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!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


When I posted last, on May 4th, my intention was to post weekly. About a week later I sat down bursting with excitement and wanting to share about many of the moments we had been celebrating. The month of May was an extremely busy month for us. Well, all months are busy for us, but this one had many extras. We had a birthday, anniversary, promotion and a graduation!  I sat down and began to write and then my computer started acting up. I came back a few times over the past few weeks and continued to have issues with it. Today, I sat down to see if it was working (I have specifically been having trouble with the blogger program) and it was!

Since we are right in the middle of an amazing summer I really want to write in detail about our vacations, Brynn learning to roller skate, Kamryn's summer school experience and so many other things we are doing.  However, I have to drag myself back to the month of May. I say drag because the reality is I can't remember what I wore yesterday so May seems so long ago.  BUT, my blog started as an advocacy for Down syndrome, therefore I can't let Kamryn's graduation go by without posting about it!

Yes, Kamryn has graduated from preschool!

I often have the desire to take myself back to the first year of Kamryn's life when she celebrates or reaches a milestone.  I don't want to forget how hard her first year of life was for me, how difficult it was to accept her diagnosis, how scared I was, how I cried myself to sleep for almost a year.  I don't want to forget, because my life has been impacted beyond words. It's more beautiful than I ever could have have imagined. It is brighter and clearer and simpler.  And for me, because at one time it hurt so bad, the little things are 100 times better. So imagine what the big things feel like!  My smile is just bigger.  I remember questioning: Will she walk? Will she talk? Where will she go to school? Will she ride a bike?
I don't question anymore.
I just live.
And it feels so good.

Graduation May 2013:

She has been able to ride a three wheel scooter for quite some time. She can also ride a bike with training wheels.

She can get into a lot of trouble. And she thinks she can hide from me...


We have had her in private speech since she was about 3 years old. (She has received speech services since she was an infant through government programs, however we added to that with a private speech therapist). . 

Kamryn will start kindergarten in the fall.  We have decided to put her in a communicative handicap class. (That is what the district calls it, it is for children with communication delays). She will also be in a "regular/typical" kindergarten class room. When school starts and we are able to observe the classrooms, we will determine how much time she will spend in the "regular/typical" class room and how much time she needs to be in the communicative handicap class room.  Diondray and I want to give Kamryn the best possible environment for her to learn, develop and grow. 

The radio is blasting in the other room and I can hear the girls dancing to the CD from the movie Let it Shine...I'm going to go join them.  I love summer!!!!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Its been awhile!

I can't believe the last time I posted was over six months ago!.
Actually, I can believe it.

I swear this blog is like exercise!
I think about it all the time.
It's something I wish I did a few times each week.

However, at the end of a busy day, I am just to tired.
And another day passes without a post...or a workout!

Our days are so full, that sometimes it is easy to forget the "little" moments or the details of the "big" moments. That is one reason I enjoy posting/writing. It gives me a chance to pause and reflect on many of the amazing things that we have done, experienced or just remember the feelings I was having during a specific time.

Looking back at the last time I posted (October 3rd 2012) until now, we have had a tone of wonderful, challenging, scary, happy and meaningful moments.

All the usual: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, three birthday celebrations, Easter,  soccer season ended and basketball started (and ended) and a few fun vacations...
and the not so usual: Kamryn changed schools, 5 days in the hospital with Naomi. She went from being sick (we thought she had the flu) to getting really sick and having an emergency appendectomy! Which resulted in her being out of school and home for four weeks recovering!  A visit from my dad who came unexpectedly from Italy.  Diondray getting promoted! :) So much has happened over the last 6 months... 

I had a moment, not to long ago with Kamryn. A moment that for most people raising a 4-year old, would pass by unnoticed.  I know becasue I have already been through the "4-year old stage" with three girls and I never noticed this.
As soon as your baby begins to talk, they go from one word to two, then sentences in a matter of months.  You don't even think about the development of language and how challenging it is.  Because for most, it happens naturally, quickly and without thought.

Down syndrome can cause language delays.  This occurs on the physical level, due to low muscle tone and the development/processing level. We feel very fortunate that we have been able to provide Kamryn with speech therapy since she was about three months old. The other day her and I were in the car and I turned the radio down (for some reason I am not sure why),  from the seat behind me I hear,

"Mom, please turn up the radio, I like this song!"

Me, as a huge smile begins to surface on my face, begin to count to myself,  one, two, three...wow a 10 WORD sentence. UNPROMPTED!!!

With the huge smile (still on my face) I turn the radio up and hear Kamryn singing along to the song...

"We are never, ever, ever, getting back together" (by Taylor Swift)

Ahhhh, that moment had me smiling all day!
It makes me smile even now. 

                                          Easter 2013