What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Notes from the Week and a Roundup

I have so many things I want to post about, but I struggle to make time to write. For today, I present to you a list:

1. Jen visited. It was great to see Emmett's sister. Evan taught her how to play the Pokemon card game, and Corrie forced her to make up stories about princesses. Ben required hours of snuggling. And I - took naps! And ran errands by myself. It was great. :) Note: Emmett also enjoyed seeing his sister. They had lunch by themselves one day, and stayed up talking a couple of nights.

2. Corrie turned FOUR. I still think of her as my little girl, but she is really quite big. She has now lived longer in Texas than she did in Chicago. She loves pink and purple, and she is like a magpie - collecting toys, hair doodads, books and odds and ends in assorted backpacks and on her bed. She adores her dad. She sings and dances around the living room every day. She loves to go on mommy/daughter dates for yogurt. She says "Ack" all the time (drives me crazy). She likes to pretend to be the mommy while I am the sister. She sneaks sips of my Cokes. She makes up wonderful stories with her dolls.

3. God is providing for Ben! I talked in the last post about the community of families that we are getting to know. I am so thankful. One family actually lives down the block from us - how amazing is that!? Then today, Ben and I had the opportunity to hang out with a speech pathologist. I met her three months ago at a Pampered Chef party, of all places. She admired Ben, so we got to talking. It turns out that she has a Continuing Education DVD from Talk Tools - an oral motor therapy system for babies with Down syndrome. Today, she and I watched part of the video together, and she offered to see Ben regularly so that she can practice and develop her oral motor skills with infants. This is a huge blessing. This therapy will be in addition to our regular speech therapy from Early Intervention. This wasn't something I was looking for; God has been reminding me that He has plans for Ben - and that He will provide for him - even when I'm not expecting it.

4. Evan turned SEVEN at the end of January. Evan is great. He loves to learn - we hear a regular recitation of Pokemon info and lessons from school. When Evan plays with Ben, Ben's smile can light up the room. Evan is super-competitive. He likes to tell us how he is doing in class, compared to everyone else. He can throw a football in a pretty spiral. Evan's favorite team is the Seattle Seahawks. (He actually likes all the bird teams - Ravens, Falcons, Eagles, etc. - but the Seahawks are his favorite). He can read! (This is amazing to me. I am in awe of how the kids grow and learn). He and Emmett are currently reading The Two Towers by Tolkien. He is (mostly) kind to his sister.

That's probably a long enough list for now. If I were really good, each of those items would have been a separate post.

And just to prove that Ben is not always as happy and sweet as he might seem on the blog, I figured I'd throw in a "mad Ben" picture ... just to keep me honest. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nice to Meet You!

This afternoon, the kids and I had a playdate with a new friend. She lives in my town and her little boy has Down syndrome. He's 18 months old and ADORABLE. Ben napped through most of the playdate, so Corrie did most of the playing from our side. And I got to talk and ask questions of another mom. It was wonderful.

Thanks to Early Intervention, we have a list of about 5 other local families who have kids with Down syndrome, and we're hoping to do a big family playdate on March 21st - World Down syndrome Day. I am excited to meet these moms, dads and kids!

I have appreciated connecting with other moms and families online - via facebook and babycenter.com, but there is something special about knowing people in real life. Finally: someone to answer my questions about pediatricians, ENTs, therapy, local schools! These families have no idea what they are getting themselves into ... I have a LOT of questions.

Obligatory picture of cute baby - he loves his feet lately. And prunes. We are thankful for prunes. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Visit from Auntie Jen

After each of my children was born, Emmett's sister has come out - by herself - to visit and help with the baby. Jen came when Evan was a few months old, when Corrie was little, and now for Ben. Her husband has generously kept their children each time.

It's been so good to see her, to talk, and to watch her love on our kids. We try to take advantage of her visits - I get to take extra naps and I run errands by myself. Jen and Emmett go out for a sibling lunch or dinner. The kids have some special outings.

The special outing from this visit was a trip to the zoo. I was there, too, even if I'm not in any of the pictures! :) I take that back - when you see the picture of the three kids together, my arm is the one holding Ben on Corrie's lap. The boys are both looking at me instead of the camera. Sigh ... It's hard to get a picture with everybody looking in the right direction!

We had a great time at the zoo! Evan was our map guy. He kept us moving in the right direction. He was most excited about the tigers.

Ben's favorite part was this big metal turtle. Auntie Jen, Ben and I sat outside the reptile house while Emmett, Evan and Corrie checked out all the snakes. You can kind of see the turtle shell underneath Evan and Corrie.

Corrie loved hanging out with her daddy, and Evan ran - ran - ran everywhere. We all slept well on Saturday night.

Corrie liked the flamingos - pink!

It was Ben's first trip to the zoo. Good times!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is a day late, but I thought we'd share anyway:

We took these photos to decorate Emmett's door at work. Last year, we made a lot of hearts and stuck them to his door. We called it a "heart attack" for Valentine's Day. This year ... I did not have the energy to make a whole lot of anything, so we opted for photos instead. :)

This is also what we did for the kids' school valentines:

My friend Jen made super cute photo valentines a few years ago. She had her kids hold out their hands like they were holding something, then stuck a lollipop in the printed picture. I had planned to do something similar ... then Corrie's school said you couldn't send hard candy (including lollipops) or chocolate (because it could melt). And I realized that you can't send candy to Evan's school either. I refused to buy little party favors, partly because I was doing it all at the last minute and partly because my house is overflowing with small plastic toys. We need no more.

Corrie added some foam heart stickers to her pictures, but Evan didn't care to embellish his.

We had a fun family dinner by candlelight, read I Corinthians 13 together, and ate strawberries with chocolate sauce for dessert. Everybody took a turn to say what we love about the other people in our family. That's what we did for Valentine's Day last year, too. I think it's a good tradition!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Friday, February 10, 2012


We have had a lot going on lately!

For starters, Evan turned 7 and Emmett turned 38 on January 24th.

The kids and I made fun decorations for Emmett's door at school. We surprised him at work on his birthday-eve ... then took him to Taco Bell for a delicious birthday dinner.

Evan got to pick dinner the next night. We made homemade potstickers and ordered Domino's pizza. Then we all sat around the kitchen table and designed our own Pokemon. (No pictures, unfortunately).

Corrie is almost 4, and she loves all things Hello Kitty.

She also loves her baby brother.

Ben is generally happy.

Emmett and I reorganized our freezer. This picture shows some of the bags of frozen breastmilk in the freezer - when they were temporarily unloaded in the garage. I think I have frozen over 1000 ounces. Crazy.

Yay for Friday! I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Introduction to Solids

Ben sits in the high chair!

He gets a spoonful of food. Yum!

Ben loves to eat.

Even his feet are happy!

Thumbs make an excellent dessert.