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Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Meghan through the years

Meghan's age

Lilypie Kids birthday PicLilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Trisomy 21 trio of cuties

10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you knew

Friday, October 31, 2008

Our little hippie

I thought these turned out well, I can tell Meghan is growing up, She loves this costume, our technicolor hippie, wish we had a peace sign necklace, remember those?

Disturbing to me

ARTICLE talks about a German family being denied residency in Australia because the son has Down syndrome. I thought Australia was more forward thinking than this. They claim he will take too much funding from their medical system because he is sick, not because of his disability...Dad is a doctor, hmmmm.

Prayer request

My dearest friend Becky lost her father to lung cancer this week. Though her step dad, Ed was HER father and his loss has hit her and her family very hard. Ed was a wonderfully kind man and he will be missed by so many people.

Please pray for their family.

Last day-31 for 21

Well, I did not reach my goal, I missed a couple of days. I know that the idea was to blog about Down syndrome, but goodness, my day is all about Down syndrome. The way we eat, learn, play, and interact with our three youngest is about helping them be the strongest, happiest and smartest girls they can be.

I read blogs were they explained what Down syndrome was, and such, some really clever blogs I enjoyed reading, one American mom told about giving birth to her daughter in Ukraine, which had to be terribly difficult considering how Ukraine views our children with trisomy 21. I was enthralled by her story.

It has been a rough month here, I am not sure why, but I have felt very sad most of the month, maybe the election blues? Folks have seemingly retreated into their homes and so few are talking to one another, I suppose afraid to in such a divisive election year.

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I for one want Tuesday to come and be over with so we will all know what we have to look forward to (or dread) the next 4 years. The important thing to do is VOTE, a few folks told me they won't because neither candidate appeals to them, well, there are 3 others running, perhaps you can vote for them? Last poll I read said 50% of Americans were undecided about their votes. I have come to a decision about how to cast mine, but not without reservations, as neither candidate speaks for me, my family issues and values. Obviously I am neither far left or far right, suppose it makes me a moderate... doesn't matter either way, I detest the labels folks feel they need to give one another.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Doctors registered opinions about the current financial disaster

Doctors registered opinions
About the current financial disaster,
Specifically in regard to the Government 'Bail Out Package'.Opinions were as follows:
Allergists voted to scratch it, whereas
Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling, but
Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve!
Obstetricians said we were laboring under a misconception, but Ophthalmologists flat out vetoed the bill as being short-sighted.
Pathologists yelled, 'Over my dead body!' and
Pediatricians rallied to chant, 'Oh, Grow up!'
Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while
Radiologists could see right through it.
Surgeons agreed to cut it up and wash their hands of it, yet
Internists thought it was a bitter pill we have to swallow.
Plastic Surgeons said, 'This puts a whole new face on things.'
Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but
Urologists said the it would not hold water.
Anesthesiologists noted that the whole idea was just mere gas, but
Cardiologists didn 't have the heart to say no.But the final opinion was voiced by a coalition of
Proctologists who advised everyone to leave the financial fiasco
With the arse's in Washington who actually caused it.

New Test Checks Embryos for 15,000 Inherited Diseases

Oh, does this make anyone else nervous?

British researchers say they've developed a gene mapping test that,within a matter of weeks, can determine whether an embryo is affected by any one of 15,000 inherited diseases. Current tests focus on a specific genemutation or can take much longer to provide results.

For the new test, a single cell is taken from an 8-day-old embryo.DNA samples are then collected from the parents and their parents. In many cases, a DNA sample is taken from another member of the family, such as achild affected by an inherited disease, BBC News reported.

All the family members' DNA is analyzed for 300,000 specific DNA markers, creating a map of the family's genetics, said Professor Alan Handyside and colleagues at London's Bridge Center, who are currently conducting trials of the gene mapping test.

"The effectiveness and efficiency of the procedure is quite exciting, andthe fact that it's quicker means it could be helpful to couples at risk ofinherited diseases -- and that in itself is significant," Dr. Mark Hamilton,chairman of the British Fertility Society, told BBC News.

"We can currently test for several hundred conditions, but the claim isthat the spectrum of conditions which could be screened for is enormous," he added.

Our Buddy Walk Today

It was our 7th annual Buddy walk today, we were so excited to bring all three of our girls to the walk, we wanted our friends to meet Kara and Amanda too.

We were getting ready to walk here, Tom and the girls are eating their Eegee's, a frozen drink we have in these parts. :o) Amanda does not like really cold foods, so she did not have one.

The walk was longer this year and Meghan was getting pretty tired towards the end. It illustrated why we need to get a toddler seat for our new stroller. We took Kara and Amanda out of the stroller after the walk was over. Meghan climbed in to rest.
We had her come out to take a group picture, with me behind the camera as usual, you will not see one photo of me anywhere unless another person took one when I was not looking. LOL
OK everyone, look at Mommy.

Tom pulled Kara back, she was trying to crawl away. Amanda
looked down when she saw the camera, Meghan joined her.
Meghan was not having any of this, she just wanted
to be left alone, and Kara is still trying to get away!
OK, this wasn't bad of Kara and Meghan, but hubby? Well, he sure looks unhappy, maybe the sun is in his eyes? Amanda is avoiding me, AGAIN.
Kara wanted free, so many places to explore, she has had it, we decided to give up on the group photo and let her free. We put Amanda on the grass too, she was not certain she liked it, but she soon began to spin in circles, so we knew she was relaxing.

Kara taking off, finally a happy girl.

One thing is for certain, Kara has no sense of danger, she crawled away without looking back, and I believe would have kept on going if I did not come after her.

Amanda relaxing, the tee is a size 6, and HUGE on her, it was the
smallest size they offered. I think she enjoyed herself today. She sure did love meeting Wendy, another mom who has adopted children with Down syndrome, she is also a foster parent.

Amanda was hugging and kissing Wendy, I think Wendy would have taken Amanda with her had we let her. Who could blame her, Amanda is such a precious little girl! She did offer to babysit for us (Thank you Wendy) We do need a night out, so we may call her soon. :o)
We took Meghan to the inflatables, she could not wait to go in, she was the only child with Down syndrome in line, that always worries me, she is not as adept as typical kids. Well, she managed to climb into the middle of the obstacle course, but refused to climb out, after 15 minutes I climbed in to get her, rather hard on the surface. Needless to say, she was not allowed back in.

We got home and We gave Amanda her dinner, the rest of us had pizza and were not hungry. Amanda crawled into the hallway and was playing with a car when all of a sudden everything went quiet, we found her like this.

Kara was also exhausted, but she refused to fall asleep and fought is a while, I found her on the sofa a few minutes later, sound asleep.

We are all pretty tired, but we had a good day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just a little (A LOT) sad

Election year brings out the worse in folks, and I think that for a few months, our tempers are shorter, and our tolerance diminishes with it. I cannot wait for the election to be over, and though I am uneasy about the outcome, I want some sense of normalcy to return to my life, and my friendships, I am lucky to have friends who vary from me in their thinking, but with enough respect for one another to allow for the difference. I am not foolish enough to believe that things will be better after the election; in fact, I believe we have a few years of very complicated financial and ethical issues to work through.

I have been reading blogs and folks have tried to explain their positions on various subjects, and they are attacked in their comment sections. I read what some folks have said in response to the authors posts and my stomach hurt, I began grinding my teeth and my head began to pound. These are good folks who were wounded by extremely unkind, hateful, despicable comments, upset by others who claim to be good people, good Christians. What offended me the most was a comment a person left in a blog I really enjoy reading. The blog author wrote about orphans who need families and how they felt that the laws many states are trying to pass to prevent gay and lesbian couples from adopting were wrong. (This is simplified) They went further to say that, all children deserve a family. Who is to say which kind of family is acceptable? I completely agree, I do not believe in hate law, and this is what this is. The person who left their message on their blog said it is better to let the children die in the orphanages and be with Jesus than to live in a home filled with sin, they used the vile term; abominations (cringe). They were willing to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of thousands of children to prevent them from being raised by loving parents, and only because they were gay. It horrified me; this dreadful intolerance.

They say they want to protect the children from dear Lord gasp SINNERS, and by golly, lets pass a law to be certain none of these unworthy sinners can ever be married or adopt children. Who among us has not sinned, whom I ask you are not sinners? How can anyone point their finger at another and proclaim them thus without looking in the mirror and pronouncing themselves the same. I will also say, that using the word sinner is not something I do; I am making the point based on what the person leaving the comment on the blog wrote.
I worry about what this legislation will do to the children of the families being attacked here. What happens to the children in these non-traditional families, are they suffering because they have two moms or dads, yes, but not because of the parents who love them. Instead, the children of the intolerant, those who proclaim the unworthiness of LGBT couples to be parents, undoubtedly cause their suffering, their parents will make sure they know about their feelings concerning these non-traditional families and in turn, the children will spread their bigotry.

There are many different types of non-traditional families; children who lost their parent(s) and grandma, aunt, uncle, sister, or brother are raising them. Maybe daddy died and mommy is raising the children on her own. Maybe their parents divorced.

The ads on TV trying to get folks to pass a law to change Arizona’s constitution say a marriage is defined as a union before God between a man and a woman, together with their children; they make up a family unit. Therefore, they are telling these children their families are lesser than children with a mommy and daddy are. Of course, if I am to follow the commenter on the blog, this is OK, we can let these children suffer and hope they die quickly so they can be with Jesus, it will save them from an unspeakable fate….

I grew up believing God loves all of his children, ALL OF HIS CHILDREN. When we start to decide whom is worthy of God’s love based on color, race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or because of a disability, then it is my contention that we ourselves are the abominations. Do you believe God is encouraging us and declaring, “This causes me great joy, and this is what I wish for my children on earth”.

I know I do not hold a popular view, I truly do not care, I know in my heart that loving everyone even if I do not agree with them is what God wants of me, and how I try to live my life. I love you all despite not understanding the feelings that make you so afraid of others who are not exactly like you; but please; if you do not have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. ( I am certain I will get one comment like I always do anyway LOL) I already know how some feel about this issue, no need to spread the revulsion, keep it to yourselves.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Swimming lessons

Meghan had another swim lesson today, she has had such a grumpy week and tried to be grumpy with Dan too, I told him, just take her in the deeper water and let her complain. Honestly, she needs to know she cannot always dictate everything...I guess we all have bad weeks sometimes, Meghan's has been a particularly bad one.

I took Kara and Amanda in the water, Kara characteristic of her, was fearless, playing on the stairs alone, exploring, going under a few times. She will likely swim like a fish someday.

Amanda was trembling in terror. I got in and held her and sang to her (badly) and after 15 minutes she calmed down, but would not let me let go of her. 10 minutes later she was kicking her legs a little, and right before we got out, she was splashing and smiling, all while sitting on my lap, but I was feeling pretty good about her progress. The water is very warm, it is a therapeutic pool.

I was none too happy about exposing not too slim thighs or a rash that won't go away completely to the young men in the pool, but oh well, I wanted my girls to have fun. I have never liked walking around in a swim suit, thin or fluffy.

Yesterday I was walking out the back door to throw some laundry in the washer and I tripped and fell on my hands and knees, spraining my left wrist and pinkie and skinning both knees. I knelt there for a few seconds in shock, I have no idea how I fell, but I got up and checked for bleeding knees. The one thing I can say about psoriasis, when you skin your knees all that scrapes off is the extra skin, so I guess it is not all bad? I really dislike this rash, but I live with it. I was laughing with my husband about it yesterday, remember those commercials? The heartbreak of psoriasis? Living with it is not fun, I wonder how in the world I got it all of a sudden, I know Strep throat caused it, but why is it still here.



Five Reasons to Vote NO on Prop 102

NO on Prop 102 -- the so-called "Marriage Amendment.

1. Vote NO -- Keep politicians out of marriage. Arizona has a budget deficit, and our schools need help. But what do politicians spend their time debating? Marriage -- even though it's already defined in state law as between a man and a woman and even though we voted on this two years ago.

2. Vote NO -- Tell the politicians that we aren't dumb. Why won't politicians listen to us? Do they think we're dumb? In 2006 we voted NO, now they are back at it, putting divisive issues on the ballot. We must stop spending time debating the definition of marriage.

3. Vote NO -- Tell politicians to get to work on real issues that matter to Arizona families. Voting on the marriage issue isn't important to people, we must focus on more important issues: health care, immigration, energy policy, and the economy.

4. Vote NO -- Leave marriage alone. Marriage in Arizona is already defined in state law as between a man and a woman. There's no reason to change the Constitution.

5. Vote NO again -- Trust the people. Voters made their views known on the issue of marriage two years ago by defeating the so-called "Protect Marriage Amendment." Forty-nine legislators should not be able to overturn the voters on this issue.

I view this as a hate proposition, I have been married 30 years to the same man and we have 8 children, and I believe in family values, except that I think a family is not defined by a union between a man and a woman, sorry folks, it is how I live my life as a wife and mother, but I do not believe in hateful legislation, government needs to stay out of this one, FOR GOOD.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ears A-OK

Curiously, the girls pediatrician could not find anything wrong with their ears, no fluid, no redness, and no antibiotics! What a relief huh?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One more appointment down, three more to go this week

I took all three girls to Child Find today, I honestly do not have a babysitter for my children, no family or friends to watch them. My friends all have FT jobs, at least those who would watch them, so do my sons. So we always go as a huge group. We sure get a lot of attention when we go places.

Inevitably I am asked if the girls are my grandchildren, makes me feel like I am 60, actually, it makes me feel really bad, but that is vanity speaking, isn't it? I always tell them the girls are my daughters, then they ask if they are adopted, I say yes, two of them are, the oldest is homegrown. I like the looks on their faces, shame on them for assuming huh? LOL What I do not like is people telling me they admire me or that I am special because we adopted the little gals. I don't know why it makes me uncomfortable, but it does. It bothers Tom too, we did not adopt our girls for attention or to be admired for it, we wanted two more children with Down syndrome like our Meghan, I don't think anyone understands how incredibly blessed we feel to have them in our lives. Sometimes I can't believe they are here, it is such an amazing gift to be allowed to adopt.

The ladies at Child Find are very sweet, funny there is not one man working there. Kara went to Child Find in April and again in June, they were all amazed at how much she has grown, we are too, Kara is twice the size she was a year ago. They thought Amanda was just precious, and of course we do too. Meghan went through the office closing doors...I am telling you, this week is not a good one for her. I don't know why, but she is being a peel.

Amanda will go back the end of November for her evaluation, I suppose we just have to accept that waiting for all the services she desperately needs is on someone else's timeline and not hers. (sigh) Can I say, I am so very weary of doctors appointments, and yes, we knew having three with Ds would mean multiple trips to various specialists, but I want one week where no one is sick and we do not have to go to any doctors offices for any reason.

This week we went to the audiologists office, we were there for 2 1/2 hours, today we went to Child Find, tomorrow morning Kara and Amanda see the pediatrician to get their ears checked, and Meghan has speech therapy in the afternoon. Friday Meghan has her swim lesson. Sunday we are looking forward to, it is our Buddy Walk!! We get to take our two new daughters and they finally get to meet so many of our friends.

We got great news about our stroller, SANDS (Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome) is purchasing the stroller for us as part of their Give it Back program. It is such an amazing gift for us, and we know that Lori will need her stroller soon for her two new children. Lori lent us her double stroller a couple of months ago and with all the appointments I have gone to alone, it has been a Godsend. Lori, thank you so much! Sheila told me about this company, she will need a stroller for her three too.

I emailed Phil at Adventure Buggy Company after looking at all the other strollers available for our kids, if they held their combined weight, the wheels fell off, or they got stuck while going through rocky or sandy places. I have spent two months reading the descriptions and comments about pretty much every stroller made in America, and frankly I was not impressed with those that we could afford with the little bit of money we managed to raise to purchase one ourselves.

A heartfelt thank you to SANDS for helping us get our stroller. We are thinking of getting the toddler seat later on for Amanda, and letting Meghan and Kara sit in the main buggy, each child can weigh up to 55 pounds, and Meghan is still under 45 pounds.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

3 girls enter, three girls fail

All three little girls had their hearing tests today. Amanda had fluid on one ear, Kara on both, and Meghan, oh Meghan, she refused to let anyone put anything in her ears to check them. She threw her typical medical visit fit and refused to cooperate, she did the booth OK, but without the other tests, it is not a good picture of her having a hearing problem or not. She got so upset she threw her head back and smacked me in the mouth, I have a fat lip.

All three have to return, Meghan for a repeat try before we do a ABR, which I DO NOT want to do, but will if we have to. I do not understand this phobia Meghan has, she has really never had terrible medical issues and no one doctor as ever done anything to hurt her or upset her. It is a mystery to me, to us.

Amanda and Kara need to recover from their ear infections before their hearing is checked again. Amanda also need the wax cleaned out of her ears ago, it is prolific.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

My goodness, this is the prettiest little costume I have seen in decades, you have to check out the stunning dress, and admire the details. Join the contest to win this for your little girl for Halloween! Click the link above.

Oh no, Manda Moo's first injury

We leave the sliding door propped open during the day, the little girls love playing outside, but truth is, our yard is not very kid friendly, we have some atrocious cement that is rough on tender feet and knees. Something we always wanted to get fixed, but never have due to the huge cost of tearing it up and getting a load of cement to pour, and men to make sure it is level and such... My idea is to get interlocking foam mats and place them all over the patio, that way my little girls will be more comfortable and much safer.
We will likely go to Home Depot and get a package at a time until we have enough.

So today after lunch, the little girls went outside to play a little, Amanda was singing to me, so I went out and she was sitting at the swing, her way of asking to be put up on it. I put her up and Kara soon joined her, I could hear them playing while I washed out the bibs and bowls. (Our kitchen opens into the back yard, so they were right beside me really)
I heard the swing begin to squeak and knew Meghan had joined the girls, I heard laughing and went outside to see them all hanging out. Of course I had to get my daughters camera, I still have not replaced mine, I feel so lost without it, I am sure other moms understand that, especially if you love taking pictures like I do.
As soon as I clicked the first two pictures, Amanda was trying to get down and Kara was struggling to get to me, she loves to see herself on the camera, something left over from our days in Ukraine.
Of course big sis was having none of that, and attempted in her kid way to restrain them, and of course mommy had to get her to let go, talk about a choke grip. LOL
Well, Kara got away and sat by me, but Meghan pulled a reluctant Amanda right back up with her and held on. Meghan adores Manda Moo and is always wanting to hold her.

Amanda though, got Meghan's hand off of her and tried to climb off the swing head first, at the same time Meghan stood up an Manda fell, head down on the cement.
She landed on the side of her head and her cheek, her mouth bled a little too. She cried for 15 minutes while mommy held a cool clean cloth on her head and face. Here she is after she stopped crying, you can see her pink left cheek and he red puffy eyes. (right in the picture), poor baby, she was so sad. This happened in seconds and I tried to get to my little baby and grab her, but I just could not react soon enough.
After Amanda calmed down, both little girls had a bath and had their bangs cut; crooked bangs because they both refused to stay still. LOL I kep Amanda awake all afternoon, keeping an eye on her, she seems fine, but I feel so badly for her.
So, I think we will be getting those mats as soon as possible, no more of this kind of thing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jealousy-must be cause it looks like!

Check out Amanda's eyes, LOL (click to make picture larger)

How can a mommy be so dense? I realized that Amanda got much louder in her self-stim singing whenever I held or played with Kara. She does not mind me sitting with or hugging Meghan, but she definitely does with Kara.
We already knew Kara had some issues with it, but sweet Amanda? I know she will get better once she feels more secure. Interesting that Meghan does not upset her.
I thought about this song when I was thinking about Amanda:
Must be jealousy, must be 'cause it sounds like
Jealousy, must be 'cause it looks like
Jealousy, must be 'cause it smells like
Jealousy, must be 'cause it feels like
Eyes are drilling holes in the back of your head

Gotta love Todd Rundgren!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 18 of 31

I have to say I love all the blogs I have been reading, nothing enthrall me more than the sweet stories of our kids with Ds.

We had an ordinary day here, played with the girls, and fed them, bathed them, loved them. I have been feeling strange all day and finally put my finger on it. It was walking through the radiation wing to get Amanda's scans yesterday, the same place I went for my CT and bone scans in 2003 after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not a happy memory, the ghosts of cancer past. I am sure anyone who has had cancer or been a caregiver for someone with cancer can understand my feelings. Hard to explain, but so unsettling. Now that I have figured it out, I can work through it, breast cancer awareness month always gets to me anyway. I notice my sister members in my breast cancer support group are very quiet as well.

Thank HF Amanda seems fine, they did not find any tumors on her kidneys. She is tired today, yesterday was exhausting for all of us.

Kara is eating apples, taking the whole thing and chomping on it, it is so wonderful to see, when we brought her home 10 months ago, she did not know how to chew. Now she is eating an apple, wow!

Julia is working with her brother (Eric) she will have a 13 hour day today, she gets to see quite a few weddings, Eric has seen over 1000!

Meghan has been playing with Kara, sill girls like climbing in the clothes hamper together, they don't fit as well as they did, Kara has gotten very big.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New blog posts for Kara and Amanda

This morning we had an appointment for Amanda, it was for 10. We left at 11:15 and got home around 11:50 or so. I had to give the girls lunch, tried to eat something myself and we were out the door at 12:40 for Meghan's swim lesson, which was supposed to be at 1:00. We got home at 2:30 and the girls got diaper changes and then went out to play. We got back in the car at 3:40 for our 4:00 appointment for Kara. We got home a little before 6 pm. Can I say that this threw off our nap schedule, Kara and Amanda were beyond tired. They had dinner and then soon after got Jammie's, tooth brushing and were put in bed. They took about 10 minutes to settle down and fall asleep. I updated the little girls blogs.

I am not even certain folks know we have 3 blogs, I guess I do not make it clear, sorry. Kara's blog is about our Ukrainian adoption journey and KAra's adjustment to her new life. Amanda's blog is about our Estonian adoption and our newest and youngest daughter. Meghan's blog is pretty much about all of us, including our two European daughters. :o) Sometimes it is a lot to keep up with. You can see Kara and Amanda's blogs by clicking on the links to upper left.

Meghan was supposed to have a swim lesson today, but it was canceled because of Special Olympics, I knew this, but forgot and took her anyway. She ended up swimming in the main pool and having a great time. We did not take a swim diaper and her regular pullup inflated to ridiculous degrees, her bum looked huge and I got a good laugh watching her walking around like that. I could not find my suit fast enough to take the little girls in too, next week I hope to, we won't have an appointment. though I am not certain I can wrangle three little ones alone. I may take the two little girls on while Meghan has her swim lesson.

It was a very busy day, everyone but myself is sleeping, and I am going to bed as soon as I finish typing this.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pictures for Wednesday

I liked this of Meghan. Poor sweetie, she gets those awful baggies under her eyes like I do, allergies do it every time.
LOL, look at those faces. Tee hee.
Happy Kara, and yes, Amanda is moving away.
Sisters fighting, uhm, I mean bonding, yes, bonding. :o) Kara did not want Amanda to leave, so she went after her and put her head on Amanda's leg. Amanda was not amused, but Kara sure was.

Flashback-1976 LOL

I was looking for a picture, and found this one. Tom and I in Disneyland, we were with our marching band for a huge competition. I was a twirler, he was one of the drummers. We were very good friends, had so many good times together, he was the best friend I had at the time, and the only one who let me talk about my sadness over my mothers illness, we did begin dating shortly after this.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keeping up with three blogs is challenging

I am doing my best to update each one, but some days it is easier to put everything on Meghan's, which is really our family blog, to tell the truth.

I saw a friends blog where they were talking about 21 things that make their child special, that would mean I would need to find 63 things that make all my girls special, I am sure I could (and more) except I just don't have the time with the girls feeling sick, me getting almost no sleep because of Amanda, and homeschooling! I admire the moms who do such sweet and special things on their blogs, I used to think I was creative until I read theirs! :o)

I am also wanting a new template for Kara and Amanda's blogs, I love those sweet templates that Shelley, Kristy, and Mandy have for theirs (there are more, but those three come to mind) I tried to sign up for the free templates from their links, I was caught in a loop where I clicked the link and it brought me back to the same page. I would love one with a blue background and sunflowers for Kara's, and something pretty, frilly, and pink for Amanda's. She is such a delicate little beauty. I like this one I got for Meghan, it suits her, I know I could do better if I paid for it, but frankly, we can use that money for diapers and clothing. LOL

Our Buddy Walk is coming up, we have made $20, how sad huh, last time we made $500, and I was so tickled about that. I think I am fundraised out, and I am sure folks are also holding on to every dime now too with our uncertain economy, I surely understand that! I can't wait until we take all of the girls to Buddy Walk, it will be so much fun with all three, and I want to show off my special girls, I am already planning on what they will wear!

Monday, October 13, 2008

How did you find our blog?

Meghan 1 year old

I always wonder how folks find us when they don't know our family, here are a few:

by searching for "EYE EXAM" DILATION. That would be the little girls eye exams!

A whole new meaning to "Welcome to Holland"" by searching for meaning of buddy walk. Yes, well, I remember how upset I was when I wrote that post. :o(

"First of 3-T-21 rules our hearts: Sniffles and coughs" by searching for 3 year old and sniffles every night. Poor baby :o( , I hope you found out why, that sounds miserable.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cold day today

Well to us, it is in the 70's, a storm (remnants of a Hurricane) tried to get through to us, but all we got was wind and a drop in temperatures. I put pants, shoes and sweaters on the girls and they went outside to play, we have so many sweaters for the girls, I adore little cardigans and pullovers, and I actually look forward to cooler days. :o)

We have decided that Kara needs her own playhouse, Meghan is constantly throwing her out. LOL Kara goes into the house and lies down on the Finding Nemo bench. She is so miserable with her cold, I think we need to see her doctor, but they are closed tomorrow, so we will go Tuesday. Amanda is OK, just a runny nose.

Meghan has never had to share toys with siblings before, so she is learning how to, it is a work in progress for certain. She gets so confused about it and then her feeling get hurt when we reprimand her for pushing and tugging things away from Kara, not Amanda, who does not want to play with toys yet. Besides, Meghan feels very protective about her littlest sister. Poor Kara too, because before Amanda came, she and Meghan played with each other quite often. It is just regular sibling stuff, but it is amazing that Meghan has younger siblings, isn't it?

Kara is asleep right now, Amanda did not want to take her nap, so she is outside rocking on the blue doggie. She is laughing and smiling, and there is a light in her eyes, God is helping her heal, and to me , it is a miracle to witness.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What we love to see

Julia has a choral concert this Wednesday, it was pretty good, truthfully the boys need some work, but they have improved a lot since last year. :o)

Julia has three girls and one boy in her choral class who have Down syndrome. One of the girls looks like our Meghan, and she is so pretty, tiny, and she is having a blast up there! I think we are almost as proud of them as we are our daughter, we have never met their parents though. We sure would love to.

We took the little girls with us and Brian joined us too. after the concert Julia went off with her friends to I-Hop, this is how parents come to realise our kids are growing up, they no longer want to get ice cream after special days with their parents...

Friday, October 10, 2008

I am a Kick A** Blogger

I got this award today from Jennifer. The rules are to pick 5 other blogger's who I think are awesome. It is hard to pick only 5, but here are my choices:
I pick Kristy, who has two blogs, such pretty designs. Kristy just adopted from Ukraine, and is going back later this year, or early next year to being her little girl home. She is such a wonderful woman, and a great Mom.

Melonie, who is always there to help other adoptive parents solve problems, and a great friend. Melonie is going to Estonia soon to adopt Alina.

Sheila, who is adopting again, this time in Russia, and she is such an inspiration to me.

Dawn, who is always the first person to leave a comment on my blogs, and also a very dear friend, she has an awesome blog as well!

Gayla, a mom of two teenage girls with Down syndrome, she takes the time to answer my questions and offers good advice. Thanks Gayla.

Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are "Kick A** Bloggers"
Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award
Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to
Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!Grab code's below - don't forget to link up the person who nominated you for the Kick A** Blogger Club. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oh no, forgot a day

Still trying to get better from our colds.

Meghan had another alopecia treatment with the squaric acid and we are trying to find out if we can self-administer it, as it is getting expensive to have to go every three weeks. The good news is it keeps Meghan's hair from falling out, and that helps her self esteem.

I got some creme for Kara's eczema, her cold has made it re-emerge on her cheeks and her thighs, she has the worst of the cough, I know she had bronchitis in Ukraine a couple of times, that tends to recur, so if she is still feeling badly tomorrow, we will take her in to the pediatrician. The doctor told me to put it on Amanda's mosquito bites, the Skin so Soft seems to be working some, but the mosquito's bite her wherever we miss a spot, like her eyelids and ears, the nasty suckers, poor Amanda. At least her arms and legs are clearing up.

The little girls got some pretty little dresses from our friend Melonie, they are so sweet, and I want to get their pictures done in them. Thank you Melonie! BTW, Julia is wearing her bracelet!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Goopy noses, watery eyes, bad tempers (kids) and grumpiness (mom) :o)

Wish I could say we are all better, the girls have coughs now and their noses are forever running or getting goopy and green, icky. They do not like their noses wiped at all, especially Kara, who fights like a tiger to prevent it.

Meghan is still OK, I hope it stays that way.

It is Julia's 16th birthday today, I truly wanted to decorate the house, but with all of us feeling ill, it is not going to happen. I know she will feel sad about it. :o( Sometimes illnesses are ill-timed too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our boring day

Since the little girls are feeling so down, we had a quiet day today. Meghan and I did her schoolwork, still need to do speech. Kara slept for a while, and has played outside most of the day, Amanda refused to take a nap. She has been so sweet today, seeking me out to be held and just chuckling when I pick her up. She tries to kiss Mama with a snotty nose, don't know about you, but booger-y kisses are not my favorite. Here comes Amanda again! She is sitting with me. She kicks the keyboard so that I can't type. Kara and Meghan joined her.

So much for blogging. :o) I am such a lucky mommy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sniffles and coughs

None of us are feeling all that great, I was feeling happy about how healthy the girls had been, and bam, we all caught a cold.

Oh well, this too shall pass.

Not much to say to day, just wanted to post as promised.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Such a great tribute to our kids

OCTOBER IS DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH Click on syndrome to read this great article.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Stereotypes and Down syndrome

Baby Meghan, after her bath

We always get reactions when we take the girls out, most are positive, we kind of ignore the others, we are used to be stared at, makes me want to be sure I am well dressed. LOL

Most people who do not have someone with Down syndrome in their families assume that all kids with Ds are affectionate, outgoing-friendly, and lovable.

Meghan was the first child we have seen who is not all of that (we have seen many more since she was born). She is cautious around strangers, shy even, does not hug anyone unless she knows them well or they are children, she will hug and kiss other children, much to their dismay. Today in the pediatricinas waiting room she was sitting by a couple with a 3 month old baby, she was entralled with the cute little girl, but I had to lead her away. The mom and dad we using that happy voice folks use when her attention makes them uncomfortable.... She does not seek out the company of adults unless they have small children, and then she would follow them anywhere, not SAFE at all, we have to be very careful with her.

She is also quick to lose her temper and she lets you know, can be uncooperative, hates doctors visits and refuses to stand on scales. (who can blame her, she is a girl, we all dislike that!) She literally freaks out when she sees a person in a white coat. She also does not like therapists, they have been in her life since she was 4 months old, but she has zero tolerance of them., except for her beloved speech therapist, but then she is more like family now.

She hates having her hair washed, and she likes to dress herself. Often mismatched clothes, picking shoes from two different pairs, usually on the wrong foot. Lately I am proud to say, she has chosen matching clothes and shoes, maybe she does listen to me? What drives me crazy is her changing them 3-4 times a day, ugh, so much laundry.

Now Kara is the affectionate and outgoing stereotype. She is everything people expect from a little girl with Ds. That friendlieness; going to and hugging strangers, that is our Kara, people are enchanted by it, but it bothers Mama because it can be dangerous. We need to teach her that it is not safe to be so open. Certainly with trusted friends she can be, but she does not discriminate between family, close friends, as opposed to strangers.

Kara is not cautious with anoyone, she is less of a daredevil now that she has been home for a few months, but she still seems unaware of danger.

Kara has a slow temper, but when she gets upset, she is slow to recover, she prefers whining to crying, and is very dramatic about it. She does not mind having her hair washed and just tolerates it, which is good, because she often puts her food in her hair and needs baths twice a day to wash ot out. I cannot get her out of the bathtub, she loves being in there.
Will talk more about this Saturday

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 2-31 for 21

Yesterday I spent the day researching Aniridia, it is a rare genetic disorder, 1 in 60,000 people have it in America. Of course Amanda was not born here, and it seems it is slightly more common in Estonia.

Though Amanda seems to have a few more issues besides Down syndrome, we just look at her sweet little face and feel overwhelming love for her. Her having Down syndrome, plagiocephaly, partial aniridia, strabismus, extreme hyperopia, PSLVC, and autism spectrum; well, they are all part of who she is. I guess what bothers us sometimes is that others do not find her as endearing or as special as we do, more often they feel pity for her, and protective, which is good, because it makes them more willing to help us help her. We have been told several times that her behavior and appearance are "off-putting". People are being honest, it is true, but if they spent all day with her they would see all of the things that make her our special and beautiful daughter.

This Aniridia website describes some of the issues people with Aniridia face, I can find many issues Amanda has , but they can also be associated with Down syndrome. I am fact finding, and she will see her pediatrician tomorrow. Hopefully he can refer her to a neurologist for an MRI, and we can get the US of her abdomen done to check for Wilm's tumor. We will see what he says tomorrow. Meghan has a swim lesson tomorrow and Kara has pre-school, tomorrow will be another busy day for us. I think the hardest part for me is feeding all the girls on their schedule when we are running around, and nap time is completely disrupted, and that makes for some very grumpy girls, especially Kara.

Tuesday night Kara was inconsolable, we woke her up from a late nap and her pupils were still dilated from her eye exam, she was really upset about it and refused to eat dinner. We had to turn down all the lights to help her calm down. Meghan also has a really hard time recovering from the dilation, it takes her twice as long, no doubt related to low tone and likely combined with slow metabolism? Amanda's eyes did not really change when they put the drops him, her pupils are always pretty large, in fact, it did not seem to bother her at all.

Beautiful artwork featuring children

Such a beautiful Video

I have a voice

Gifts video