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 23, 2011

'Tis the Season

We have been busy filling our days with all the extra activities that turn this season into a magical time of year. We decorated our tree, visited with Santa, enjoyed a few Christmas programs, had a party, gained a few pounds, baked and baked and baked, gained a few pounds...

We got home at 2:00 am this morning from our traditional Christmas trip to Knott's Berry Farm and have been in our pajamas watching movies all day (getting movies through the Wii is fantastic)! This is something we don't do often and feels very holidayish. (I think I made that word up).


Kamryn's first Christmas Program. (Actually it was her first program of any kind!) Her teacher Mrs. Sue (and Mrs. Sue's husband) put together a picture slide show in which the children acted out the story of the birth of Christ. While the slide show played, the children sang. It was wonderful.

Taking a seat.

Dad and sisters watching.



Our Christmas party, which we shared with amazing,
wonderful family and friends! And this is the only picture! What
can I say? I was having a great time! :)

'Tis the season and it's in full force at our house! Merry, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

California Girls

Children don't seem to get cold when they are outside and I think the statistics from our house can prove that. 4 out of 4 girls in my home never seem to be cold when out doors.

I am constantly saying, "Put on your jacket, take a jacket, don't forget your jacket!"


Our Christmas tree is not up (we haven't even been to the tree farm), Christmas cards are not ordered, I have not purchased one gift...OK maybe I shouldn't have sat here and reminded myself of all the things I need to do!

But, we have been to the beach.

Even though to me it's COLD (which it actually is) - the sun is shining, the sky is clear and beautiful shades of blue. The weather is crisp and even with a hint of warmth from the sun, IT IS COLD. But not to my girls. So instead of "getting things done on my to do list" I am at the beach. Celebrating the day, the moment and life.

All the other stuff can wait, it's really not that important anyway....

Merry Christmas! I have some late nights ahead!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Ohhhhh this is my favorite Holiday! I love all the food that comes with Thanksgiving and that everything seems to pause, so families can gather around the table and eat. It is also a time we reflect, out loud, about all the things we are thankful for.

Diondray was on duty, however I tell the girls we are thankful he has a job. REALLY THANKFUL. And we stick to our traditions and have Thanksgiving dinner and he will eat left overs today. :)

I am very thankful for the life I live and all the wonderful things that have come with it. We all have one, so embrace it, cherish it and live it!

Thanksgiving 2011

Tucking Jaden into bed last night I said, "Today was a great day."
She replied, "Mom, you say that everyday."

That is true, we are blessed around here, it often feels like everyday is a great day...
and I am so thankful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Speaking in sentences

My mom called today to tell me Kamryn said, "I want my mom. I want my mom."

OK, that is heart melting, in more ways than you know.

Because Kamryn is delayed with some of her development, we notice the small things. We see each step she takes to learn something new and realize the work required to develop each skill. After her diagnosis (and reading all the things she would not do, may not be able to do and would never do) I was left wondering if she would do anything. I felt like I was constantly on edge waiting for her to roll over, sit-up, crawl, stand,walk, etc. Every time she reached a milestone I would celebrate for only a minute and then keep my fingers crossed her development wouldn't end there. It may seem absurd, but when you are holding a new born and told they have Down syndrome, you can't wrap your mind around what that means. With my other girls I never thought twice about how they would develop or if they would develop. When I looked at Kamryn I ACTUALLY WONDERED if she was even going to grow.

Today, I am much less concerned about her reaching milestones and developing. I see her blossoming daily and I have realized, like all children (and people), she will move ahead at her pace and with love, encouragement and support she will be just fine.

She has recently started speaking in sentences and expressing her feelings, which is a huge step in speech and general development. When I put the head piece to her Halloween costume on, she kept saying, "to tight, to tight, take off!" While out trick or treating she said, "I'm scared" I paused at this and thought - How does she know to use that word to describe her feeling? Well Andrea, maybe because she is one smart cookie :)!

We have also heard:

"Hungry for Subway." Yes, this cracks me up :)

"Thirsty water please."

"Brynn did it!" Yes, she has started telling on her sisters! I told them this day would come!

"Throat hurts, Doctor."

Her vocabulary is growing and her speech is developing and she is talking in sentences!

Once a week Kamryn takes an adaptive
PE class. This helps her with gross motor skills
and gives us ideas to use with her at home.

She is always "going out!"

she sees a "bug!"

There is water pouring out of the cup...

The contagious smile!