me, she thinks everything is funny. Just looking at her can send her into hysterics. She is a teething mess, with teeth popping through left and right, but she laughs at a drop of a hat. Smiling with a mouth full of fingers. She is always chewing on her fingers. (excuse her plugged ducked eye)

This little girl is the icing on my cake. Thank you God for every minute with this peanut. I can't wait to see what you have in store for her.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What I want you to know...

This whole month, I have been blogging daily for a little campaign called 31 for 21. To help raise awareness about Down syndrome. To tell the facts, open eyes, and show those who read that Fiona is "more alike then different". Not every post has been about Down syndrome. Which is something I feel is very important to do, because not everything in our life is effected by Down syndrome. Actually, very little of our life is effected. If there is anything I want you to know about Down syndrome, its that.

My son has eczema. A skin condition where he breaks out in rashes from dry patches of skin that makes him incredibly itchy. He wakes up numerous times every night, scratching himself bloody. It effects everything from our sleep to our daily activities, because it is sweat induced. We skip play dates at hot playgrounds and have to stay home from the pool when the break outs are really bad. It is a horrible thing to watch your kid go through.

Fiona sleeps through the night. She wakes up with a smile on her face every morning that is incredibly contagious. She isn't in pain. She isn't an inconvenience to us. Its a joy to watch her conquer this sweet life one day at a time.

Yet, no one pities us when I tell them Breiden has eczema. No one pats my back or says they are sorry. Its just eczema. No one aborts over eczema. But honestly, Breiden's eczema is a much bigger deal day to day in our house. That doesn't change that I love him. I don't regret having him or feel inconvenienced by him, because he is my kid. I am here to help him. And same with Fiona.

Its relatively new knowledge that people with Down syndrome can have a fulfilling life. Down syndrome used to be a prison sentence, a life doomed to mental institutions (and sadly, in a lot of countries, its still that way), put there by their families at birth. It wasn't until well into the 1950s that researchers began to notice that the children with Down syndrome raised in their own homes were thriving much better then those put in the recommended institutions. Since then, we continue to learn and see that with extra attention and love, many people with Down syndrome are able to live very fulfilling lives. But yet, that old stereotype of a worthless life remains.

Warning: The worst thing you can do when you feel strongly about something is to read the comment section in an article. From my curiosity on what people think about the new prenatal test, I have learned there are so many people out there who strongly feel that Fiona shouldn't be here. That think I am a bad parent for allowing her to be born. People who do not understand the value she has, and use hurtful words to devalue her.

I came across this quote.
“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Bertrand Russell

The part about acting humanely under fear hit home. We fear what we do not know. And our society, our world, as a whole, does not know Down syndrome. They know outdated sterotypes. No one can be trusted to act humanely who does not know Down syndrome. For my daughters sake, it is so important to me to educate about Down syndrome so that that fear, that inhumaneness, can be eradicated. Knowledge is the only thing that change minds. 

So can I ask you to do me a favor? ( I know, I already asked you to not use the "R" word  for a day, but this favor is even simplier) Can you share my blog, or one of my Designer Gene friend's blogs (on my sidebar) to your friends? Facebook it, twitter it, Pin it, Stumble Upon it, email it. Give the opportunity for people who aren't exposed to the Down syndrome community to learn what it really is. For them to see who the people behind the diagnosis are. I made it nice and simple, all you have to do is click the share button at the top of the page or the share button on the top of my sidebar.

And if you are reading this because you came here from a friends Facebook, and you want to know more about Fiona, click HERE or HERE or HERE or visit one of the many other families I have listed on my sidebar who are example after example of the blessings that come with Down syndrome.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


When it comes to Halloween costumes for an adult, you want to be unique. Its all about finding the craziest, funniest, most stand out costume. For me. showing up to a party and wearing the same thing as someone else is horrifying. But for kids, the more the merrier. Each Batman and Captain America was greeted with excitement that there was "another one!" To be exact, 14 Batmans and I lost count of the Captain Americas. My boys wanted to high five each one.

I am obsessed with Fiona's costume this year. The boys were on the fence of being super heroes or Woody and Buzz, and I over encouraged the super heroes just so baby sister could rock this costume. After all, she is our Wonder Woman. The prettiest Wonder Women there ever was with no hair :) Big thanks to Papa for purchasing the boys awesome costumes. They absolutely love them and make sure he knows every time he calls with about a million "Thank you for my Baat-Maan (always slightly sung with one arm in the air) and Cap-pin Merica costume, Papa!" Seriously, thanks Dad.

Is it bad that I am planning on re-gifting our candy for our neighborhood trick or treat? That is, if I can keep my hands off of it till then.

The boys preschool throws a Trunk or Treat every year, where kids trick-or-treat out of the trunks of cars. I remember choosing neighborhoods as a kid to trick-or-treat at because the houses were really close together. You could get twice as much candy with less walking. Well, Trunk or Treats you can hit over 50 trunks in less then 15 minutes. Perfect for the little ones who are over walking at about, oh, 15 minutes.

I rocked out my Mrs. Incredible costume, orders of the bosses. And as I sat in my mini van, watching other families walking in, I seriously was thinking about telling the kids that it was closed and we were going home. I was one of 5 who dressed with their kids. But it made me cooler in B and G's eyes, which I guess are the only ones who matter? And hey, I was the only one dressed as Mrs. Incredible, so I got my unique costume, not to mention a hit with a lot of kids who thought I was the Mrs. Incredible :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Staying Home

I have four bosses. FOUR. Every corner I turn, one of them is there. With a new demand, a new need, a new task needed to be done. Their eyes are always on me, and personal space is something they don't seem to understand. Their needs always come before mine and often they have the audacity to interrupt me even in the restroom.

Three of my bosses are very whiny. Some one has failed to teach them how to ask for anything politely. And their patience level? Well, that's about non- existent. When they want something done, they want it done NOW. Often their requests pull me in three separate directions, and therefore each one feels that I am always slacking. They are near impossible to please and are rarely open for suggestions.

The fourth boss, the head of the company, he only shows up at the very end of the day to oversee the days work. Nothing is ever up to his standard, but he is usually very forgiving. He is aware he has very high expectations. I mean, after all, a lot of the tasks that are required of me throughout the day there is no physical evidence to show for. This leaves him often questioning how much work I actually got done. The three other bosses are always out for the night by the time he gets here so they never can give him a good report. Its hard to explain that their demands took priority to the majority of other things that needed to be done that day. I don't think he ever believes me how busy we are. I mean, he works with them some of the time, but apparently they behave differently for the head boss.

Who would think the home would be such a demanding work place.

Oh, did I mention that my bosses are slobs?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Overlook the fact that both of my boys have their shorts on backwards (did you notice?), I am in love with how Fiona adores her big brothers. The biggest blessing of having more then one child is watching your kids interact. Makes people like the Duggers seem a little less crazy. Just a little. ( Okay, I secretly wish I could have an overflowing family, as long as the money was overflowing too). Twin bonding is really amazing. That instant friendship and deep concern about what the other one is up to is something I enjoy being a fly on the wall for. And now little sister, big brother is a whole new dynamic I am enjoying. This admiration for her two heroes, and the boy's protective love for their most prized possession. I feel blessed when ever I get a glimpse of this unique relationship. 

I came across this article that gave a spin to the new prenatal test. I encourage you to read it.

The vast majority of my readers either directly know me or knows someone who knows me, or are in the Down syndrome community. So sometimes, I feel a little silly for preaching about things like using the "R" word. But I have had people admit that they stopped using the word because I made them more aware. I posted on my Facebook yesterday this little note. Because I still hear friends and family use the word carelessly.

You may know, but it is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. And as a gift to Fiona, I am asking if all of our friends can do a simple favor. For just one day, don't use the word Retard. See how many other words you can use in its place that mean "stupid" but don't mean" stupid like a mentally handicapped person". Its the greatest gift we could receive, especially if it catches on and is never used again.

 Last week, someone I know said it and I literally felt like I got punched in the stomach. I was holding Fiona. 

Before you respond "I don't mean it to offend a mentally challenged person", close your eyes and what do you picture when you think retard. Is it a "slow" person, beating their chest with their hand? Is it someone speaking with an impediment? Is it someone who looks different? Or do you honestly not relate that word to someone mentally challenged. 

Please don't use a word that you do not understand the severity of.  

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