Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun stuff!!

The kids and I have been playing with these all evening! SO funny! More to come, I am sure!!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Q&A #172

so back to the heart....how old will she be for surgery? William had AVC defect and drs. said it had to be repaired at 4-7 mos old. Is her's not bad?
I don't understand a lot about the heart... this is a road we have not been down before and right now Kellsey is on Enalapril until her cardiologist says it's time to operate. He DID say that her defect was the Incomplete AV Canal Defect... had it been a Complete AV Canal defect, she would not be here right now because she would have needed surgery when she was a baby. Maybe that's the difference between hers and William's? As for the tricuspid valve leak, he says it's moderate. They are hoping to operate when she is a little bigger, giving her a better chance for recovery. They told us last year that it would probably be 1-2 years before surgery, so I guess it just depends on how her echocardiograms continue to look at her check ups at this point. 

Have you thought about putting Kellsey in ballet? Or would she freak being in the 'spot light'? 
I have... she's REALLY not girly. Like at all! LOL I think she'd have more fun playing soccer or something... something where she could run around and not really have to follow a ton of directions. ;)

I too am a long time Migraine sufferer, starting when I was 14. I went on topomax for awhile, and it worked for preventing migraines BUT, it caused me serious insomnia. However, now I wonder if this is because I was also taking it with B vitamin supplements, which are also suppose to help with migraines. Did you ever experience insomnia from it? Maybe if I took it long enough that side effect would go away like some of yours?
I'm desperate. I get migrained almost weekly. Occasionally a prescribed tylenol/relaxant/caffeine combo will help end the migraine but, sometimes cafeeine triggers them or makes them worse. Most times I end up resorting to narcotics which I HATE! How long did it take for some of the side effects you were taking to go away? 
I'd love any advice or info you can give me about migraine meds and what you have tried for preventative and abortive! 
No, I never got insomnia from it... it did take about 6 weeks or so for the other side effects (tingling in my hands and flat soda etc) to go away. I used to have to take vicodin for my migraines and I hated that, too! It would really make me feel yucky for a couple days! I have tried it all... midrin, imitrex (which was horrible for me! UGH), maxalt,  zomig, naproxen and a few others. Topamax has been the best for me. 

What...you never have Starbuck's?
I am actually not a starbucks fan... I'm not a coffee drinker unless it's made just right and starbucks doesn't do it for me! LOL We have a new coffee shop in town, Lasater's, that is MUCH better! If I go anywhere, I will go there... and it's usually for hot chocolate. :)

And I have GOT to get that shirt that Kellsey is wearing! Maybe that will help Ben with our school issues! Where did you get it? 
Not sure ANYTHING will help with that! haha I got it from Amy, Mayson's mom, if you don't know her, I can probably put you two in touch! 

Okay so wait are they supposed to be in the car? And is Keeghan driving? Does he think we live in England or something, lol? Very cute. How did they enjoy their oatmeal and chocolate milk? 
Yes, they're supposed to be in a car and Keeghan is driving... it doesn't surprise me he was on the wrong side of the "car" though... he asked me the other day what the steering wheel was for. It's a good thing he's only 3 or I'd be worried! LOL 

Ummm, why wasn't the nurse prepared with steri strips for things like this? Really, why does she think you would know better about stitches than she does? 
She did have him bandaged up, but she just said the steri-strips might help reduce scarring... and she didn't have any of those, but I don't usually keep those around my house, either. ;) And she couldn't tell me whether or not he needed stitches for liability purposes. Technically, she could have said, "No it's not that bad, you don't need to come in" and then I would have picked him up several hours later and freaked out and it would have been too late to stitch by that point. It's safer to let the mom make that call, and I am actually glad she let me know. :) Now any scar he has is... well... HIS fault. Playing with scissors! @@ LOL 

Kathryn! Does that count? (I even have the right amount of letters, I think, 7?) It sounds an awesome holiday to me, do you think Kameron can arrange it so we in the UK celebrate too? ;)
LOL Yep that counts and it IS the right amount of letters! I'm sure he could think up something for the UK... you have McDonald's and amusement parks there, right?! :)

Great idea Kam! Love the poster. So your mom and dad and I all get to go with you huh? Of course!
Kenee, Krank and Kramma :o)
(I like Kramma better than Kackie heehee) 

He said we need to pay our own way into Disney World if we want to go. No free pass for us. Bah Humbug! I don't think Frank is going to like his new name too much! haha

Great idea! I could be Kori instead of Lori!
But wait, what about you and Frank? 

I think we need to change our names completely! There are lots more 7 letter K names out there! haha But hey, the guinea pigs can join in! LOL 

Wait! No pix of Kenn with her future hubby?! 
I know! I totally dropped the ball this time! I do have to say though that Kellsey was hugging on Austin quite a bit this time... she may be trying to steal her sister's man. This could be a problem. LOL 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Special K Day!

Did you know there is a national Special K Day? Well, now there is! ;) Kameron had to create a holiday for a class project. He had to tell all about this day... what foods would be eaten, what they would do on this day and what music would be played, things like that. SO he created Special K Day which happens to fall every year on his birthday - imagine that!

Special K Day is only for people whose name starts with the letter "K". On this wonderful day you wake up to a breakfast of Special K cereal (of course!) and then take off to a day at Disney World where everyone with a K name gets a free pass inside the gates! For lunch you get pepperoni pizza and sprite and a delicious chocolate dessert pizza to finish off the meal. On the way home you swing by McDonald's for a McRib Sandwich and hot, golden french fries for dinner. Music on this special day is brought to you by the musical stylings of Moi. Now... don't you wish your name started with a "K"?!? :o)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home from Georgia with a few pics! :)

I know, I know, I disappeared! LOL We got home late last night from GA and then spent today just hanging out, watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel and being lazy. We had some car trouble on the way home yesterday, but thankfully God was watching over us and it didn't happen until we were a block from our house! Thank you, Lord! My next door neighbor looked at it today and he thinks it will be ok, so nothing major! Whew!

I didn't really take many pictures in GA at all this time. I don't know what happened! LOL We really just hung out, the kids played, and then we came home. Not too much that was picture-worthy. On Friday we went to Amy's dad's farm about a mile from her house and the kids got to see cows and horses and stuff. That was kind of neat. Kellsey was napping when we went so Amy's daughter Rachel stayed home with her, and Kameron and Austin had NO interest in the horses so they aren't in these pictures either. Kennedy loved brushing the pony, but Keeghan stuck to the small dog... I think he likes animals to be little like him! HA! Anyway, enjoy the pics!

It's GREEN!!!

This pony is so cool!

Hold still while I brush you!

You're more my size... 

Pretty horse!

Pet nicely, Kennedy!

Amy telling Keeghan why he can't stand behind the horse... 

Kennedy and Rebecca

And that's it... Lame, I know. Next time we see them I'll do better! :) I am off to relax a bit and then go to bed. More tomorrow! :) 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!! We had planned to have a low-key day at home this year, it was going to be just me and the kids with Frank gone and my mom in Michigan, so I had planned to just make spaghetti and meatballs (my kids' favorite) and call it a day. However, my friend Amy in Georgia invited us down, so I packed the 5 kids, 2 guinea pigs and all our stuff in the car and we hit the road early yesterday afternoon. :) We hit quite a bit of Holiday traffic, but it wasn't too bad.

We had a very nice day full of good food, lots of crazy kids running around, and a trip to the movies to see Tangled. It was really a cute movie. We came home and ate some more, the kids made S'mores in the fireplace, and now we are watching some TV before bed. :)

We haven't taken any pictures yet, so this will have to do for now. :) I do hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving with your families! We have so much to be thankful for! I'll be around off and on over the next couple days, I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Laptop Giveaway Winner!!!

Thank you to everyone who donated to the Carlin family to help bring Danil home! I know they so appreciate it! You raised a whopping $940 to go towards their adoption! That will go a long way! Kennedy picked the winner of the mini laptop tonight... Keeghan helped a little too... and Kassidy made an appearance as well... silly kids! haha Enjoy the video and congrats to the winner! You can email me at CAmommy2KJ@aol.com. You can continue to follow Danil's journey home on his blog here.

PS. Have you ever wondered what we do with all those slips of paper after the drawing is over? Well, we don't let them go to waste, that's for sure! ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's been a day!

Have you ever had one of those days when you just need to go back to bed and start all over? Yeah. Me too! Actually, I just need to go to bed and move on to tomorrow! haha

My day started off by posting my facebook status as "Grrr!" So as you can see, it started off well! LOL Kassidy, my darling daughter, decided last night as she was taking her shower, that instead of telling me she was out of shampoo, she would just wash her hair in conditioner. So, when I went to straighten her hair this morning, I found a greasy, yucky mess. So she had to rewash her hair with my shampoo (which just so happens to be sitting right next to her empty bottle) which threw off our morning schedule making me miss my shower. Awesome.

I rushed the kids to school, dropping Keeghan off last, and he decided on the way in that he didn't want to go to school today and threw. a. fit. - A huge melt down full of crocodile tears and drama. His teacher told me to "just go", so I left. A few seconds later another mom came and found me and said, "Keeghan needs you back for a hug and a kiss." So I went back to my sobbing 3 year old, gave him lots of hugs and kisses and eskimo kisses and butterfly kisses; and then I ran out with Kennedy, still thinking maybe I had time to grab a shower before going to Kellsey's school before her Thanksgiving Feast.

On the way home my phone rang and it was Kass and Kam's school. Crap. It was the school nurse telling me that Kameron was playing with scissors and had a gash in his chin and would I please come to the school so I could decide if it needed stitches or not. (Seriously?!) "Well," I asked, "What do you think?" She said it really wasn't her call and I'd have to see it myself. Fortunately I happened to be driving right by their school, so I whispered goodbye to my shower and whipped into the school parking lot.

Kameron's chin was not pretty but we kind of agreed it didn't really warrant stitches. The nurse recommended maybe some steri-strips to help reduce scarring. I asked if the steri-strips could maybe wait until after a Thanksgiving Feast and she said she thought that would be fine. So I teased Kameron for playing with scissors (I believe my exact words were "What are you, three?!) and he laughed at me and went back to class. Boys!!!

Kennedy and I ran home so I could grab my camera and put on make up so I could look somewhat presentable instead of looking like I just rolled out of bed and we dashed off to Kellsey's school for her Thanksgiving Feast, which was fun. Kellsey made a cute little Indian, but she got annoyed when I kept taking pictures while she was trying to eat! HA! Don't mess with that girl and her food, I'm telling you!

When that was over, Kennedy and I rushed to Wal-Greens, found some steri-strips, went back to Kameron's school where the nurse helped me patch him up, sent him back to class again, and then we headed off to Keeghan's school for his Thanksgiving program. He made a cute little Indian too!

I planned on taking him home with me after that, but he wanted to STAY at school for the last two hours. This is the same kid that threw a fit this morning! Really?! OK, whatever! So Kennedy and I went to the store and got some much needed grocery shopping done, I ran home and dropped everything off, and then we went through McDonald's for some sweet tea. Then we headed back to Keeghan's school to pick him up. After that we hit the car circle to wait for Kass and Kam to get out of school.

With 4 kids safely in the car, we headed to pick up Kellsey. I had to talk to her teacher about thickening her liquids and such. On the way there, Kennedy said, "I have to go potty." I said, "OK Kennedy, you have to wait until we get home." And then I forgot about it. I got to Kellsey's school, talked to her teacher, and we talked and we talked and then... yeah. Kassidy said, "Mom, Kennedy pee'd her pants!" Awesome. Well, she warned me!

So we came home, got Kennedy cleaned up and now... I'm tired and ready for bed. It's been a LONG day! I guess I should probably feed the kids dinner first though. ;)
Bring on Tuesday! 

Thanksgiving Outlook...

With Thanksgiving approaching in a few days, I thought you would
enjoy this excerpt from a book entitled, "Weather Prognosticators and the Media:
Fallacies, Facts, and Fun in Forecasting" by Norm Macdonald:

"Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon
high near 190 F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the
cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

"During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will
slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on
plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce
creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

"A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire
area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the
turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34 F in
the refrigerator.

"Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will
be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50
percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend
where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the
only wish left will be the bone."

While many of us in the United States will be enjoying a delicious feast
in a few days, may our outlook truly be one of thanksgiving. May we be
reminded once again of the source of our bountiful blessings. I love the
cartoon that shows a bewildered-looking fellow sitting at a Thanksgiving table
loaded down with turkey, dressing, hot rolls, and all the trimmings. The caption
reads: "Alvin the atheist realized he was at his lowest point, for he felt
grateful but had no one to thank."

We do have Someone to thank. May we do it not only on Thanksgiving but
every day with hearts overflowing with gratitude.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from
the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
(James 1:17)

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving..." (Psalm 95:2)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rockabye Baby WINNER!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Rockabye Baby Giveaway! I hope that if you did not win that you will still go check out the site and maybe buy a CD anyway! They will make a great stocking stuffer and there is a huge selection to choose from! :)
Now for the winner, I used random.org and here were the results... 
True Random Number Generator  

12"Hey Renee! This is too cool! I want one for my classroom at rest time. I liked the Beatles, Pearl Jam, and Aerosmith the best.
Kayce S."

Congrats Kayce!!! Email me with your CD choice and your address and I will send it on to the people at Rockabye Baby and they will mail it out to you! :) Hope your class enjoys it!! 

Education is a right for all people... or is it?

As a mother of 5 children, I have dreams for them all... to be happy, successful in whatever they choose to do, to follow their dreams, to leave a positive impact on society, and most importantly to love the Lord as their personal Savior. That's not asking too much, is it? ;)

Frank and I have said over and over, as we talk about the kids' futures, "Well if they choose to go to college..." It's up to them. We don't have set plans for them. If they want to go to college - Great! If they don't - Fine. Just have a plan. Maybe they'll join the military - or not. Keeghan has been saying for months now that he wants to be a firefighter. Kassidy talks about college - a lot. Kameron changes his mind about every 10 days... who can keep up?!

And as for my other two girls? They have Down syndrome... some people would automatically think this would limit what Kennedy and Kellsey can do after high school. Fortunately, I'm not one of those people. I happen to believe that if they want to go to college, they can. If they don't... then great. Just have a plan. I believe there are lots of jobs they can do in the future. I'm not limiting them to working in a fast food restaurant or bagging groceries - unless, you know, that's what they want to do. I can see Kennedy working in a veterinarian's office, or maybe in a daycare or even as a care partner in a children's hospital. She loves animals and babies and taking care of other people. Kellsey loves being around people, and while I'm not sure yet what she'd be good at, I'm pretty sure it will be something that involves socialization.

Or maybe they'll want to go to college... maybe they'll want to take a class like... ceramics. Maybe we wouldn't even ask for college credit for that class because it was just important that our daughter got the college experience with her friends, and the hands-on experience that the class had to offer. That wouldn't seem too far fetched, would it? I think almost anyone would agree that this would be an easy thing for a 20 year old girl with Down syndrome to do - especially, if her mother (me in this situation) were willing to go with her to make sure she stays on task, doesn't disrupt the other students, and that the whole scenario runs smoothly. Nope, I don't see a problem at all.

However, for Eliza Schaaf, it was a problem. After completing 13 of her 18 ceramics classes at Southern Oregon University (affectionately called Shame On U on Eliza's blog), they kicked her out. With no warning. They said that she could not continue to come to class because she was a disruption to the other students and the curriculum as a whole. She took too long to transition from one activity to another and took too long to clean up her work space. Her 19 classmates disagree. They were never asked about their opinion and they welcome Eliza in class, saying she was a joy to be around. The professor, who had exchanged several emails with Eliza's mother, agreed. Yet the administration holds firm to their decision. Eliza is not "good enough" to go to college. Not even for a ceramics class. Awesome.

Go and explore her website. There are tons of facts laid out: Letters from her classmates, emails from her mother to her professor, and support from all over the community. There is a way that you can support Eliza, too. They have a petition going to help keep Eliza in school where she belongs. They have held rallies and mailed letters... all the while, her ceramics class is meeting without her. Please sign the petition... I'm not sure how much good it will do, but hopefully it will make the administration at Shame On U see that ALL people deserve a chance at an education. It's so sad to see that some people can't look beyond the diagnosis to the person with feelings that they are affecting. They have changed Eliza's life, and not for the better. Let's help fix that.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Q&A #171

Ok Renee, I have to ask . . . What is your migraine medicine? I have lost 30 pounds since last June, but still need to lose more and I have killer migraines. I am currently taking amitriptyline (which can lead to weight gain) so would love any suggestions to discuss with my neurologist. You look wonderful, btw!
I take Topamax. It's a daily preventative medication that's being used to treat migraines. There are some side effects... I had some tingling in my hands, sodas tasted flat for awhile, and my appetite decreased a lot (hence the weight loss). The tingling went away thank goodness and sodas went back to tasting normal. :)

Would Kassidy like perfume aimed at tweens/teens?? Or do you think she's too young still? 
She might like that. She's really getting into jewelry and stuff. I'm looking for a nice jewelry box for her to put all her necklaces and bracelets in. She has quite a bit now and it's spread all over the house. 

Have you considered the Tag or Tag Jr. reading systems, especially for Kellsey? They are amazing. If she likes books she just might like them. We have both. Our 3 year old got the Tag Jr last year for Christmas and is getting the Tag this year. They are so neat! 
I looked at that but I think it may still be a little advanced for her... maybe next year. She has some interactive books, but really prefers ones that don't do anything. 

I LOVE her excited wave/flail... I can tell she was having a blast!
That she was! She loves ballet!! She is constantly twirling around the house! :)

Cuteness overload!!!! The waving is absolutely adorable...was that part of the routine or did she just decide to do that? Renee - she's absolutely lovely!
Nope, that was all her idea! LOL Everyone in the first 8 rows was waving back at her. It was so cute!!

I was watching the video with my brother (dance pedagogist and dancer) and he said, "Oh my HaShem, is that really a boy?" Till Academy he was always the only boy in his classes, and was always mercylessly teased about being gay (the gay one in the family is not him) while, in fact, being in ballet is a great way to meet girls. :) 
LOL Yes! There were two boys in Kennedy's class last year (Zack, the older boy, was just helping out because one of the boys in her class wasn't there that night). The whole studio has several boys. They have a boys tap class and hip hop class and a few other classes I think. They have a male instructor there who is awesome. He's wonderful with the kids! 

Awww, sorry it's over :(. I bet it went by way too quick. I'm sure you all enjoyed having him home so much. Lets just skip over until March now, right?
Yes, we're counting down the weeks!!! 

Will he be home for christmas, or was this his christmas break?
No, he won't be back until March now. He only gets one 2 week break per deployment. 

Praying for you and Frank! Time will go by quickly and it will be March before you know it! Let my belly be your visual timepiece. I'm due in March so every time you see me get a little fatter, know that Frank is that much closer to being home again :)
LOL Kayce, I will have to do that!! :o) Time is going to fly!!! 

YOu know how they have those Advent calendars you can count down to Christmas? Well, you should make a one to count down for when Frank will be back! 
We tried doing that last time, but it was hard because we didn't know the exact day he was coming home... kind of like now. We do count down the weeks though! 

When he comes back in March thats "it" or is it another R&R? This two weeks went so quickly, its sad that he couldnt stay thru the holidays. :-( 
Yes, when he comes home in March that will be "it". This deployment will be over. That's not to say there will not be another one in the future though. We are thankful he was able to be here for the 3 kids birthdays! 

Besides her tympanogram, did they do any other hearing tests or mention a sedated ABR or are they waiting until they put her tubes in (and when is that happpening)? Hearing is SO important at Kellsey's age and not all physicians--as good as they are--recognize that.
They did several different hearing tests in the booth... she failed them all. They did not mention doing a sedated ABR for now, though Kennedy has had them in the past. Kellsey will get tubes on the same day as her T&A (February 3rd). They didn't want to put her under twice. 

 Hmmm, so are extremely enlarged tonsils another "symptom" of Ds? Or maybe this is just something she picked up from her bio mom/dad. Well, I hope all goes smoothly. You know the "it should be okay" response from the cardiologist would have me a little nervous. Will there be a cardiologist on hand during her surgery. I forget, how long were they waiting to deal with the heart defect? I'm thinking 5?
I don't think the large tonsils are really a symptom of Ds though sleep apnea definitely is common in people with Ds. Kennedy had her T&A due to sleep apnea and lots of strep. The cardiologist probably will not be there during her surgery, but he'll be in the hospital most likely if something happens. He wouldn't approve the T&A if it weren't safe. They wanted to wait 1-2 years for her heart surgery, so that will be coming up sometime soon, too, depending on how her heart is doing. 

When does she have to have heart surgery, i dont know why I thought her heart was fine. did i misread? 
Kellsey has an Incomplete AV Canal defect and a tricuspid valve leak. You can read more about it here

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two weeks...

Time can be measured in seconds... minutes... hours or days. 

 Moments of time can be captured in pictures....

Ingrained in our memories and our hearts forever...  

 A simple kiss... 

 A silly smile... 

 Goofy grins to take with us... 

 And then...

 Just like that... 

 Two weeks were over. 

And he was gone again. 
We miss you already, daddy! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kennedy's Ballet Recital

This video is actually from June, but I didn't know how to get it online. It's one of the things that was on Frank's "Honey please do" list while he's been home! Isn't she so cute?! (Kennedy is 3rd from the right in case you can't see in all the yellow!) She had a tap number too, but this one was much cuter! As you can see, the audience thought so, too. haha Here are pictures from that day, too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Q&A #170

Sorry for the lack of posts, we have been busy getting stuff done, running errands and trying to spend as much time together as possible before Frank leaves. I'll be back again full blast soon enough. :) 

When does Frank actually leave again?

You look great! Have you lost weight or do I just not get to see full length shots of you often enough?
I have... about 60 pounds since this time last year. 

BTW, y'all look fabulous! Renee, you are tiny...what is your secret? 
Thanks! :) Nothing good! LOL It was partially stress from last Spring and partially my migraine medication... the stress I definitely do not recommend, the migraine medication, I DO recommend... only if you have migraines though! ;)

I was looking at you old posts and wondering, did you ever get Keeghan's reflux figured out? 
Well, yes and no... he was on Prevacid for a long time... but it didn't really help much as far as I could tell. He finally just outgrew it, thank goodness. I would guess he was about 9 months old? I can't really remember. I just remember thinking there was NO way that he ate as much as he puked! LOL 

Compared to other kids with ds, how do you think Kellsey and Kennedy's cognition is? Would you consider them lower functioning for a kid with ds? Average? High functioning? I've always wondered how you felt about this
Ahhhh, I'm afraid I'm probably not going to answer this question to your satisfaction. I really hate the terms higher and lower functioning. I think most parents of kids with Ds feel the same. I also hate to compare kids. I'm in an interesting situation where my next door neighbor happens to have a little boy the same age as Kennedy who also has Down syndrome. We figured this out when the kids were a few months old. It was great being able to bounce things off one another as the kids grew and watch them together, but it seemed that in the areas where David excelled, Kennedy lagged behind, and vice versa. David walked first, Kennedy talked first. David had all the heart issues, Kennedy got the leukemia... and well, practically everything else medically possible. @@  UGH! We often joke if we could combine them, we would have a typical kid! (Though really, we would just have one super amazing kid with Ds who would drive all the teachers crazy!! HA!) 

What it really boils down to, is that kids with Down syndrome, just like typical kids, each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Kellsey's obvious weakness is speech, but her fine motor skills ROCK! She can thread beads on a string, hold a crayon correctly to color, do puzzles for days, pick up tiny objects and put them into bottles, build block towers or pretty much whatever else you ask her to do. Her gross motor skills have come a long way since she's come home too... she has mastered the playground equipment, is going up and down stairs independently and would probably go out and climb a tree if we let her (which will not be happening any time soon!  HA!) She's far advanced in gross motor skills from where Kennedy was at this age... of course Kennedy had just finished chemo and was about to have spine fusion surgery at this age too, but that's a whole different issue! ;)

Kennedy's weakness has always been her gross motor skills... she didn't walk until she was 3 1/2 (during chemo no less!), she JUST last year (at age 5) finally got brave enough to really go up and down the slides at school, and she still kind of panics at the thought of walking down stairs. She's getting there though. Her strength, I would say is her speech (when she talks slow enough for people to understand her). She started talking early and she talks A LOT. We have to remind her to SLOW DOWN when she's talking, but she's doing better all the time. Her speech therapist is working with her on forming complete sentences, which also helps her speech slow down. She also has a great memory which is helping her so much with reading and math and the rest of her school work... and, you know, the occasional Hannah Montana song. ;o) 

SO, all that to say, Kennedy and Kellsey are... Kennedy and Kellsey. I'm sure there are kids out there with Down syndrome who can blow them out of the water in all areas of cognition and gross motor and speech, and I'm sure they are probably ahead of some other kids with Ds... but it doesn't really matter. As long as they continue to learn and grow and progress, I'm happy. I try very hard not to compare, and trust me, it's HARD. I just want them to be the very best they can be. Nothing more. :)

What are some of the things your kids are wanting for xmas> What are somethings u want for them?
You would think, being like a month away from Christmas, I would have a good answer to this question, huh?! haha I am having the HARDEST time thinking of things for Kassidy and Kameron this year! They are at this weird age... they don't really play with toys anymore... I don't want to buy them any expensive game systems. They have their iPod Touches and they love them and I love that they love them because I don't have to buy expensive games for them! haha We DO have a Wii, but we usually save that for family game night. I may buy them a new game each for that... and maybe some clothes, which Kassidy may like but Kameron will not so much! haha Other than that, I'm clueless! I asked Kam and he said, "Cold, hard cash! hahahaha" Silly boy! He really doesn't know either! 

Keeghan is my EASY one this year... every year I seem to have one easy kid and this year it's him. He's into Toy Story, which is everywhere, and he especially loves the Alien (because he is GREEN!), so I found him this cool Toy Story Alien fishing game. He's going to be thrilled!!! I found a few other toy story things I want to get him too. He also loves Curious George and said he's going to ask Santa for a Curious George Jack in the Box. Thankfully Amazon makes that! HA! :) See? Easy!!! 

Kennedy... I'm not too sure about her, either. We're kind of Groovy Girl'd out. She has TONS. She does play with them every day still but, really, how many does one girl need?! She also loves to play dress up still, so I may add to her dress up collection, I'm just not sure. I haven't even really browsed the stores. OH I did buy her a Brittany stuffed animal from the Chipettes like 6 months ago. She's going to love that! :) I bought her a board game too... It's a Dr. Suess game called, "I can do that" or something like that. It looks like a good developmental game. 

Kellsey, she's another one I have no idea. The girl likes her magnadoodle and her books... and well, she's pretty much got that covered! LOL Hopefully I can find some cool toy that will hold her interest. She may be getting some clothes too. :) I guess I better get cracking on everyone! LOL 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rockabye Baby Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

Golden slumbers await your little pride and joy at the end of lullaby road. These dreamy interpretations of Beatles classics will glide your little one across the universe, through an octopus's garden, and lay them down in a slumberland of strawberry fields.

I was recently emailed about a great new company called Rockabye Baby! They make lullaby renditions of well known hits for your baby or toddlers. I was asked if I would like to do a review of one of their many awesome albums, I thought about my almost nightly bedtime fight with Keeghan, and of course I said "Bring it on!"

Rockabye Baby! sent me an album of my choice... and there were so many to choose from! AC/DC, Aerosmith, The Beach Boys, Bob Marley, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, The Eagles, Elvis, Green Day, Guns N' Roses, Journey, Kanye West, Metallica, Nirvana, No Doubt, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins, U2 and so many more!

Since I knew that Frank was coming home, I chose The Beatles. Frank has shared his love of The Beatles with all the kids and I was right, they loved it! However, it turned into more of a "dancing around the house" type CD instead of a lullaby CD! haha What can I say, we're a crazy bunch when daddy's around! Maybe next time I'll try it for sleeping time! ;)

The wonderful people at Rockabye Baby! want to give one of YOU lucky readers a free album of your choosing as well! So, what do you have to do to win? It's simple!

Visit the Rockabye Baby! website and browse through their albums and tell me which one you might like to win! That's it! Remember there are MANY more choices than the ones listed above!

Be sure to check out and follow their blog. You can also follow them on twitter and on facebook.

The giveaway will end next Sunday, November 21, when I will choose a winner via random.org. So, all you moms and dads of little ones (or grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, big brothers and sisters, friends... whatever!), get to browsing and enter!! Christmas is just around the corner and this would make a GREAT stocking stuffer! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lazy Days... sort of...

We have had a lazy day here in the Garcia household. Wednesday night, Kameron and Keeghan were hit with a stomach bug. It hit fast and hard. Keeghan only threw up one time, but Kameron was up all night long... which meant so was I. By Thursday morning though, he was fine again. Thankfully there was no school for them on Thursday, so we all just laid low and got some things done around the house.

On Thursday night, my mom came over to watch the kids, and Frank and I went on a date. The Melting Pot was having a special promotion for Veteran's Day, so we decided to celebrate our Anniversary early since he won't be here for our actual day in December. We even got dressed up, which we never do!

It's a rare occasion! :) 

Yesterday the kids went back to school, and I thought all was well. Frank and I worked on cleaning out the garage and the girls' room... getting things organized and getting rid of things we don't need anymore. When I picked Kass and Kam up from school though, Kam told me that he threw up all over the hallway at school. Poor kid! He seems to be feeling better again today, thank goodness. Kassidy however, came to my room around 1:30 this morning throwing up. Ugh! We both had a very long night and she has been laying around all day today just feeling yuck. Keeghan and I have been struck with some sinus/cold/allergy type thing. I'm not sure which, so we have been snuggling up together sharing a box of tissue, and poor Frank has been running back and forth getting us all what we need. We have all spent the afternoon watching movies, napping, and doing pretty much nothing. I have to admit, the snuggling has been nice, though I would rather be out having fun and having everyone well! 

Anyway, that's about all that is going on here. Please be praying we're all back up to speed soon, that Frank, Kennedy and Kellsey stay healthy and that we enjoy the last few days of Frank's R&R. It's going by way too fast!

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