December 31, 2013

new year

I used to hate New Year's Eve.  So much pressure for such a non-event.  When I was younger, it was the realization that, yet again, I had no boy to kiss at midnight.  Then as I grew older I felt like I had to assess my life and pick out the things I didn't like and make grandiose plans to change things.  Thank goodness I am secure in who I am and no longer fret over New Year's.

It took me many years to get here.  When I graduated college, I worked for a science museum which was a great job.  Then we moved so my husband could finish school.  I worked in the admissions department of a massage therapy school.  As far as office jobs go - it was pretty chill.  There was the weekly chi gong lesson and the ability to volunteer your body for a massage when the student clinic had an opening.  But my office was a closet with no windows.  I did mundane work for a stickler of a boss.  I developed these horrible stomach pains.

I decided to make a change.  So I became a nanny.  I found a job with an amazing family.  Took the kids to the park every chance I got and the stomach pains disappeared.  Unfortunately, I was still young and worried what others thought of me.  Whenever someone asked me what I did, I started out telling them I went to college and then worked it into being a nanny.  I was embarrassed.

Eventually I made peace with it.  I still felt like I had no calling in life but I didn't really stress over it. I'm more of a enjoy the moment kind of a girl.  Then I had kids and it all made sense.

There are things I don't like - dishes, laundry and the *%$#@ grocery store.  But this is the life I chose and I try and enjoy as much of it as possible.  I don't live for tomorrow or think the grass is greener somewhere else.  I am happy to my core.  I look forward to 2014 as another year to hug my kids and hear their laughter.  I hope to challenge myself and push myself into new adventures but I know that some day, these kids will be grown and I will have all the time in the world to explore the things I like.  Right now I like looking at these faces:

December 18, 2013


When your child is born with Down syndrome, you are changed in so many ways.  Some that are quite clear from the start and some that show up years later.  If you are lucky, someone appears in your life that has a child with Ds and lets you know that everything will be fine.  If you are even luckier, you get to be that person for someone else.

I received a letter recently from a friend who called me when her son was born with Down syndrome.  She was full of gratitude and the letter made me cry in that happy blubbery way.  My goal in writing about my buddy and putting him out there in the world was just to help one person.  It is not in my nature to be so open, but the feeling I get each time someone thanks me is indescribable.

Life with my buddy can be really hard.  But life with my buddy is always incredible.  This morning I had to bring him along to a check up for rara.  He was zooming around the exam room on the doctor's chair.  As I tried to get him to stop, he looked up at me and signed "fun".  That is my buddy.  Always looking for the fun.

We got a holiday card in the mail that his Kindergarten teacher sent out.  Inside is his name scrawled at the bottom.  We debated if he could actually do this on his own - after all, in September all he could do was scribble.  I handed him a piece of paper and a pen and asked him to write his name.  Sure enough, he did it.  That boy constantly amazes me. 

I just want to thank my buddy for being who he is and giving me the amazing opportunity to share him with others and help some friends out along the way.  I also want to thank my friend for her touching letter - your words were felt deep in my heart.

December 11, 2013


Warning: There will be poop in this post - a lot of it.  It is unavoidable.

I've spent almost a year trying to figure out what was causing my buddy to have such horrible loose poop.  I tried lots of things.  I met with a dismissive GI nurse practitioner who said she was fine with chronic peanut butter consistency poop and suggested Metamucil and mentioned that once he is potty trained it most likely won't be an issue.  I listened to many different doctors and did research on my own.  I finally found something that worked.

I took the advice of my favorite doctor that just happened to coincide with something I've been wanting to do anyway.  I cut out processed foods.  Not 100%.  Personally I'm more of an 80 - 90% girl.  It's too hard to do anything 100%.  I am just not that perfect.

I don't buy anything unless I know what all the ingredients are - no crazy chemicals.  Like tortilla chips should have corn, oil and salt for ingredients.  Organic when possible.  So far I can't get my buddy to give up store bought snacks.  He's not into my home made muffins, crackers or bread.  Within a week of the diet change, he had a healthy poop.  And they have all been healthy poops since then.  (except for when he was so scared at the sleep study that he had diarrhea, but that's a whole 'nother issue)

And then last night after dinner, the girls were in the bathroom and my buddy came up to me and signed "potty".  At first I dismissed him thinking he just wanted to start trouble with the girls.  Then I saw what can only be described as the 'poop face' and I asked him if he wanted to poop on the potty.  Well, my buddy said yes, so we rushed to the potty and wouldn't you know he pooped on the potty!  Oh the happy song and dance we did was legendary.

I love when peer pressure works in your favor.  Rara has been potty training herself - saying poopoo when she has to go and once in a while actually doing it on the little potty.  I've been talking to my buddy letting him know he could do just like she does and tell me when he has to go.  He wanted to sit on the little potty just like rara - of course his 5 year old tush is way to big for that but he was OK using the big potty. 

I know the potty training road will be long with my buddy.  But this was such a huge milestone for him.  No poop has ever made me prouder!

Enough poop.

Onto the Holidays!

my favorite tradition - chopping down the tree

hovered over the iPad after tub. no one wants to be too far away from the pack.

winter wonderland

I just came out from putting the little ones to bed while big sis played on the iPad.  She greeted me with, "I just learned how to say 'poop' in sign language."  I guess we all have poop on the brain.

December 4, 2013


It's been a busy couple of weeks.  My parents were in town affording me such luxuries as a haircut, attending my 20 year High School reunion and a lot fewer dishes to wash.  It's the first time in many years that we've had the room for them to stay with us. It was great to have conversations and spend lots of time together.  Rara mastered saying Grampa and Nana.  They worked tirelessly and we sent them home with our sickness.

sharing a love of cars

Nana always takes on outside playtime
My buddy has just been hammered with colds he can't get over.

The days that all the kids are sick are the days I want to run away and throw in the parenting towel.  I ask myself how it is that I am the adult and have to care for the needy, miserable children?  Even with my parents here to help me, sick kids always want their Mommy.  I try so hard not to complain too much.  After all I really have so much - a wonderful home, food on the table, a husband who adores me and 3 lovely littles.  But the crying and screaming and freaked out misery can take its toll.  As I write this, rara is napping in her bed (hopefully on the mend) and big sis is napping on the couch after a touch of the tummy bug last night.

My mom spent hours preparing a delicious Thanksgiving meal. My buddy ate Cheerios.  I was just happy he was eating.

big sis loves her Nana so much

It was neat to start a new tradition of our own Thanksgiving.  We had dinner at a time that worked best for us and ate all the things we like to eat.  Aside from the fear that I will have to do all the cooking next year, I like to think it is a tradition that is here to stay.

Big sis and rara were very upset that Mommy and Daddy were going out together.  We have a short supply of people that can handle watching my buddy and the other two so we rarely go anywhere.  Big sis was crying when we were going.  After we explained that we never go out together and this was a chance for us to spend some time together.  She replied, "You left last year at Christmas time when Nana and Grampa were here."  Pathetic.  It's been a year since we went anywhere.  And last year we left to go Christmas shopping... for them.

big sis took this one.  Makes her Daddy look like a super hero.
My brother worked in a long layover.  It's been over a 1 1/2 years since I've seen him.  Fun times.

We managed to squeak in an outing and some good times. Or not so good times if you are my buddy getting his hair cut!  There was mall walking, story time, nap time and of course some stellar outfits from big sis.

I really love when my parents are here.  Things are so much easier.  Life seems manageable. I love watching their relationships with the kids grow.  I think they should leave OK and move back to CT just to make my life better.  So who's with me?