Sunday, May 17, 2009

Down Syndrome Spring Picnic

Today was the annual Down Syndrome Picnic! It was so much fun as usual, though there were no baked beans. (Still unsure if this was good or bad....update after a few more diapers!)

We had so much fun playing games, bouncing and jumping in the bounce houses, eating of course and meeting some old friends and making a few new ones. Though Devon and Miranda had the best time dancing.

We had a few tense moments. I was really worried about Emerson for a while we had several episodes of the monitor going off and his eyes getting a little dusky blue!

I think the best thing about this is getting to see a lot of the individuals with Down Syndrome, so many different stages, abilities and basically just a cool mixture of people.

It also helped cause Adrian has been asking a lot of questions lately.

This morning she informed me.....that she, Jordan and Emerson did not have down syndrome cause they all came from my tummy. True yes..... but not what I was expecting...... I thought she would follow it up with some profound statement.... but no, she then told me all adopted kid had down syndrome..... so the picnic did at least give Adrian and I chance to play...... who has DS and who doesn't and why (or how she knew).

I know this seems weird.... but she has been having a few issues at school and a lot of issues at home and is a lot more confused about what is going on with the "chromsomally" enhanced ones and always wants to understand why we do not get "the good parking space" when it is just her and me!

It is a wondrous thing that comes out of her mouth....usually before she inserts her foot!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I cried today! (A LOT)

SHORT STORY......Adrian and Melea graduated kindergarten today! It was such a fun family moment to watch two of my beautiful girls sings and receive their diplomas.

STOP Here...... or

LONG STORY...... I cried today.....tears that only a "special" mom can have. I cried today because I was proud, happy, sad, amazed, joyful, and just plain beaming with pride when I watched them......both my beautiful.....Adrian and they graduated from kindergarten this afternoon.

Today started like usual.....OK sort of. My friends came and helped me get the kids ready for school .......still issues with the kids and Emerson all needing me .....(when will I learn how to nurse a kiddo.....carry his heart monitors....bathe the others and wait for the bus at the same time......thank heaven for friends!).

Differences included the fact that Adrian had laid out her clothes ....three days early! She picked out my clothes.....Emerson's & Jordan's outfits.....made sure she had invited every person she met in the last week......called her grandma and reminded her dad...about 20 times! She had been singing all the songs for me for over two weeks.....and like the wonderful sister that she is made sure Melea practiced many many times too.

I fight get Melea to let me do her hair, make sure she gets her teeth brushed.... try to make sure she doesn't hug Emerson too hard and a little argument....doesn't want to practice her songs.....just wants to look in the mirror at her "bottom" oh does that fascinate her!

Adrian got up the shower before Tammy & Angie got her. Adrian had me do her hair....put in her special bows.....wear perfume......she was so excited! Last thing she tells me.....on her way out the door is...."Mom, I love you so much.....but please make sure your armpits don't stink!"

"OK".....I reply....pretty much taken a back..... I forgot to notice she had no shoes on. Of
course Adrian was her usual creative self and decided that her beautiful burgundy suede boots would look so much better than her her pink dress shoes. (Angie did try to get her to wear the matching ones.... but Princess Grumpy was adamant about these....and I didn't notice till she marched in...Oh well!)

I actually was so surprised at her comment....I spend the morning questioning Dad, all the kid wranglers, Grandma and Jordan if I had forgotten deodorant in the last few weeks.! It really was bothering me.....I knew Adrian had been frustrated cause I have been wearing my painting /work outside in the yard clothes to Wal-Mart and Home Depot the last few times! SO I SHOWERED AGAIN!!!!!

Eric, myself, Jordan & Emerson go over to school with all the kid wranglers. We get to school about 15 minutes early, I get the preschoolers and Colin so we can all be a family unit.

I am very worried..... not about Adrian....she has a way of making everything look like she planned it. I am panicking inside.... about how Melea will do, and will she even go in with the kids. I have some really bad memories of Colin's first kindergarten graduation (our worst EVER school event to date!)

It starts late...... Adrian is one of the first in........ I am waiting flashes going off and of course Adrian waves at me....beaming!!!! I am so happy! She looks really pleased that we are all there....taking up a whole row!!!!

I am looking for Melea...... a little panicked. Well she comes in.... one of the last..... but no one is helping her or pointing or holding her hand....she just marches in (AND I MEAN MARCHING TO THE BEAT ONLY SHE CAN HEAR) all by herself.

She stands up with her friends..... all the kindergartners start to sing! Adrian immediately draws my attention because she has my musical talent and Eric's volume.....but a lot of heart!

After about 30 seconds I manage to remember to look at Melea..... She is singing, making all the movements and smiling so big it could melt your soul. I am so amazed! Tears start to well!!!! I realize her is my beautiful, shy little girl. With her amazing smile, beautiful hair and 23 pairs + 1 chromosome ..... making her my special little girl.

I was amazed thinking back to all the IEP's, all the planning, the times I was sure she wouldn't walk, or wondered if the the failure to thrive was my fault, all the speech therapy sessions where she would not make a sound..... but that smile....I see her beautiful smile. I can hear her! Tears of amazement start to flow! She did it...though it was her way.....not the way I planned, not the way her teachers always wanted either. Why is this amazing...... well it is just like the rest of them.
All her classmates stand there as individuals....all proud.....most with beaming parent too....and none of them has really turned out the way their parents planned for them in utero...... but Melea are amazing!

I jump back to looking at Adrian! She is so proud, so straight, so effortlessly looking amazing..... she is so smart and open....she takes care of herself and exuding confidence....I cry a little more this time. Partly because I am proud and partly cause I am pleased she does not burst into interpretive dance in the music interlude in between the verses of "You Are My Sunshine".

My eyes dart back to Melea.... still singing.....still doing the hand motions! I am so amazed. I am watching another example of inclusion at its best. Maybe she doesn't know her sight words or is able to do basic addition...... but she is standing their confident and singing with the rest of her peers. This is not what happened last year..... last year I just got that open mouth with a little drool....confused looks and a run to her aide.

Today I see a beautiful young girl, with her peers....singing her heart out (off key) but doing everything the others are doing! I have another wave of pride..... tears started to fall again!

Then I look to Adrian and I realize the whole class was signing the last verse as well as sings it..... for Melea....cause she signs as well as sings! More tears flowing.

Then comes the sadness, for both my little beauties. For so vastly different reasons!

Melea.....I realize how hard she has to work to have more days like today, for the birth family who placed her with us....who lost the daughter they were hoping for..... and for me! It makes her life a lot different than the one Adrian will have, that thought makes me cry with sorrow......

I am thinking of that chromosome....the extra ones in each cell....the ones that if they were not there..... she would not be my daughter.

I feel a lot of guilt cause I am glad she has 47 chromosomes in each cell! This is something there is no question about!
I feel guilty and it makes me sad.....but then I think ....Adrian.....and my sorrow switches to a few tears of pain (remembering that natural child birth and 14 hours of labor..... and realizing that it was almost 6 years ago that I really learned how hard it must have been for all my adopted children's birth parents!)

I think..... Adrian is one super special little girl, she is confident, intelligent, friendly, outgoing and an absolutely fantastic sister! I am crying cause I lover her so much, and I am sad at thinking that she is growing up so fast and someday all the societal pressures may make her not think that helping Melea or being her sister is a good thing. I shed some tears for the fact she has so much to learn about the ways of the world and the fact that not every one will value her family the same!

Then came the tears of joy and thankfulness for all the people who have helped my children, the teachers, the therapists, the counselors, and their favorite.....the bus drivers. They all worked so hard, very rarely getting a chance to see how it all comes together.....but today I did!

All the children finished singing.....they signed thank you, and then they proceeded to take their seats...... the kids then all get their chance to walk up and get their diplomas from the principal! All of them look so proud, and so happy!

After several minutes and about 14 children Adrian gets to go....she is so beautiful and radiant....... she flashes Daddy her best smile....a little secrete wave and bounces off to get her diploma! (by the way.... I am back to crying with pride and joy again)

I spend the next five minutes finishing the morning class and starting the afternoon class. Emerson starts to nurse, and I am reminded of the family who has never seen a photo of Melea, never once asked to get anything we have left for them..... and I wonder if they ever think of her.....I remember she does not share mine or Eric's DNA.....again the chromosomes, but......

I hear her name....... she slowly gets up.....(still crying....not sure why)! She does the thing I have come to love over the years..... it is so Melea! She puts her right hand over her eyes, peers out from underneath to see if anyone is looking..... and acts shy. But then she walks up....... hand still over her eyes. Adrian says really loud (I don't think she meant too.... she is just my kid) "this way Mia!....go to Mr. G****".

Eric is in the middle aisle....trying to take the photo.... the camera doesn't work ...... it seems like five minutes...... the principal is doing his best to get her to take her hand off her eyes.... and we are all clapping and I am crying again!!

This time because they are both my beautiful girls.....two of my four. Eliza and Miranda are sitting next to me......Eliza running around like the Tasmanian devil and Miranda clapping for everyone and cheering! Because Adrian is so worried about her sister and Melea is just playing it up and being a "ham" on purpose!

And I start to smile......I realize I am so proud and so lucky! (And of course there are a few tears....cause I am sure Eric blew the shot!)

Afterwards when I get to hug the girls and give them the roses I brought for them. The tears flowed again. This time is now joy..... I am happy again to be the one sharing this day with both my girls as their mom!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just want to say thank you.....

to my dear husband ..... who works so hard so I can be a stay at home mom (MY FULL TIME JOB) and have fun with the kids besides cleaning the house.

This has been a very busy week. Though almost all of the rest of them are between now and the end of the year. 2 days doctors appointments (T & TH), Special Olympics (W), an IEP (M) and 1st grade field trip (F). All this was in between the normal food shopping, nursing Emerson, several medicine pick ups, and a few phone calls with the health insurance company, made some time to pay bills and balance the checkbook + all those other mom things! (the ones people forget....till mom isn't there to do them and laundry stacks up to the ceiling, and the dishes get moldy in the sink)

Today was the last field trip of the 08-09 school year. It seems to have flown by....... the kids have grown and learned so much.

Colin and I (as well as Emerson ...tagging along in the sling) went to Shaw arboretum today! As usual it was a dreary day, but we had a great time. We did a nature hike with 12 different spot where his class stopped and completed several investigations.

It was really a whole lot of fun for Colin. He had so many of his favorite's hand to hold, Emerson to show off and kiss, lots of mud to stomp in.....and his favorite.....bugs, worms, and frogs to scare mom with.
It really is nice to have this special time with the kids....they parties, the plays, the concerts, the field trips......all are lasting memories our children will have. So thanks Daddy....for all you do for us so we can have so much fun!

So here are some shots from the year of all we have done at school with the kids with Daddy back filling with babysitting and working hard!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Special Olympics Track- Colin & Melea

Besides President Obama's 100 day celebratory town hall meeting here today, we had a much more exciting event..........another Special Olympic Track Meet, this time for Colin & Melea.

It really is amazing to go to these events. Though we were almost late because the presidential motorcade blocked the highway due to the overcast and gloomy weather preventing the helicopters from flying. How ever I did manage to get myself sunburned......and Emerson got a little pink on his for head. Colin & Melea just got browner and more gorgeous with their olive complexions.

The day started at McDonald's with our special Mommy & kids breakfast of hot cakes......OK I really needed that large iced coffee! We always try to share a special family breakfast before each field trip so the children who aren't going...... feel special too. This morning it was so cool to walk arm and arm across the parking lot with Adrian singing her new "song" about how much she loves her family! What an amazing girl...I just wish she had gotten any of her dad's or her aunt's musical talent......but alas she sing and keeps time like me! But she tries and since I believe heart does count (and I am her mom) it is amazing!

Then we went to school to have Colin & Melea catch the bus with their classmates.....but surprise when the bus gets STAR SEATS! Things like this used to irritate me......but not as much as it used too. ("serenity now....serenity now") OK....really this is why I make sure Eric or I are able to go on every I can drive them.....if it happens......and it usually happens once or twice a year. I actually think my kids like it better anyways! More mommy time......and this time she got to ride next to Emerson.....extra special morning part three.
Well we follow the bus.... get parked..... find the kids teacher and get to meet our buddies for the day. Just like Devon's last week, we got some wonderful helpers. Dillan & Brian.
These awesome students took my kids around to their events and played with them all day at the Olympic Village. They were so patient and tried to get them involved.
A lot of times people ask me if Colin remembers stuff....well two days later he is still doing the cool handshake that Brian taught him. Colin was even trying ti teach it to Devon and Colin.
Colin is still showing off his ribbons and Melea showing me her medal. So all in all another really great day!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I am so tired of Wal-M#$% and Targ&*) and all the other stores treating me like I am a dumb consumer.

I watch prices I watch numbers / counts on boxes...... I have eight mouths to feed and butts to diaper! I NOTICE and I am tired of it! Quit keeping the packages the same size and putting in less...... from cereal (yeah I know you just matched General Mills and others). I have put up with the disappearing diapers for a while and even the missing 48 wipes (8 from every package for about 2-3 weeks down from 80 to 72 then a huge new end cap saying more...we are giving you more now!

But yesterday you really made me mad! I will call again today when I finish this...... I am madder than when you got rid of the green (lime) flavored yogurt for 3 months when you put more of the ridiculously priced GoGurt and other espensive kid marketed brands! Madder than when you quit carrying equate bar soap!

You took a whole package of wipes out of the six pack in the parents choice! At first I just thought I got a defective package...... it shook....... I looked at the package....same size...... you didn't even try to hid it this time...... It just said FIVE.....440 wipes.......not the usual 6 pack.

There was an empty space.... someone else will notice......they have too..... it can't just be me.

OK it can Eric just opened it....I had to buy it.....we were out..... I guess that is how you get away with it...... you are our only choices if I need to keep our costs as low as they can go! But I a, noticing and keeping track and angry.......angry about the fact that this pack is missing.....angry about the fact in several weeks it "will suddenly" reappear as a gimmick to make you think you care about out needs and the fact that everyone is penny pinching.......and YOU ARE TRYING TO HELP US OUT! But I will remember.......

I wish I could boycott you..... I tried mad it 2 weeks and 5 days.....19 days...... oh yeah it did nothing in their bottom line.....made me completely sure I hated the generic diapers at Walgre&&^% and ended up costing me more money on just about everything! I am sure that you didn't even notice a dent in your bottom line...... (note I spend about $250 each week on food and other household items there).....but to me it is a huge amount.

Wal-M#$%@ was the second corporate brand my kids recognized (McDonald's being first).......My son Jordan & Adrian's could say it before Grandma and most of their siblings has become the generic term for "store" at our house like xerox...... but notice.... I am watching and I know and I am mad.

Raise the prices, but quite trying to make me think you are doing me a favor by giving me 8 more wipes or 2 more diapers or locating the missing 2 oz of generic Cheerios! The used to be made money when you took them away,,,,,,,,, GIVE THEM BACK!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Devon and Track Special Olympics......

or A nice Girl named "Katie"!

Today Devon got to go to the Special Olympic Track Meet. (Next week is Colin & Melea's) It was so much fun to get to spend the morning with him.....though I think the "spirits" were conspiring against me for the first 4 hours of my morning.......

  1. why did I ever let the kids (Colin & Adrian now do every day....some days so does Melea) start taking showers before me....... I WANT AN INSTANT HOT WATER HEATER!
  2. someone stole the shoes I wanted to wear (after I took the time to shave my legs)
  3. afternoon helper called in sick so I am panicked that I can't go ....but morning helper says she can stay till at least 2 pm! THANK HEAVENS
  4. Melea tries to play sick till she realizes that I am taking Emerson with me..... so the plan of staying home to play with the baby....not working as she planned.... so she runs off to school to torment the staff there!
  5. Grandma still in hospital and I am worried about her....
  6. I finally get there.....they make us park at another school across a street I would not have crossed with "normal" children....let alone Devon....thank heaven I was running so late.....I sent him on the bus!
  7. There was also a huge huge huge set of steps and I could not carry the stroller, the diaper bag, Emerson's monitors, camera , our lunch up those stairs.....and I forgot I had Emerson too!
  8. Jordan broke my drip coffee pot last week, and out of instant coffee they make IV coffee? URGH!!!!!!!!
  9. I really do like going to Special Olympic is so nice to see so many happy faces and can and always cheers me up....worked really well after this morning and my lack of coffee!

  1. I finally found Devon and met his helper for the day. Her name was Katie.....she seemed nice and Devon was holding her hand and smiling (though he would do this with Satan and any ability to distinguish) But she seemed to have the energy that Devon needs .

Most people think I am neurotic about going to all these event.....but I taught High school for a while and it is a 50 /50 chance at getting a "not so interested" helper.......and all my kids run! so I get worried....OK down right scared!

But no problem with our helper today......she was attentive to me, Devon and Devon's school staff as they explained his needs and issues (OK I was a little worried when i first saw her...and no staff....but boy did she do great!)

We got to play games.....I swear all the clubs at this high school least 20 carnival games.....Devon brought home six bubble containers and all kids of carnival treasures (OK junk that Adrian can try to feed Emerson tomorrow......). But it was fun to watch Devon attempt to play the games and to see him brighten up when Melea and Adrian and he were going through the bag when he got home.

Devon gets to compete in "challenges" to build his hopping, and jumping, and throwing tennis balls and running to someone (his new pretty friend Katie). It might seem like a waste of time to some people....but sometimes just watching your son do a little bit with a stranger is amazing.

To stand back and see how that smile can bright the world. To spend a minute not panicked about hospital bills or balancing a check book or wondering about how or when the TV will have some "good news" about the economy. That is what I got this morning!

Three and half hours of time with Devon (Emerson was along for the ride....and a small red nose....sunscreen must have rubbed off). We played we hugged each other, a big red dog, played clap clap with Spiderman & Wolverine, were timid with Captian America and just hugged the heck out of the "Tiger".

We through some pom poms, blew bubbles, picked ducks & fish out of water, got matching tattoos, got covered in Peanut Butter & jelly and watched him drink a full carton of chocolate milk! Then we ran some, jumped some and threw some balls. We even crammed ourselves into a port-a-potty together for a diaper change! (Katie held Emerson....thanksso much!)

I want to thank all the kids and people that made this day special....the planning is not so easy to pull off an event like this! These young adults worked hard to put the special in "Speacial Olymipics"! From the girls dress up int heose hot costumes on the 80 degree day, to the ones helping me with parking (even if I grumbled)

I had a wonderful time. It was amazing! Devon is Devon.....I keep hoping for a miricle or breakthrough or something, but I spend most of the time thinking he is never going to change.

Do not take that as depressed as it sounds. I loved seeing all the smiles he gave to people today and all the hugs. I loved seeing how much he has grown this school year. And after spending the day with him today. I am sort of happy that he hasn't changed to much .....yet!

I think for him..... the world will always revolve around him and what "Devon "wants...... but today he wanted to share it with me & Katie and it sure was "totally awesome"!

ps- I am feeling quite old all of a sudden! and wondering why two grown adults with college degrees can't make microwave popcorn with out burning it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Adrian's Newly Painted Room!!!!

I finally got a round to painting Adrian's new room......she moved in last May 1st (before Devon came and we moved everyone around).

Cause you know having eight kids including the new baby....making painting so easy! Let us not forget that Adrian wanted to help which then involved a lot of wet wipes and Mr. Clean Eraser's and carpet cleaner (she stepped in the pink paint and the tracked it everywhere!)

I never got to paint it....cause when I had time I found out I was pregnant..... and wanted to wait till the end of first trimester..... the the puking came........ and the rest is a long history.

We had her bed made ----just not painted....... and we had moved all her stuff up there (it is a loft above our bedroom). Sometime she has the most expensive carpet in the house with all her clothes and toys all over!
So before Devon came we moved all hers, Colin's & Melea's doll's (their twinns) and the clothes I made them...... her special doll house and the EVIL barbie who wears every ones clothes....... I hate that three foot tall thing! I mistake it for a child all the time!

It is long and skinny........ likely Melea will end up there some day and Miranda in with Eliza so there are two in every room.

So here they are...... by the way she picked all the colors and decided what to do....... I just painted and got yelled at cause I was taking to long!

Adrian just loves bright colors and putting as many together as humanly possible! She is so bright and cheery and her clothing shows that so I let her paint that in her room too!
I figure if she ever turns into a "goth"..... I will know..... really quickly! I do not even think she owns anything that is black.

I also wrote out my favorite saying..... I think I tell her every day at least twice....... YOU SO NOT HAVE TO BE THE BEST....... YOU JUST HAVE TO TRY YOUR BEST!!!! The funniest thing was when she used it back at me...... I love her....

She doesn't like the green in the steps..... she wanted the pepto bismo pink (I HATE PINK and since I see it from my closet I did preempt her!) and I love we green!
We just have to make the curtains for the 36" x 164" window! & The normal one. I fell in love with some at Wal-Mart..... but they discontinued them when I wasn't looking magenta balloon shades. I did get three on eBay for $10. But I need 10 more..... so I think we will likely end up sewing them!

She does have the most awesome view..... third floor from the top of Thunder Mountain....... down on the valley.......

I also want her to remember all the things she can be ...... in case I forget to tell her every morning with the eight of them and trying to get them out the door!

BY THE WAY SHE IS A COLORFUL GIRL..... that is a mild outfit int the photos! Have a great day! You can not see the purple paisley leggins and hot pink glitter shoes.