5 Reasons I Smile

The ultimate goal of this blog is to spread awareness and show how beautiful life can be. We have four amazing daughters. Our youngest was born with Down syndrome. If just one person stops here and leaves with a different, better perspective about Down syndrome, then it is worth it. Regardless, I have 5 Reasons to Smile!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Knott's Berry Farm - 40% Chance Sunshine

For the past 5 years we have taken the girls to Knott's Berry Farm. It began when the amusement park offered public safety officers a reduced admittance fee during the month of December, (very cool of them!). That prompted us to go and we have gone every year since. This year, we planned a day and boom - a road block. First, the broken leg. Then, the weather (it rained for 5 days straight here in CA) and last, work.

I have a hard time "giving up" when I really want to do something. I did not want to miss our annual trip. Despite 60% chance of rain (it has been raining constantly!) and finding out the reduced rate ended December 19th, Diondray and I decided to go. (I actually decided to go, but he is always willing to support me:)

We planned to get on the road at 9, however it was 11 when we pulled out of the drive way. I was starting to feel like maybe it wasn't such a good idea to insist we take a 2 1/2 hour drive, because I wanted to believe there was a 40% chance of sunshine.

Well, those aren't bad betting odds!

We went and it was so worth it!

PS- It did pour everywhere else!

As you can see by the parking lot, we closed down the park!

Our first break!

I still can't believe this as I type, but on December 14th, Naomi broke (or fractured) her tibia. There is no exciting story to share. Her and her sisters were brawling, (in a playful way, but I wasn't in the room to see it) she paused during the action to sit/lean on the arm of the couch and somehow tumbled off....and broke her leg!

A few minutes before it happened I heard Diondray loudly say those famous words...

"Girls, be careful, somebody is going to get hurt."

Then, literally a minute later, I heard Naomi crying. This is a common occurrence in our home, so neither one of us went dashing to see what had happened. We both entered the room to render some kisses and determine who was in trouble for getting to rough.

She was laying on the ground, crying and panting, "My ankle hurts, I can't stand up"-- but my girls are known for over reacting, we weren't "alarmed" by this.

Then, the mom instinct kicked in and I just knew...

"Diondray we better call the Doctor" (it was about 8 pm).

"Andrea, she fell off the couch, it's probably just sprained, let's calm her down and we can take her in the morning if we need to."

Well, of course this mom didn't wait until morning. We called our pediatrician who met us in her office. (Yes, amazing I know. You actually call her after hours if you have an emergency and she will meet you at the ER or her office depending on the situation). The ankle was swollen, but "didn't appear broken." She suggested we ice it, elevate it and come back in the morning for x-rays.

Turned out both Diondray and our Doctor were wrong...OK, they were right her "ankle" wasn't broken, her leg was!

This created a small change to some of our Christmas plans...but no big deal. I have "learned" (since my extra chromosome surprise) to adapt to the unexpected - and embrace it. This pink cast has been a learning experience for all of us. To venture out she needs to be in a wheelchair, because her leg is to heavy for crutches. It is a little challenging for me to load up and go places...one is trying to get out of her stroller and the other needing to be pushed.

Adapt we have! Jaden and Brynn have been awesome (but it cracks me up when they say, "I wish I broke my leg. Naomi gets all the attention!" or "Why doesn't Naomi have to walk?!" typical child's perspective!)

I am more aware of the everyday challenges people deal with because they are in a wheelchair. It makes me realize, once again, that every situation can be an opportunity for growth.

Two weeks left in the full cast (we hope) and then 4 weeks in a 'walking' cast. All from falling off the arm of the couch...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry, Merry!

These are the greatest gifts I've ever received....along with their daddy!

Christmas day has come and gone, but I still feel so Merry!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Are you ready?

Lately people keep asking, "Are you ready for Christmas?" A few years ago I would have responded, "No!"

As of today, December 10th, I have not prepared my Christmas cards (I don't even have a Christmas photo!), not decorated our tree (although we picked it up Wednesday), not purchased any gifts and everything we have baked recently we have eaten. So essentially, I am not ready.

However, we have been very busy. The calendar is filling up with extra activities that occur during this time...Brynn's school Christmas program, school parties, our annual Christmas party, the Company parties, Church party, our annual trip to Knott's Berry Farm, scheduling a few days in the snow. We are getting ready for all the fun and exciting memories this time of year brings.

I am spending less time "getting ready" for Christmas. I am doing less decorating, less shopping, less of all the "stuff". I am just enjoying the gifts in everyday. I am ready.

Thanksgiving was wonderful! I cooked this!

I love this picture (even thought it is not clear.) Thanksgiving night all the kids were gathered around the TV trying to watch a movie. While the adults continued to talk way to loud.

They did jump on Thanksgiving!-Brynn was hoping for a jump house!

She has become pure TROUBLE! :)

Exercise anyone? This was the day after Thanksgiving.

The stockings are up...my favorite Christmas decoration! I have since finished my mantel!

Enjoying time with family...Nonno's visit from Italy came to an end.

The Discovery Museum. Why am I surprised that she is soooo typical????

The Christmas Parade!

I love the pom-pom on babies hats!

Pure TROUBLE ate a red stamp!

Trying to get a Christmas picture!

Still trying...

Jaden picked out the tree! It is BEAUTIFUL!

Naomi's class made gingerbread houses today. We went to help. :)

We are getting ready! Life is so beautiful!