Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-- Look What I Found!

Found these pictures on my computer...
Are... AWESOME!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

On a Lighter Note- Last trip to Disneyland

Toy Story was Sadie's favorite through her last set of surgeries. She was soooo excited to see Jessie. Jessie even talked to her (a no no for characters at Disneyland)

We were going to leave and the photographer kept telling me to wait for Sarge.... and he was worth the wait. He was so attentive and sweet. He took his time with her and asked her all kinds of questions. We even saw him later and he remembered her name and asked how she liked his ride.
Woody was actually the first character we saw. I DON'T like waiting in line to see the characters but there was only two families in line so we stopped. We probably would have stopped for him anyway. The worker told us Woody wasn't seeing anyone else. I was seriously bummed-- considering Sadie told us Woody is her "husband". But the photographer grabbed my arm and told me to wait for Jessie in 5 mins. We waited and as soon as Woody was done he walked through the line and hugged Ms. Sadie. I couldn't whip out my phone quick enough to get a picture; but believe me Sadie was in heaven. Woody was sooo nice to do that!

Here's an arcade game where you put in a quarter and make Woody dance. Best 25 cents I ever spent :)

Waiting for the new ride in California Adventure - Toy Story 3D

Kameron and Kiersten waiting with us... Kameron hadn't been to Disneyland in a couple of years and he was like a little kid all excited. It was sooo much fun to go with him.

I think they think this is cool :)
Kameron and Kiersten both just got their permits. Kiersten's reaction is honest from the first time she rode with him :)

Sadie thinks she is cool in this hat!

She loved making me sick in the teacups! Sadie also went on some new rides this time. She doesn't like new things; but after one try loved the Storybook Boat Ride and Winnie the Pooh.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Every Mom Should Have a Mom to Love and Support Her

I'm not sure I will ever publish this post; but I find it very therapeutic to write my feelings. Talking with others sometimes fuels the fire; but writing kinda of puts it out there and helps you let it go. After the last few days, and after writing my last blog post, I have had this heaviness in my heart. I miss my family. I miss having a mom to support and care for me. Watching this new mom of a child with ds and her extended family makes me jealous. I am happy for all their support; but I am angry and pissed off my mom is not here.

She has not passed; but has chosen not to be part of my or my children's life. She is selfish and in my opinion, has not stepped up to be an unconditionally loving parent. I understand why she has a hard time being there for me- but I it doesn't take the pain away. My mom grew up in a dysfunctional home. She married my dad at 18 and found out she was pregnant with me shortly after he was killed in a drunk driving accident. She didn't have family to lean on (because they had abandoned her) and she had a hard time raising me by herself.

Fast forward to years later when I as an adult watch her being the "perfect, supporting mom" for my younger sister and brother. Idolizing everything my sister does and staying home with them, and fighting for them. Even asking them if their homework was done and making sure they only hung out with good kids. Yeah, so I'm jealous. I did a lot of my own raising and I made mistakes and didn't have a mom to bat for me.

I should also mention my youngest brother has a painful disease and my mom has had to fight for his care, education, and watch him struggle in everything. Scott and I married when my sister was two and my brother was only 9 months. I always felt more like an aunt and uncle to them. I called them every first day of school, sent them Easter boxes, had sleepovers with them, helped pay for EFY and letterman jackets. Because I love them.

Ever since I had Sadie it's like my mom was in competition with me on who had it harder. Which kid was sicker. I could never have an honest conversation about how I felt about my new journey with Sadie without her "one upping me" or telling me to get a grip. If anyone knows me they know I am strong. I don't whine; but I was working through things. I felt like I could never live up to my perfect sister, the little peacock princess!

One day while I was talking about how hard taking Sadie to all her appointments and still trying to support a particular difficult older sibling she told me to stop complaining and take her example. Yeah, her example of yelling all the time, and mooching off everyone, and borrowing money that she never planned on giving back, and ignoring her grandkids. What the heck... I appreciate someone telling me not to sit and complain, but isn't your mom suppose to love and support you no matter what?

I hung up on her. Now almost three years later she has never called. The only contact I have had with them is one email charging me for work they did helping with a bathroom during their last visit. The visit I paid for everything including gas, Disneyland passes, all the Christmas presents including ipods, $2,000 to repair their car (the one we bought them for $3,000 and they haven't paid anything on), and hotel money so my sister and my mom could extend their special vacation. Also, I received one message saying my brother was doing well after another surgery I didn't know anything about. Almost like a slap in the face that I wasn't told about it. Can you believe it?

I know I hung up on her; but I am her daughter. Part of being a mom is to suck up and make things better even if you don't think you did anything wrong. She is suppose to support me and love me and be there for her granddaughters. She has missed graduations, surgeries, first days of school, first boyfriends, first dates, first time driving, growing of boobs, and much much more!
I've pretty much resolved the fact that I will never have a relationship with her. She has missed to much and has shown me how little she cared. I mostly am sad for my kids. Sad they don't have a Nana and someone to cheer them for their accomplishments.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Welcome to Holland... to my friends in Bellingham, Wa

I just found out a friend of mine who I served with in Primary while living in Bellingham just welcomed a new grandson with down syndrome. It is interesting how emotional something like this can be for everyone including myself. I noticed a facebook post from my friend announcing "In the short space of 12 hours my life has been forever altered. Amber and Lance had their first child a son... He is beautiful and perfect and has the love of a great family, lots of cousins and uncles and aunts who will hold his hand as we learn more about Down Syndrome. We have been blessed."

Friends flooded grandma's facebook with excitement, support, and encouragement. I also read mom's (Amber's) sister's blog which was filled with admiration and faith. I know from experience there is a big adjustment ahead for this sweet little family. Shock, disbelief, courage, understanding, faith... all emotions that will swing back and forth. Luckily, this family is a member of our church that teaches these "choice children" have been blessed by Heavenly Father. Blessed to be born and receive a body; but to be spared from Satan and his influences. We believe these children have been so valiant in the pre-existence that they were blessed for their courage. Just knowing this already helps getting through some of the grieving process.

I remember feeling so bad for some parents in our support group who thought their child was a curse because of their faithfulness (or lack of it). It made me sooo sad. This doesn't mean that knowing God's plan makes it a breeze. You still feel sad for the "perfect child" you have lost. Although having as many children as I do I never thought there was a "perfect child" :) Anyway, the emotions and bumps in the road are still there and painful.

When I saw the post I have to admit there was a bit of excitement boiling inside of me. I quickly remembered those first days with Sadie. How scared I was. How I felt like I had to make sure everyone knew I was ok. How overwhelmed I felt because I had other children who needed me. I said a quick prayer for Amber, Lance and their new little baby and quickly started sending messages with information and words of encouragement.

I shared how when I first had Sadie I would wake up several times a night and hear a loud voice in my head yelling, "down syndrome". At first, before she developed a personality and started interacting with us... she was mostly down syndrome. Now, sometimes, I have to be reminded she has down syndrome. Now when I look at Sadie I see a smart, sassy, cute, lovable, sweet, hardworking, stubborn, funny, beautiful little girl. She has soooo much of my heart. She, like all my girls, is the reason I wake up in the morning and the reason I feel so blessed.

The first year will most likely be hard for them. Alot of ruling out different medical conditions that go along with ds is done. Most of which come out negative. But as they spend more time with him and see his personality develop I look forward to watching them fall in love and sharing him with the world. My heart is so full for them today. I wish I could go squeeze me and hold me some little baby boy! I am so grateful for Amber's family. They love her so much and are there to support her, her husband, and her sweet little boy. I know it maybe awhile before she is ready to hear about all the resources out there, or even talk with me; but I look forward to watching this little boy enrich their family and bring blessings they never knew possible. How lucky they are!!!

PS- Welcome to Holland is a poem for families with disabilities. It about how sometimes you don't arrive where you planned on going; but there is beauty and great things in store for you in Holland :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

24 hours of Summer Fun- Hannah

It all started with Thing 1 and Thing 2 working on their Ninja Skills. I thought they looked more like Gangstas... but they swore they were 100% Ninja's with MAD Ninja Skills :)

After six hours the day before, they spent another 4 hours at Dance Team practice for the Jr. High. All the girls walked to our house for some pizza and pool time :)

Hannah, Selina, and Maddie couldn't get enough of each other so after another 2 hours of dance (Hannah) they met up again for a slumber party! Love these girls together... they can have so much fun doing crazy (little girl) things :)

Dear Hannah,
I love you! I love the way you love life! Please enjoy the rest of summer because it is almost over and you are overbooked for Jr. High. I will promise you can have a few more campouts in the back yard, a few more slumber parties, and swim everyday. All you have to promise is to be you.. and laugh and smile a lot!!!!
Love, Mom

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What happens when you keep ruining your phone from water damage?

You have to work hard to pay back the
$50 insurance fee your mom loaned you!

Look at Madison... first time washing a car at a carwash!
My car was so clean (inside and out) = happy mommy! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Maddie Moo... this is for you!

Miss Maddie Moo!

Miss Madison has started High School... can you believe I have one starting High School, one graduating High School this year, one starting Jr. High, and one in Kindergarten? We went to pick up M and K's schedule today and tomorrow will be yearbook and senior pictures so I will post pictures tomorrow. Anyway, yesterday Madison called me out and said I never post anything about her on my blog (hence the reason for starting with her name!) I decided this post would be dedicated to her :)

Madison loved Jr. High. She was on the dance team and served as Captain last year. She is super social and loves to be with her friends. Maddie (as her friends call her) is also a super smart kid. She works hard on her schoolwork and just scored super high on her writing skills for the state standardize test. She is beautiful, has an incredible voice, and has a way of getting lots of attention.

I consider Madison a middle child (technically she is one of two middle children; but she is the middle of the older kids) and boy does she act like a middle child. I never believed in birth order until Madison :) That is not a bad thing, just something that helps me understand what drives her and why it is soooo important to her to get proper acknowledgment and attention. She is a super sensitive person who has a lot of compassion; but is strong and doesn't show when she is offended or hurt by others. She wants to be a good person and is a loyal and thoughtful friend. Madison also is very intune with the spirit and understands why Sadie is the way she is. I am excited for this year. Madison gave up her spot on the High School Dance Team (that was really hard) and had decided to attend an alternative High School. And let me tell you, just because it is alternative does not mean it is easy. This school is scholar driven, WASC approved, UC approved, and has been awarded a Top School for many years. It is more of a researched based school that prepares kids for college (no more reading 20 pages, answering five questions, and looking for bolded words). This year is going to be a year of healing and growing for Ms. Maddie Moo--- I am so excited to watch her blossom! I love you!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Permits (Appointments) for Sadie

Yesterday morning was Sadie's "permit" (her word that took us a long time to figure out what she was saying) appointment with the Orthopedic Dr. for new inserts. We had to wait a long time so we worked on letters and numbers; but she made herself comfortable on the waiting table. It's really sad that a six year old knows the drill for a Dr's visit :( Anyway, the Dr. looked at her walking, the structure of her feet and legs, and mobility of her hips. While looking at her hips she keep studying her little white shorts. I didn't think to much of it until a couple hours later at home while helping her get back on her shorts Hannah noticed they were backwards. The whole day she was walking around with side pockets and a button on her butt.

Second permit: Hair appointment. I really really can't stand long bangs- and by the look of Sadie she doesn't like them either! As soon as they hit her eyebrows and she's looking through piles of hair I start to go bonkers! Unforunately, I have been forbidden by Scott to cut bangs because of a recent "accident".

Here are her new bangs. She was such a little squirrel and would not let me get a good picture. Sadie couldn't wait to see her big sisters and show off her new hairdo! While in the hairstylist I explained how much I can't stand long bangs and can't believe how fast they grow. Because I don't have a boy or other girls with bangs I am just used to seeing the girls need a haircut when it gets a little ratty. Out of all four of my girls Sadie is the only one who has had little girl bangs. They asked why I would give her bangs and no one else. I explained that I felt like the bangs gave a little body to her thin Down Syndrome hair and helped soften some of the ds features. It was funny to watch their faces as they tried to convince me they "had no idea she had down syndrome. We just thought she was really cute". It's ok ladies, I already know!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Free Movie :) Finally!!

We finally hit the "Summer Free Movies" this year.
We saw Space Chimps with Sadie, Hannah, Madison, and Aubrey.
The best part of the whole movie was looking over at Sadie
with this big tub of popcorn between her legs.

Bad News: She had a very hard time sharing with everyone :(
Good News: Sadie has finally mastered sitting through a movie...
it's the small things in life that bring soooo much joy :)
I find the best way to get pictures on to my blog quickly is by taking a picture with my phone and sending it to facebook. Then I save the facebook picture onto my computer and upload into my blog. The only bad thing about this is the picture quailty is poor. This December when I get to upgrade my phone I will spend a little extra money to get a phone with better picture quaility; but for now--- deal with it :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Big Mommy Rant!

Today has been an extremely hard day to be a mom to my children. There has been a lot of yelling, tears, and hurtful words spread around our house. Regardless to say, I'm tired! Most of all I'm sad. Sad that some of my children have a hard time looking beyond their own opinions and seeing the reason behind the decision. All four of my kids are super different. One is an intellect, who has a hard time fitting in socially but has an awesome sense of humor and loyalty. Another is super social, who often makes decisions on what feels good now; but is kind and determined. Yet another is the life of the party one minute and feels like the world is after another; but she has a great sense of humor and is very supportive. Then of course is the stubborn, funny, grumpy, happy, loving, angry, talented, smart little pea we seem to all stop and cheer for.

The hard thing is it seems no one is cheering for anyone but Sadie. Not even cheering for themselves. There are enough people out in the world who want to be better than everyone else... why can't we as a family enjoy each other's accomplishments and look past the other's faults?

If there is one thing I know about parenting my four very different children is that there is no ONE way to parent them. There are at least a half of dozen. Sometimes the "spirit of the law" is more important than the "letter of the law" and what some would consider "rewarding a bad behavior" I would say is making a compromise and picking my battles.

Parenting is one of the hardest things I have ever done.. harder than being Primary President four times, Young Women's President at 19, getting married when I was still a teenager, or caring for a very sick baby. At the end of the day, I hope my kids can forgive me for my short temper, accept my apologizes, trust I know what I am doing, and understand I love them. In return.... I will try to look past the broken door jam, messy floor, and missed dance class!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some Silly Sadie Sunday pixs

Every Sunday after Primary Sadie gives her own
talks and prayers while we clean-up.

Madison trying to keep Sadie from putting
her mouth on the microphone :)

Conducting her favorite song (for this moment) "Once There Was a Snowman"

"I'm finally free!"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday + Awesome Big Sister = Fort Time!

Being 51/2 years older than Sadie qualifies as a good reason not to "hangout" with her little sister; but Hannah always makes time for her little buddy!

Fort created by Hannah (with a little direction from Sadie) Oh, and Hannah would like me to add that she is "rockin' awesome" :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Guess What Kiersten's Getting?

Her Driver's Permit! In a couple of hours I will be picking up Kiersten's certificate of online driver's class completion and taking her to the DMV to test for her permit. By next week she will be on the road with her first two hours of Behind the Wheel Training!

It's been a rough summer for K... she spent most of it recovering from a severe case of Mono. I think the fact she has been stuck in the house this whole summer was motativation enough to overcome her fear of driving and get her permit! Funny thing.... I think I'm emotionally ready for her to drive too :)

This is going to be an eventful year for Kiersten. She will be driving, finishing up her Personal Progress, her best friend will be leaving for his mission, and she graduating High School a year early. Looking forward to a year full of accomplishments and growth!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"True Friends Are The Family We Choose"

This year has been a rough year for a few of my girls when it comes to friends! It has forced me to ponder what defines a "True Friend" and basically I think it comes down to the belief that a "true friend" is someone you want to be the best YOU when they are around. Someone who accepts you for who you are; but is willing to encourage you to become a better you. Who calls you out when you are wrong; but stands by you when you are making things better.

A True Friend is someone who you can spend hours
doing nothing with and leave feeling happy complete.

A TRUE FRIEND is the family we choose!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010