Monday, October 29, 2012

29 of 31 - Happy Monday!

We had a quiet weekend.  We needed it.  Katie is having surgery Thursday, so I tried to finish up some things that I knew I wouldn't have a chance to work on later in the week.

I got started on my tablecloth!  I'm so excited to see it start coming together.  And I have officially turned into my mother. . . I know have a sewing project I'll work on for the next thirty years.  I even have a bag for it so I can carry it with me places.  

We did a lot of swinging, walking around the neighborhood, and cooking this weekend.

What's for dinner at your house this week?  We're having chicken and eggplant, aztec chicken in the crockpot, mexican rice, stuffed peppers, and leftovers.  

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

28 of 31 - Getting Ready for Halloween

Chris was at it again with his pumpkin carving!

He and the boys did two pumpkins Friday while I was at work and Katie was napping.

Today Katie worked on coloring a kitty mask.

She worked on it for a long time!

Then Chris worked on her.....

He did two more pumpkins today - a spider and a cat.

After about 14 pictures, this is what I got.  I'm not sure what's wrong with Jack in this, other than it was freezing out and he wanted to go eat a cupcake!!  I can't wait to show you their costumes this year!

27 of 31 - Wild Flours

If you are local, you must go to Wild Flours.

Wild Flours is an organic, all natural bakery and mill in Murfreesboro.  They grind their own fresh grains and make amazing breads, cookies, muffins, and treats.

They have a store right off the square, and it's so, so cute.

I love the way it is decorated, and - even more than that - love the products they have!

We picked up some of the whole wheat bread at the farmer's market this weekend.  I gave everyone a slice last night with dinner with a little bit of honey (also from the market) on top.  David said, "This is the best food I have ever put in my mouth."  I have to agree with him.  Henry said, "I want to marry this bread."  

This is some seriously good bread.  We are now rationing it, calling it "the good bread", and I've hidden it from the kids so they won't just gorge themselves on it.  I will have to go back this week to get more, because it is so fantastic.

I also let the boys each get a cinnamon roll at the farmer's market.  They were gone in about 4 minutes. I think that warmed up these would be even more amazing.  And more than just tasting great, the breads and baked goods she makes are made with things that are good for you and your children.  

Please - if you are local - stop in to Wild Flours.  This is a great little local store for us, and I promise you will not be sorry!

26 of 31 - Jack's Fall Festival

I LOVE Jack's school this year.  He has fantastic teachers who love him so much, and he's learned a lot.  It's a fun school, and they had a fall festival on Friday.  Chris took all of the kids, because the big boys were out for parent-teacher conferences.

Katie loved it, which was not a surprise.  They had a pumpkin patch, pony rides, bouncies, lunch, and the kids were able to play on the playground.  It was beautiful weather, and they all had a great time.

Of course, Katie loved the horses.  It was the same man who had the horses at David and Henry's birthday party last year, and he is the nicest man ever.  The big boys weren't so interested in the horses this year, more in jumping in the bounce houses.  Everyone loved it!

25 of 31 - The 24 Day Challenge

Chris and I are on day 18 of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  I will tell you, we were both a little skeptical.  The first 10 days of the program are a cleanse and the last 14 are for weight loss.  We took before pictures, weighed ourselves, and measured ourselves.  And if we weren't ready to start the program before then, seeing the numbers on paper and seeing our hideous before pictures did it!

We had already been taking steps toward being healthier, eating healthier, and being more active.  The 24 day challenge though has been fantastic for us.  In the last 18 days, Chris has lost eleven pounds and I've lost ten.  I had started to watch what I was eating, did my juice fast, and was just generally being more conscious of my choices before we started the challenge, and I'm so excited to say that since my birthday (June 5th), I've now lost twenty-six pounds.

This was me at my birthday party in June.

And this is now.  I am so happy with the Advocare products that I will certainly continue after our challenge.  Please do not think I'm telling you that the products are why I've lost weight though; they're not.  The products, in conjunction with drinking a gallon of water a day and eating much differently is what I have done.  It's not rocket science, but it sure works!  I can't wait to do my measurements at the end of the 24 days.  I certainly see a difference in how my clothes fit...

These are all of the clothes that I'm getting rid of that don't fit me.  (I'm not exactly sure what I'll wear to work now...)  I did get a new sweater set today.  I'm going to reward myself for each ten pounds I lose.

If you want to know more about Advocare and the 24 day challenge, please let me know.  I'd love to share it with you!

24 of 31 - VOTE

Whether you did it early or will do it next week, please, please, please VOTE!

I went Saturday and cast my vote.  David and Henry came into the booth with me and pressed the buttons I told them to press.  I want them to understand what a big deal it is for us to be able to vote, and how important it is for them to do so when they are able.

So whether your choice is for the incumbent or someone else, please use your vote!  I'll never tell who I voted for.  But Katie had a mighty cute hair clip in the other day....

23 of 31 - Happy Anniversary To Us!

Nine years ago, we went to Maui and got married.  Just the two of us.  We had known each other for four months.  Nine years, eight surgeries, seven cars, six round trip Russian plane tickets, five vacations, four children, three houses, two dogs, and one great ride later, marrying him was still the best crazy thing I've ever done.

22 of 31 - Always Happy?

Want to know my biggest pet peeve about having a child with Down syndrome?

Other people. 

And not because people are rude or stare or anything like that.

Really, that almost never happens to us.

It's people who think that everyone with Down syndrome is just happy and cheerful all the time.

Uh, no.  Are you?

Katie has Down syndrome, she's not missing the part of her brain that controls her feelings.  She has all of the same feelings that you and I have.  She is happy a lot, but she's also irritated, grumpy, sad, angry, crabby, excited, scared, and all of the other emotions you feel.

She can throw herself on the floor and have a come apart, just like every other five year old. 

Is that because she has Down syndrome?  No - it's because she is human.

So for every person who thinks that someone with Down syndrome is always happy, please educate yourself.  

And I invite you to come spend a day with Katie and experience the full range of her emotions!

21 of 31 - I Love Mail!

If you read my blog during Katie's adoption, you may remember me writing about a client whose family donated $1,000 to us and then collected donations from their friends and family and sent us more than $2,000 more.  

Well they surprised me again when I received a package at work from them!

They sent us a rum cake and a pack of some yummy gouda cheeses with a lovely note to welcome Katie home and say how happy they were for us.  It was so sweet and thoughtful!  We're going to have them at Thanksgiving, and I can't wait to dig in!

20 of 31 - My Snuggle Bugs

The day they don't want to do this anymore will be a sad, sad day for me.

19 of 31 - Nashville Buddy Walk!

I was a co-host of the Nashville Buddy Walk Reece's Rainbow table.

We had an AWESOME table!!

One of the other girls had a fantastic idea to print 100 kids from RR and tie their pictures, descriptions, and grant fund amounts to water bottles.  We gave lots of waters away, and saw several people looking at the pictures and talking.

We won first place for best non-profit table!

We also had an Already Home board with before and after photos of some Reece's Rainbow sweeties who are home.  I'm sure you probably recognize some of those faces!

The boys loved this photo board.

They made their best "I'm lifting a car" faces.

Or not...

My friend Amber, also a RR mama of sweet baby Anna Gray, took this picture of Katie and me.  I love it!  Katie had gotten up very early that day and was not feeling very smiley, but Amber caught her!

These are all RR babies.  Well, except Jack!

I was so, so excited to see my friend Shana!  She and her husband brought an adorable little pumpkin named Cooper home recently, and he is a love.  I was thrilled to see her family and give her a big hug.

We got all lined up for the one mile walk.  And realized that we'd be walking at a snail's pace because there were roughly four thousand people walking.  We quickly bailed on the walk and went to the playground.

The boys were running around too fast to take a picture of them!

We had a great morning at the walk, and we'll definitely do it again next year.  Thank you to each of you who donated to help support Katie's Crew!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

18 of 31 - School Lunches

Do your kids bring their lunch to school?

David and Jack pack lunch every day, Henry at least twice a week (because I make him!) and Katie occasionally.  These Ziploc containers, which I think were around $2.50 or $3.00 for a pack of two, are the absolute best thing I bought for back to school.  I use them every single day.  They fit perfectly inside of their lunchboxes, and they are perfectly portioned.  I definitely recommend them!

17 of 31 - Scary Business!

We live in a very old house.

It's about 120 years old.

We're not really sure, because (according to the story we've been told) the courthouse where the deeds were stored in our county burned down in the early 1900s and all of the deeds burned with it.  After the fire, properties were re-deeded back to around the time of the fire.  As with any old house, there's always maintenance that needs to be done.  Like, you know, the entire exterior of our house.  When we bought our house, the interior had been redone entirely with beautiful hardwood floors, a new kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and all of the original moldings and trim work had been restored.  The outside?  Sort of looks like a haunted house.  There were vines growing on it, paint peeling, no real landscaping to speak of, and several clapboards that need replacing.  You know the old saying, you can't judge a book by its cover.....

Fast forward to the molding above Katie's window falling off. . .  From about 20 feet up in the air!  We need to replace the molding, but there was also a small hole where the corner of the molding had been.  I have been nagging Chris constantly gently reminding Chris that the hole needs to be repaired and needed to be done about six months ago.  Keep in mind, this is a second story window and is roughly 25 feet up.

My parents were over last weekend, and Chris and my dad dragged the extension ladder around to the front of the house to get started on the project.  First Chris took a look.

Then my dad took a look.  I really didn't want my dad up on the ladder.  He's quite capable of fixing the issue, but he's also absolutely the most accident prone person I've ever met in my life.  He's cut off the tip of his finger, broken his hand starting a weed eater, been in a motorcycle accident, been in a head on collision, hit himself in the face with a bungee cord and had to get stitches, ripped a gaping gash in his leg fixing a hot tub. . . I could go on and on.  I saw nothing but potential for sudden death with him on a 32 foot extension ladder.

Once Chris determined what he needed to do, we (meaning everyone but Chris, because let's be honest, he was the only person doing any work at this point) had a sit on the porch.  And yes, Jack is wearing a cape.  And Katie is wearing no pants.  This is how we roll.

Chris changed his shorts so they wouldn't fall off at the top of the ladder so he had a pocket to put a hammer in and - after a lot of psyching himself up - climbed up with his hammer, a board to repair the hold, and some nails.

And the board was too big.

He came back down the ladder, went back to the shed, cut the board down, and came back to the front of the house.

Up he went again.

All in all, it seriously took him less than five minutes on the ladder to fix it.  

And then our neighbor came over and said he could bring a cherry picker home from work in a few weeks and zip him up there to finish the project.... I was waiting for Chris to kiss the man on the lips, he was so excited not to have to go back up the ladder.

And I was excited to not have to verify his coverage on his life insurance policy.

16 of 31 - What a Difference

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

October 2012

Most days, I cannot believe the transformation that is happening right before my eyes.

We are so lucky.