Friday, December 10, 2010

Hello!

um...perhaps you've noticed that I haven't been blogging much. I'm not really starting back up right this second, but wanted to pass on some info:

If you sign up here, you'll get a coupon for a free appetizer at Chili's and help my dear friend, Teri, to win a contest at work. Thank you!

Back to blogging after the holidays, hopefully.

P.S. Please say a prayer, send good energy, think good thoughts for my sweet boy who has the flu. Thank you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Funk

You know how when you're a mom, you think you'll just power through whatever illness your body is fighting because you don't have time to rest? Yeah, sometimes you should rest.

I've been dealing with The Funk since last Tuesday. I did the PTA Pumpkin Patch fundraiser for Kira's school all day on Wednesday (We made $415!) and then went out on Wednesday night (Sound of Music singalong!) and stayed up way too late. Overdid it.

Felt like hammered poop for the rest of the week, but thought that I'd be able to do the garage sale Kam and I had planned for Sunday at her house. I was wrong.

If you have to convalesce, however, I highly recommend Kam and Teri's house.

Services include:
Hot toddies
Teri guarding the door so that your children MUST let you sleep for a two hour nap (bliss!)
Comfort food prepared by a professional chef - chicken with champagne cream sauce, spaghetti squash and quinoa. Yum.
Fabulous conversation and cute kids running around being cute

So, I'm pretty sure I've now moved on to sinus/ear infection and I'm heading to the doctor this afternoon. Hopefully with some antibiotics in my system, I'll be able to help make ghost pops for our next PTA thing, tomorrow. At this point, I'd just be passing on the plague, so I had to flake out for today.

Thank you Kam and Teri for taking such good care of me this weekend! And thank you Michelle for a fun movie night and for listening to me croak along to "doe a deer". And thank you Jane and Cary for making all day Pumpkin Patching so much fun.

And now I'm crawling back into bed until I have to crawl back out to pick Kira up from school.

Take your vitamins, y'all. Love, W.

Monday, October 18, 2010

made

I'm sorry I'm sucking so bad at the daily posting thing.


Crafting is kicking in to full gear around here. I finished up two skull caps for two cute little heads. I'll get those in the mail Friday. They are both for the cutie siblings of cuties sporting designer genes. Their mamas are friends I would have never "met" without Kira. Funny how big your world grows.



The scarf is for Derek's uncle. I promised it to him last year and finally finished it. I have three more promised projects I want to finish up in the next couple of weeks (Yes Poppy, your scarf).


Here's my stylist, Lulu:



Isn't she pretty?



I also made this hat for Derek's dad for his birthday. I didn't get a picture of it, though. Derek, of course, wants one, too.

Next up:
15 bean bags for the Pumpkin Patch PTA fundraiser at Kira's school
1 Devil costume
1 Devilishly cute princess costume
2 phoning it in Devil horns and Devil tails for the parents who don't want to dress up for the party


Michelle wrote a beautiful post about how all kids have special needs and all parents are just doing their best to parent their unique kids - check it out. I loved it.

Off to sew bean bags. Hope your day is lovely!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Little Punkins!

Jackson and Kira went to After Dark in the Park with their Aunties Beeka and Karen. I had to share this pic Beeka took!




(That police officer in the background is Aunt Karen.)



Thank you Beeka and Karen for always entertaining our Perdueligans in such fine fashion!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Great State Fair of Texas - T21 edition

Last year, we didn't see one single person with bonus chromos at the State Fair. This year, we saw three!!! AND in the food and fiber pavilion one of the poster models was a young adult with Down syndrome!!

And we ate Fried Frito Pie!

Pics later when I steal them from my FIL.

(and yes, I know I'm behind again. But, I've already blogged more than I have in the past four months, so I'm calling this a success.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NPR DFW part 2 Karma

So, I kind of jokingly posted today asking for donations for our local NPR station to end the everlasting pledge drive. Kind of a cop out 31 for 21 post, because I didn't really have much to say/time to say it, today.

And two hours later on my local NPR station, the show Think featured Alexandra Codina, the filmmaker of Monica and David.

It was a great interview. Too short, because it was on during the pledge drive, but very respectfully done.

The part that really stuck with me was Codina's point that she felt that Monica and David weren't limited by their disability so much as limited by everyone else's perception of their disablity. So true, I think.

There is a special screening of Monica and David, tonight in Dallas. I wish I could go! Dang PTA.

I can't end without saying that I cried most of the way through the show. When I hear anything about life with Down syndrome presented in such an open, accepting way, it just gets me. I think we are so lucky to be living in a time when so many doors are opening. Sure, some of them are open just a crack, and we have to shove them open with everything we have, but there ARE openings.

Windows and doors and slivers of light that make my daughter's future so much brighter.

I'll post a link to the podcast as soon as it's up. And p.s., I'm now caught back up with the number of posts I need for 31 for 21! (We'll see how long that lasts.)

Hug your babies.

Love, W.

NPR DFW

If you're in the DFW area, or even if you're not, please go to KERA or call 1-888-694-6931 and make a donation. Lord have mercy, I cannot take another day of this pledge drive. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

thoughts

Thanks y'all for all of the sweet comments on yesterday's post. Cate said that she wished she had a time machine to go back and hug us and let us know how things were going to turn out. All of us, all the new mamas.

I wish I could do that for the new mamas that are finding out right now. The ones getting shocked at birth. The ones getting unexpected test results. I wish I could tell them that it's going to be fine. Your child will rock. Your family will stretch and grow. Your world will get bigger and better in ways you never imagined. It won't be easy, but it will be good.

But, I think that it's a road you just have to travel for yourself. You have to be the one thinking: "Well, I'll just have the superstar kid with Down syndrome." "We'll get all the therapies! She'll be fine!"

And then realizing that your child rocks because they just do. Not because of when they hit milestones, or when they speak, or when they potty train. Not because of how closely they mirror their "typical" counterparts. Just because they ARE.

I think part of my guilt around Kira's birth centers on the fact that I totally discounted a huge chunk of society. And I didn't even know I was doing it. I just didn't see kids with different abilities, I mean really see them. Sure I thought, "I don't think I could handle that" and "those are some really awesome parents" when I saw kids who obviously had challenges. But I didn't see the value in the kids, themselves.

Now, when I tell a mom of a newborn baby with Ds, "Congratulations!" I mean it. Because that's a new life right there. Full of possibilities. Full of promise. A whole new journey.

And for the mama? It's not a detour. It's not a roadblock. It's a wider path. And when you're ready, and you look around, it's full of amazing people walking it with you.

And it rocks. Thank y'all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The bubble

I don't know if I'll ever write down Kira's birth story. That was a tough 24 hours. I don't like to think about it, although I often do. Her birthday is always bittersweet for me. It gets easier every year, thankfully.

What I do want to write down is a remembrance of the 4 days after her birth. Kira was jaundiced and had a tough time keeping her temperature up at first. She had to stay in the hospital for those first few days. We were lucky that, at the time, my mom worked at the hospital. We were able to use a hospital room all day with Kira and it was such a gift.

My mom would get to the hospital really early to hold Kira. She would call me and say, "This girl is hungry! Are you on your way?" I'd be in the car, or in the parking lot, or running into the hospital. Kira and I would struggle through nursing for a bit, then I'd pump to get like an ounce or two of milk for a bottle feeding.

Derek and Jackson would arrive shortly thereafter and Mom would head home for some rest. We'd spend the day holding Kira under the light, trying to breastfeed, pumping, and seeing friends and family who would come to see Kira, entertain Jackson, and feed us.











Jackson would fall asleep for a nap on the hospital bed at some point. We'd all stay until late, then head home for the night. We'd do the whole thing again the next day.

I am so thankful for that time. It was like we were all safely tucked inside a bubble, figuring out who our little family was now. It gave me time to get used to the new reality. It gave me time to realize that, more than anything, I just wanted to take my baby girl home. I didn't care about Down syndrome. I just wanted her to be healthy and home.





The nurses at the hospital were so awesome. They took such good care of us. I never thanked them properly, and I feel bad about that.

I don't think my Mom knows how much those days meant to me, either. That little bubble of time was a precious gift. Mom, it's the best present you've ever given me. Thank you.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Kids

Yesterday got away from me before I blogged. I guess it'll be 30 for 21 for me.

We've had a crazy week around here. After a healthy summer, the kids, of course, managed to come down with a nasty virus three weeks into school starting. Jackson started running fever last Saturday. Kira started on Monday. I took them both to the doctor for strep tests. Not strep.

On Wednesday night, Jackson was still running fever and it got up to 104.4. So, back to the dr we headed on Thursday. Not mono. Not flu. Headed to the children's hospital for xrays. Not pneumonia.

On Thursday, Jackson's fever broke. I've found that his illnesses require a sacrifice of expensive medical testing before they'll go.

Kira ran fever for over five days, too. Though she never ran that high. It's funny because people assume that she's our medically fragile one. I always mention that she started crawling a week and a half after heart surgery. She's a tough chick.

And speaking of her heart surgery...we got the all clear from her cardiologist last month!! She only needs to see Kira on an "as needed" basis from now on!! Kira was born with a PDA and an ASD. Her cardiologist attempted to close the PDA with a device that essentially plugs it up, but Kira's was ginourmous and the device pulled right through it. So, on Feb 14, 2008, she had surgery to close it. They went in through her side and deflated her lung to get to it.

We thought she would just have to live with the ASD, luckily it was small. But when she had her echo done last month, there was no sign of the ASD!! Woo-hoo!!

I am so thankful that we have Cook Children's Hospital. My kids feel right at home there, and I'm thankful. I know that's kind of a weird thing to be thankful for, but when Jackson has needed to go in for xrays or whatever, he's not scared. He loves going there. Kira is understandably not thrilled to go for blood draws, but she isn't scared of the hospital. And y'all, she was SUCH a big girl during her testing last month. Sat up straight and tall during the EKG, kept it together, even though she wasn't entirely sure what was coming next. Tough chick.

We always eat lunch in the cafeteria when we're there. Last time, I looked down and realized that no one was in a stroller. They were both sticking close to me while we waited for our food. They stayed in line with me. We walked to our table together. They entertained one another while I went to get napkins and straws and stuff. I had to take a sec and recognize that here we were in the next stage, together. Two big kids and their mom enjoying lunch. They're still my babies, though.

Hug your babies, y'all!

Love, W.

P.S. While I was looking for a pic to put in this post, I remembered something else I wanted to say. When Kira started saying "Mama", I wasn't sure if she was really saying it, or just practicing her "muh" sound. After the failed attempt to plug the PDA, when they brought her too me right after she came out from under anesthesia, she snuggled into my arms, looked me straight in the eye, and breathed "Mama" with a sigh of relief. It was perfect.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Twins

Of her many, many baby dolls, Kira has two in particular that she loves. They've had hard lives. They never have clothes on. One is covered in pen marks. But, they are loved, loved, loved.

I often find them nestled into giant pull-ups on my bed. Or tucked gently into Kira's bed.

The other day, I went to use the computer and found them again. It looked like they were all tuckered out after watching something on Netflix.


I love finding evidence of pretend play that was going on while I was busy somewhere else. I love that she thought to give them a pillow and that she went to the linen closet to get them each a washcloth blanket. I love that she's such a good mama. My biggest wish is that, if she wants it to be, mothering will somehow be in her future. Sky's the limit.

Friday, October 1, 2010

aaaaaaaaaannnnddd we're back! (31 for 21)


Grab This Button

31 for 21, y'all. 31 posts in 31 days in honor of my girl's 21st chromosome. And a great chance for a lazy blogger to get her mojo working again.

So, let's see. Where were we?

Kids are in school. Kira for a 1/2 day and Jackson in all day Kindergarten. Jackson had a bit of a rough start, but now absolutely adores school. Adores it in a way that is sure to get his ass kicked at some point in the future. Bless him.

Kira returned to school like the princess she is. Beauty queen waving like she was on the back of a convertible all the way down the hall.

I'm in full on PTA mode. PTA doesn't play, y'all. Serious business.

ummm....what else? Oh, we have a cat. Her name is Lulu. She rocks. She'll get her own post or two this month.

I'll leave you with first day of school pics. And a promise to do my best to blog every day. And maybe even talk about Down syndrome.

Missed y'all.

Love, W.

(Jackson showing "5" and helping Kira show "3", so I'll remember when this was!)




Friday, September 17, 2010

jacksonism

I don't want to forget this one.

Jackson decided that he wanted to take his lunch to school on Thursday. He, of course, decided this on Wednesday, so I wasn't sure what I'd have to put in his lunch.

Me: Ok, it's all packed! You have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots and celery. So, you're good to go!

Jackson: Actually Mom, I'd like to be GREAT to go. Could you put some peaches in there, too?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Friday, y'all!

Having a busy (and fun!) summer - back to regular blogging soon. Promise. I had to share this song, though. LOVE it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

wordless wednesday - me and my girl


(way blurry, but look at her sweet face!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

jacksonism

J: Mom! Pick a number between a million and one hundred and two!

me: 3,175?

J: Nope! Try again!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

kira speak

Yesterday, the kids were playing in the backyard. Jackson came inside, so I went outside to get Kira. I told her that she needed to come in because it was getting too hot. She wrapped her arms around herself, started shivering, and said, "ooooh....COLD!!".

Saying it doesn't make it so, babe. Get in the house!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ready for summer. thinking about Christmas.

Yep. You read that right. I'm ready for summer and thinking about Christmas.

I spent yesterday printing out all of the calendars for all of the free/cheap summer stuff going on around here. It's amazing how many really cool things there are to do. We're lucky to have a Levitt Pavilion that offers free concerts from now through July 3. There are several free/cheap movie festivals going on. And, of course, all of the Summer Reading Club events at the library.

So, I've gathered all of the info up into a Summer 2010 folder. I went ahead and put all of the regular weekly offerings together onto a weekly planner page, so I'll know what our options are each week, in addition to whatever special stuff is going on. I'm so excited!

Now for the Christmas part. I'm going for a mainly handmade Christmas again this year. I'm scouting the yard sales and thrift stores for crafting supplies and bookmarking tutorial links like a madwoman.

Anyone up for doing a Handmade Christmas with me this year? (Carrie!)

Also Christmas related during the summer:

-Target does a big toy clearance (think 75% off) usually at the end of July/first of August. You'll see them start to gather all the clearance toys onto one or two aisles. They'll do their usual 30%, then 50% off first. If you can catch the 75% off it's a great time to start your Christmas shopping or to stock up on toys for last minute birthday party gifts.

-Back to school sales on school supplies start Julyish, too. It is hands down the best time of year to stock up on art supplies. You can't beat .25 scissors and crayons, and paper, glue, folders, etc for even cheaper. I like to stock up on all of it for craft supplies for my kids and for gifts/party favors for the whole year.

Thank you for joining me for a Random Minute in Wendy's Brain. That's all I got. Hug your babies.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

made

A little bit of crafting this week.

I experimented with sewing with knits this week. I read somewhere (Angry Chicken, maybe?) that if you're going to sew knits, get a ballpoint needle for your machine. It really did make a huge difference. The last time I tried sewing knits was a disaster!

So, this week I started with some of Kira's too short gymboree leggings. I cut them off to just above her knee and used a zigzag stitch around the bottom edge while stretching the material. It makes a flutter edge that's really cute. No pics - I made three pair and they are all currently in the dirty clothes pile. I'll try to get a pic up of her wearing them, later. They make me think of a 1920's bathing suit bottom.

Next up was my attempt at this wonderful tutorial for making boys' boxer briefs out of tshirts. I've really been wanting to try this. Jackson HATES it when he outgrows favorite t's, so this is a great way to make 'em last a little bit longer. They turned out so cute and they actually fit around his skinny legs!

This picture in no way shows how cute they are on. I actually made three pairs. Jackson is currently wearing Pair #3 and since I'm trying very hard to avoid posting things now that will embarrass him later, I'll refrain from posting a pic. Believe me, though, way cute.


We were invited to a birthday party this weekend that we weren't able to attend. It was for a little boy who goes to Kira's school, though he's not in her class. I was trying to come up with a gift using stuff I already have on hand and am pretty happy with the final gift. I made a tic-tac-toe board with a pocket on the reverse side that holds the checkers. I used the pocket piece off of one of Derek's old shirts for the back. I used shirt scraps and khaki scraps for the squares. I sewed a piece of velcro into the pocket to hold it shut (I did that before sewing the whole thing together). Anywho, here you go:
Front:


Back:




Pocket:


I also did a real quick recon on a pair of XL pajama pants I bought at a garage sale for a quarter. I took in the sides, cut off the top, and added a new elastic waistband - and presto! Medium jammie bottoms for me. I'll spare you a pic of me modeling them.

A Jackson funny: He was playing guitar and asked me if I'd find him a straw hat. He said, "I need it to help me write a country song about a tumbleweed named Herb."

That's all I got. Hope your weekend was lovely!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

who knew?

Turns out that despite being marketed as a "lullaby" the "sing along opera" of made up superhero names in alphabetical order will, in fact, WAKE UP a certain grouchy girl who really, really, really needed the sleep.

huh.


(And for the record: No. I do not want to play another round of "Guess what I'm saying in secret code".)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

we're dang fancy, y'all

Derek rigged up a makeshift swing for the kids. Garden hose, two holes drilled in a piece of wood, and some kind of metal thingy securing it around the pine tree.

I wish I could swing on it. It goes all crazy in huge, swirly circles. The kids LOVE it. (And I'm a worrier, so believe me, it's very safe and secure.)

Jackson - a couple of weeks ago:



J & K - today:

Monday, May 17, 2010

inexpensive teacher's gift idea

I made these little bouquets for Kira's teachers and speech path for Teacher Appreciation Week.




I think I'm going to do the same thing for Jackson's Zoo School teachers for the last day of school.



2 bouquets from Aldi's @ 3.99 ea - 7.98
3 coffee mugs from Salvation Army - 2.50 total (If I'd of been thinking ahead, I could of garage sale'd these for WAY less than that.)
1 large block of floral foam - $1.50 after 40% off coupon at Joann's



$11.98 for 3 gifts - not bad!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

made

This week's tally:

1 tutu
1 superhero cape
1 pair of scrappy clown pants
1 scrappy twirly clown skirt
1 teeny-tiny amigurumi yoda

Today is devoted to repairing the destruction of my house that occurred during all that crafting!

The clown pants and skirt were for the kids to wear to Vin's 2nd bday party, yesterday. I had the honor of attending my very first late night girls' sewing bee to help Kam sew the clown vests that each child received for a party favor. We had the best time sewing, chatting, and drinking margaritas (it was cinco de mayo after all). Derek had the next morning off, so my Mother's Day gift was getting to spend the night after the sewing bee and have a leisurely morning enjoying Teri's breakfast burritos and coffee before heading home. Sew lovely, I tell ya.

I took the leftover scraps from the vest making and made Jackson's pants and Kira's twirly skirt. Pretty dang cute and perfect for some clownin' around:



Yoda was a gift for my BIL. He said he either wanted Derek to make him a batch of pale ale or me to make him one of these. I've been wanting to try amigurumi, but have been kind of intimidated. So, I was happy to have the chance to try it. I didn't use doll eyes, but instead stitched embroidery floss for the eyes. I was going to harvest eyes from one of the kids' million stuffed animals. Those things are so anthropomorphic that I couldn't bring myself to cut into them! So, here's cutie little 2.5" Yoda:



And here's what Derek's IOU pale ale card looked like:



The best part of this crafting week was my kids showing me how much they pay attention to things. Vin's gifts were the superhero cape and the tutu (real men can rock a tutu. trust.).

I had the tulle spread across my bed while making the tutu. Kira walked in, took a look at the bed, and said, "tutu?". Yep, mommy's making another tutu. Cutie girl.

When I told Jackson that we had to run to Joann's to buy fabric for the cape, he said, "Don't forget to get the velcro.". And when I was cutting out the pattern pieces, he gave me a huge hug and said, "You're the best present maker ever! Anyone can buy a gift, but you like Vin enough to make him one!". I know someday Momma-made will probably embarrass him, but it's so lovely to know that he gets it, now.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

kira speak

some cute vocab I don't want to forget:

"oo turn, Mommy!" - your turn, Mommy. I LOVE this.

"uh oo" - Love you. At first, she said this in answer to us saying "I love you." Now, she'll tell us out of the blue. I'm so thankful.

empty - amazing how many ways she uses "empty" to get her meaning across.

"puler" - computer.

"rah-rahtz" - which is Yo Gabba Gabba. I think it has something to do with "robot". Anyway, rah-rahtz is her fave.

minnow - we have the book Would you rather be a bullfrog? and one of the questions is "Would you rather be a minnow or a whale?". One day, Kira shouted out, "MINNOW!" and it cracked us up. She loved the reaction, apparently, because she now likes to randomly shout it out. She also really likes to add it on when Jackson asks her to say something. Like, "Kira, say Daddy" - "MINNOW DADDY!" She thinks she's huh-larious.

"dat" "dere" "dis" - that, there, this. She uses these to drive me batshit crazy. Great that she knows them. Not so great when I have no idea what she's talking about.

"beh-dy?" - ready? She asks me this right before she does something that she thinks is awesome, like jumping, or dancing, or singing.

"morning!" - she says this about 152 times as she greets everyone walking down the hall to her classroom.

"doh-durt" - yogurt. Absolutely her favorite food.

"duh-ders" - crackers. Sounds almost exactly like doh-durt. She knows the sign for cracker, though, so that's how we figure it out.

And a story:
We were leaving the Dr's office when I realized that I locked my keys in the car. We had to call Derek to come rescue us (how he got to spend his lunch break on his birthday). So, Jackson, Kira, and I were waiting in the Dr's waiting room.

Kira: Mommy. rah-ratz puler? (Mommy, can we watch Yo Gabba Gabba on the computer?)
Me: No, baby. There's no computer here.
Kira (pointing to the TV): dere?
Me: No, baby. I'm sorry. We can't watch it there.
She thought for a sec and then her eyes lit up and she said: Mommy! Come on. Car. Home. Rah-rahtz puler.

Cracked me up! She was like, "I've totally got this figured out. We don't have to sit here. We can just get in the car, go home, and watch it there. Silly Mommy."

I don't know if I'd call her vocabulary approximations or not. I have to translate most of what she says, but sounds are getting clearer. Like "bed-dy" for ready was "belly" until very recently. She'll be having tubes put in and her tonsils (and maybe adenoids) removed soon, so it will be interesting to see how all of that plays into her language/speech. We still use lots of sign language, and she constantly has me asking her teacher what this or that new sign she's using is.

Sometimes she'll really surprise me with how she's able to communicate her thought processes to me, like with the Yo Gabba Gabba puler story.

The other day, I was getting her a drink while I was holding her. I put the lid on the cup and said, "Now what do we need?" and she said, "Straw." I need to remember to ask things like that more often. To give her the chance to show me what she knows.

I'm also starting to get little bits of communication that show me that she understands past/present/future. The other day, Jackson was off for a day of fun with his Beeka. I treated Kira and I to pizza for lunch. When Derek got home that evening, I said, "Daddy, Kira and I went to lunch today." and she said "Pizza" without any prompting. That was very cool. Jackson and I were able to talk about his day, etc, so very early. It's one of the things that I'm so ready for with Kira. We're getting there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

sibs

I've had these pics trapped in my camera for about two months, I think. The kids were outside playing and Jackson was trying to teach Kira how to ride the tricycle. I was able to get some shots without them seeing me, a little blurry with all of the trying to hide while doing it. Such a sweet moment between them. And at 5 and 3, it's nice to catch a sweet moment between the squabbles!

A note on the "outfits": This was one of those days when they steadily added to their jammies all morning. Stuff from the dress-up box? check. Random shoes pulled from the closet? check. Hand-me-downs from Bubba? check. Shirt on backwards? check. (And Jackson has had a major haircut since then, too.)



Just makes my heart fill up and pour out all over.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

it doesn't take much, y'all

Derek home roasts our coffee, so according to him, it must be made one cup at a time. I usually have my first cup immediately after rolling out of bed, stumbling bleary-eyed to the kitchen, and putting the kettle on. I'm standing there waiting for the water to boil the whole time.

But, my second cup usually comes a little bit later. I put the kettle on, run to switch the clothes out from the washer to the dryer, get sidetracked while folding the clothes from the dryer, go wipe someone's hiney, remember that I was going to do xyz, wonder who the hell moved my scissors (me)....And then, from the kitchen, I hear the wonderful whistle of the kettle, and get a little thrill...OH YES!!! I'M GOING TO HAVE COFFEE!!!

I may have been a dog in a past life.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

wip wednesday

Thought y'all might want to see a few of the silly monster puppets I made for party favors for Jackson's party.

All upcycled materials (shirts, etc) and fabric scraps from other projects. We're going to hang them up as part of the decorations, then let each kid pick one to take home at the end of the party.
Not fabulous pics, but you get the idea.








Tuesday, March 9, 2010

glorious day

I swear I'm not anti-blogging. We've been wrapping up our winter with a celebration of fevers, snot, and ear infections. I promise you that I feed my kids a well-balanced diet chock full of vitamins and organic yumminess. They get sunshine (although limited this freaky winter) and fresh air. I can't get them well long enough to stay well!!!

MOVING ON. Today was absolutely gorgeous. gorgeous. gorgeous. gorgeous! Blue skies, light breeze, temperature in the 70s, lovely.

We went to the park for the first time in forever and soaked up the sun with lots of other cabin fever refugees. I met another mom who happily talked Down syndrome with me. Her best friend's sister is a 27 year old young woman with Down syndrome living independently with a little support in her own apartment with her own job. It was lovely to hear. (And really, that's what I want for both of my kids. Live independently. Be happy. Everything else is gravy.)

Other stuff going on:

-Kira has let me fix her hair for school three days in a row. That's big, y'all. Ponytails, pigtails, braids - and all have made it through the school day relatively intact.

-Kira actually peed in the potty last night. We sit on it ad nauseum, but last night she actually went. woo to the hoo, y'all. I think we're going to go hard core nekkid potty training bootcamp during spring break.

-We had to postpone Jackson's bday party due to the aforementioned fever snotty funtime, so we're looking forward to our re-scheduled event. Theme: silly monsters. It was too late to cancel the cake for the cancelled party, so I have 3 lbs of silly monster cake added to my butt. Red velvet cake in the fridge is a siren's call I cannot resist.

-I am the mother of a five year old. Not possible.

-Kira woke up this morning and called me "Wendy" for the first 10 minutes she was up. I revelled in the fact that she gets that I'm "Mommy" and my name is "Wendy". Then I reminded her that she's not allowed to call me, "Wendy".

-School is going really well for Kira. I need to do a speech/signing update. She's learning lots of new words, which is exciting. The lovely Malea sent us a signing time dvd and Kira almost instantly began using new words and signs. I didn't realize that the dvds also feature the word written out, too. I bet they'll be useful for sight reading. Has anyone had any experience with that?
I'll leave you with a quote my grandmother sent me: Do the best you can with what you have at the time you are doing it.

And some pics from the past few weeks:
poor little sickie sicks:
Kira in her sick nest, saying "cheeeeeeeeese," but not removing her eyes from the TV:
Tough guy:
Cancelled, but cute cake:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

checking in

Kam got onto me for not blogging. So, a quick check-in. We spent the weekend hanging out with this little lovely and her parents:


Oh, yes, that IS the legendary Playette. She and her parents came to Texas and we got to hang out with them for THREE whole days. It was awesome. More later.


Love you. Miss you. Mean it.


Wendy
P.S. My son is almost five. Five. When did that happen?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

where does he get this stuff?

Tonight, Derek is wearing a plaid flannel shirt, blue jeans, and a knit cap. And here's the convo:

Jackson: Dad, you look like a wood chopper.

Derek: What's wrong with that?

Jackson: Well, first off, this isn't the woods, Hot Chop.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hello February

Goodbye January. I think my kids are trying to see who can hit our deductible first.

Last week:

Kira - woke up at 3:30 am on Tuesday sounding like she was gasping for breath. Her lips were pink. She was sucking her thumb, but her breathing sounded horrible. Diagnosis: croup and another ear infection.

Jackson - On Friday morning, he started running a fever. By 3:00 that afternoon, his fever was at 105.1. We headed to the children's hospital ER to pick up our pneumonia diagnosis.

I think the funky virus I had a few days before Kira got sick manifested itself in a variety of ways. Derek's had a cough, too. We all seem to be on the mend, thankfully.

A semi-related kind of gross funny: I keep having to apologize to Derek for accidentally getting snot on him when I kiss him. He said, "That's ok. I've just started thinking of you as my little snail of love."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

why not Wednesday

Jackson's first words upon waking this morning:

Hey, I have some dance moves and food raps to lay on you guys.

Followed by a performance featuring the carrot rap that was all about a carrot that was too cold and so needed

to get BACK inside the
BACK inside the
BACK inside the
ground

(Obviously, his muse visits him in his sleep.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kira in action!

We spent a good chunk of time this afternoon soaking in some sun before the weather turns cold again. I was watching the kids running and playing when I suddenly realized, "Wait a minute! Kira is climbing up the slide! And sliding down! On her bottom!"

She loves to slide, but has always needed a little help with the ladder and has always slid down on her belly. And there she was, acting like she's been doing it this way forever. She would slide right down and land with a thud on her butt. I wanted to catch it on video.

So, I started filming and then she landed on her feet!! For the very first time!! I think we were both surprised and I love, love, love the look of surprise and pride on her little face.

video

Jackson said, "Mom! We should have a celebration, tonight! To celebrate Kira being such a big girl!" Most definitely.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

trying to be a better human and a disclaimer

So, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to try to be a better human. First up - if I don't bring my own bags, it's either paper or me carting it all out unbagged. I'm doing pretty good with this one, so far. I'm ok with the paper bags because the kids and I use them for painting, etc.

I'm also trying to creatively repurpose stuff we already have instead of buying new. That one goes hand in hand with my Out of Debt Before Christmas 2010 Resolution. We're over halfway there already! And yes, that one means you'll have to look at project pics.

And now for the disclaimer. I hate doing the dishes. And my hands are always cold. So, I run hot water while I do the dishes. I know. It's not efficient. It wastes energy and money. BUT my hands are warm and the dishes are done, man. (10 pts if you can name that movie.)

Baby steps.

Love, Wendy

P.S. A big ol' AMEN for jobs secured for my Mom and for Dave, husband to my DR buddy and all around lovely person Mary Ellen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thank you

A couple of weeks ago I heard a guest on NPR say something along these lines: Evil is something that happens in a second, but Good is something that must happen again and again and again.

That really stuck with me and I wanted to write a post about how that's our job as parents. To fill our kids up with as much Good as we can, so that if they are hit with Evil or even just when the plain old Bad hits, they are armed, equipped, and ready. And hopefully, they'll rarely have to use that armor of Good.

But today, something really bad happened. A police officer, here in Arlington, lost his life this morning. I don't know the exact details, but it was really a freak accident involving his motorcycle and a school bus.

And I thought about how he got up this morning and took a shower. He had breakfast, maybe with his spouse and kids, maybe not. And he walked out of his door and that was it.

And the thing is, there are so many people, every single day, who voluntarily do jobs that guarantee that they will be in direct contact with the bad stuff. Police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, the dispatchers who take the phone calls across 12 hour shifts. They do such Good and help to insulate us from the bad.

I guess I just wanted to make sure that I publicly say, "Thank you." Thank you to that police officer and his family. Thank you to all of those service workers. Thank you.

Yes, it's our job as parents to fill our kids up with Good over and over again. It's our job as people to do it for each other.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

son of random

Jackson: "Mom, if you go to Walgreens later, I've been needing a few things."

Me: "Like what?"

Jackson: "Well, a transformer that turns into a truck. And also, a rubber chicken."

Monday, January 11, 2010

good morning!

I'm almost scared to say anything about it, but I'm happy to report a fever-free, back-to-as-normal-as-we-can-ever-get household! And, it's supposed to reach the 50s sometime today!! I know we didn't get anywhere close to the yucky cold that the rest of the country got, but I am so done with this weather. Hopefully, the kids and I can get outside for some sunshine this afternoon.

A couple of quick pics:

Kira looked like such a big girl before school this morning, I had to take her picture. It's not a great shot, but you can see her new purple frames. This is our second pair of frames from specs4us. They are made especially for kids with Down syndrome. The bridge is set lower, the glasses are a little wider, and the arms are a little shorter. Kira is slightly far-sighted and her left eye muscles are a little bit weaker than her right. She's been seeing a pediatric opthamologist since she was about 6 months old (I think).




And, of course, one of the most popular "new toys" around here has been this box:



Kids.


Hug your babies, y'all!

Love, Wendy

Friday, January 8, 2010

a little hard won advice

Stop what you're doing right now and go look up the 24 hour pharmacies in your area.

That way, you'll already know where they are when your kid spikes a 104.7 temp at 11:00 pm and proceeds to immediately vomit up his dose of ibuprofen, leaving you no way of knowing if his fever is going to go down, and when the on-call nurse sends you out in the coldest night of the year to get Tylenol suppositories, you won't have to take twenty minutes to figure out where you need to go.

Better yet, just go ahead and get some of those suppositories the next time you're at a pharmacy.

Said child seems to be doing ok today. And the pedi's suggestion that Kira may have been battling a virus along with her ear infection seems to have been an accurate assumption.

(And thank you, Mom, for taking my 15 middle of the night phone calls and making the scary part of parenting a little less so.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

right now

This is one of those posts that will make no sense to most, but I will smile when I re-read it later.

Right now the kiddos are supposed to be "resting". Instead I'm hearing one voice sing "Old black crow, old black crow goes..." Then two loud voices "singing" ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK.

Earlier today, I heard T. Berry Brazleton on NPR quoting a study that says that interaction between siblings may be more important for a successful adult life than parental interaction.

I think I'll let them rest their way for a little bit longer.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

random

Kind of in a funk today. Kira has an ear infection. Her first in over two years. I kept her home from school yesterday and today. She's doing better today, but obviously isn't 100%.

So, I'm drowning under a mountain of laundry, toys that need to be rearranged/sorted/removed from the house to make room for the new stuff, Christmas decorations that need to be put away, etc. It's cold and kind of gray today and I'd really like to just curl up with a cup of coffee and a book.

If y'all see our fairy nanny, housekeeper, and cook, could you let them know we need them stat?

Thanks.

Love, Wendy

Monday, January 4, 2010

and now back to our regularly scheduled programming


Back to the routine this morning. Kira's at school and Jackson is sleeping in, so I get some blog time. Derek took the week off following Christmas and it was so lovely to have an extended holiday. I am glad to be getting back to our regular flow of things, though. (Although, if we were independently wealthy and he got to be home all the time, you'd better believe I could go with that flow!)


I've been debating if I want to do a series of handmade Christmas posts or just one marathon one. I'm going with the marathon. I didn't get pictures of quite a few things, but I do have several pics for y'all.


All in all, I'm really glad that I did a mainly handmade Christmas this year. Crocheting into the wee hours snuggled up on my couch with a beer and Craig Ferguson on the TV is WAY more pleasurable than battling the mall.


I think everyone sincerely liked their gifts and I know I thoroughly enjoyed making them all. I'm already planning for next year, so if you're on my Christmas list, start dropping hints. (And yes, Dad, I'll have your longer scarf done soon.)


Now for the pics. First up, gifts for the kids from us.


I had originally planned for Santa to handle the puppet stage, but he totally wussed out on me. Since I created it from 12:30am to 4:45am the night of the 22nd, it was most definitely from me. It's a doorway stage that you hang from a tension rod with dowels above and below the stage opening for stability. It all folds up into a storage case. The pattern is from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. It was super easy to follow. It calls for cutting the dowels down, but I wanted our stage to be a little wider for our doorways. Of course, middle of the night sewing doesn't lead to very good math skills, so I didn't even think about making the case longer to accommodate the longer dowels. You'll notice they stick out. Big-whoopty-freakin'-do is what I say.


Front of stage:



Back of stage:



Poorly measured (but still cute) case:




For Jackson, I did a double sided game quilt - checkerboard on one side and tic tac toe on the other. I just made it up as I went along, so no pattern really. I made a simple drawstring bag to hold the folded up board and the checkers. He loves it.






Kira's baby received a mini wardrobe of crocheted and sewed things - two outfits and three flannel/velcro sided diapers. We use sposies round here, so Kira changes her baby and then proceeds to throw the diaper in the trash. I don't know how many times I've fished those suckers back out. You'll notice that Fancy Nancy is also sporting a new sweater. I was trying out a pattern for my nephew and it was a little too small.




Santa brought painted things made by the elves, in addition to art supplies, books, puzzles, games (Twister - hilarious to watch them play this!), a scooter for Jackson, and a baby highchair for Kira.


It was a wonderful Christmas morning. My parents visited in the morning, lovely in itself, but they also totally rescued us by bringing food. In all my Christmas preparations, I neglected to think about getting to the grocery store before we left for a couple of days with the in-laws. Christmas morning found us without eggs, and almost out of milk and coffee. Derek improvised some yummy pancakes and Nana and Poppy brought cheese ball, crackers, and pies, and full tummies were had all around. Crisis averted.


Some pics of other gifts:


wrap for my grandma




various scarves and hats for my parents, cousins, and niece





Derek and the kids took over making our gift for his parents (love. him.) - he made collages of the kids' artwork, handprints, and pics through the year. We had them laminated in ledger size laminate so that they could use them for placemats. I didn't get a shot of the post-laminate creations, but here's a pre-laminate collage.



Several gifts not pictured:

My niece's dress-up kit was a big hit. I ended up doing a tutu, reversible cape, and crocheted crown. She, of course, wore them all at the same time along with 8 Christmas bows and about 79 layers of the lip gloss my MIL bought her.

I crocheted a baby blanket for our nephew. I started it before I re-learned how to crochet, so the whole thing was in half-double herringbone. It. took. for. ever. But it's really thick and great for this crazy cold winter we're having.

Ok, Jackson's up, so I have to wrap this up. Have a great day, y'all!

Love, Wendy