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!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kamryn has Down syndrome.

We had an IFSP(Individualized Family Service Plan) meeting yesterday. This meeting is held every 6 months with our case worker and therapists to discuss Kamryn's development and determine her service needs. She receives services (speech and occupational therapy) from the state because she was born with a genetic condition.

The night before our meeting I wrote this, but did not post it..

My days are full and busy. Taking care of our girls, school, work, homework, after school activities, laundry, dinner, playtime, snuggle time, all the small things that we do every day add up to a full day. Then there are extras that get squeezed into the already busy routine. Doctors appointments, getting sick-this one throws us way off, PT, ST, IFSP meetings... Did I just say IFSP meetings like it is no big deal? This attitude (or is it acceptance ) has slowly emerged within me. Kamryn has Down syndrome. Period. No big deal.

Anything we do related to her having Down syndrome has become normal to us. The other day at the grocery store a lady approached me and asked if Kamryn had Down syndrome (Kamryn was sitting in the cart). I paused, looked at Kamryn, and thought how could this lady tell? I don't see "it" anymore (
however, things, situations and people reminded me "it" is there). The lady was very nice and just genuinely curious, which for me is welcoming. I realized during most of my everyday life, I forget Kamryn has Down syndrome. She has Down syndrome, and it's no big deal.

Tomorrow we have IFSP meeting. I don't feel sad. I don't feel overwhelmed. I just had to add the meeting into the already busy and full day. I actually feel confident and strong.


I don't feel so strong and confident after all. My heart feels heavy. I don't want it to. I wish it didn't. I try to ignore the ache, but it is there.

This is forever.

All I keep thinking is this is forever.

We can't fix it, it won't go away. Kamryn has Down syndrome and it is forever.

What happened to my feeling of "it's no big deal?" How did that vanish all of the sudden? I realize that in the journey of life you get off track, you hit bumps, it's a natural part of the journey. I just don't like the bumps. Who does?

Today, my heart feels heavy. It frustrates me because I am living the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful life. If I took all the joys, love, wonderful, beautiful, great things in my life and placed them on one side of a scale and placed the few challenging, difficult and hard things on the other-the great things are so abundant that the scale would tip over.

So, why does my heart feel heavy? Why? When these few challenging things don't weigh more than a feather, why do they feel so heavy?

My heart feels heavy. But I know it will pass. And I know that with each bump, comes more strength. And more life.

Life is beautiful, even when if feels heavy.

Even with a heavy heart, I still smile. How can I not?!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Birthdays and Lots of Love...

I LOVE February. It is one of my favorite months (I do have a few favorites). I love to hang the wooden sign on my front door that says "WELCOME" painted in red, pink and white letters. It's my favorite for other reasons too...

Two birthdays. A day apart.

Birthday Morning.

Family Birthday Dinner

The Party! Last year Brynn asked for a Jump House and
pinata. It rained... this year the sun shined bright!
I made up for not be able to have a pinata last year!
Poor Kitty!

Birthday Morning!

Birthday Dinner with Family-
Playing outside with Papa.

Waiting for dinner...

Birthday outfit from Auntie, hat from Grandma-
She ROCKS it!!!

After dinner show!

THE Slumber Party with Friends. A little basketball,
scavenger hunt, silly string fight and T-shirt designing.
I passed out about 11:30 pm...

Way to much flash, but we look like angles...My baby is 10!

These girls have birthdays a week apart! It would have been nice to space all of them a little better! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tiger MOM

I have not read this memoir, I repeat I have not read this book. However, I have heard there is quite a buzz about it.

I like the title.

I think my energy is more of a match to a Tiger Mom, than a Mama Bear.

I will fiercely protect my girls.

I love them fiercely.

I can cuddle and play and I can be tough too.

My oldest is 9 (about to be 10). I had to remind her the other day that I have never raised a 9 year old before. I am new to this...

Last week she handed me a paper she was working on for school. First, I told her she was off to a great start. Then, I pointed out some areas where she needed to be more descriptive and I corrected her grammar and spelling. While giving her my "constructive criticism" I could feel her puffing up, getting angry and although I did not see it for myself, I am sure she was rolling her eyes.

"SO, you don't like my paper?" she says in a sassy tone. (We have had a few talks about this tone).

"Jaden, I didn't say that. I think your off to a great start, but you need to spend more time on it."

"I did spend time on it. I am done with it and I think it is good!"

"I think you need to work on it some more and I am happy to help you." (I really have to focus on not being sassy back) :)

She is really huffing and puffing now. "I don't want to work on it anymore. I like it the way it is."

"OK, here is the deal. I expect you to get an A, because you are an excellent writer. If you think this paper is an A, then you can be done. If you don't get an A, there will be a consequence."

"What will the consequence be?"

"I don't know yet, but if you don't get an A there will be one."


She didn't get an A. Most of the comments from her teacher were very close to the comments her mom had given her. (I didn't even say "I told you so!")

This Tiger MOM informed her that even though the grade had been given and the teacher would not change it, she had her re-write the paper.

She did.

It was an A in my grade book. :)

She is about to be 10. I have never raised a 10 year old before!

I can't believe I have been a mom for almost a decade. It is the most amazing, beautiful journey...

She ROCKS! :)