Put in my place (HA!) …

This afternoon Reese and I were playing with her stuffed unicorns. I think I’ve written about these little gems before. They are absolutely darling. The purple one is my favorite. After playing with him for a little while, I told Reese AGAIN how much I loved the toy. Reese looked up, looked at the purple unicorn in my hands then looked me right in the eye and said, “It’s mine.” Well … OK then, HA! Oh, this kid cracks me the heck up!

Well, I hope you all have a day where some one puts you in your place!!!


Focusing on the good …

The Northern California fires are horrible. And that is an understatement. After a few days in a hotel in San Francisco we made the decision to fly my son, George, home yesterday. His school has been completely shut down. Evacuations weren’t mandatory but the university wasn’t taking any chances. And I can utterly appreciate that. So last night, my son arrived home safe and sound. I couldn’t be happier to see him. The past few days have been filled with images of destruction and feelings of uncertainty. It’s all still looming over us. The worry is there. But seeing him and enjoying time with him has certainly been a nice distraction.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you focused on the good!!!

Celebrating my greatest heroes …

October is both Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Needless to say, it’s a huge month around our house.

Well, I hope you all have a month where you celebrate your greatest heroes!!!

Girl Scouts …

I took Reese to a Girl Scout Open House this evening. I really wasn’t sure how it would go. Sometimes Reese can be very outgoing and sometimes she can be quite introverted. Being that this was her first day out of the house since she got sick, I really didn’t expect it to be well received. I figured it might not hold her interest or that it would be too overwhelming. I even told Libs, as we walked out the door, that we would be back in about an hour and a half … or 20 minutes. HA! Anyway, I wasn’t going to push it. I really wanted this to be Reese driven. I wanted her to chose it, not me.

And boy, did she!

Within two minutes of arriving a swarm of adorable little girls came to greet Reese. Soon thereafter they were holding hands and bringing her into the activity room. Reese was all smiles! When I went in to check on her, after I signed us in, I was greeted by a friend. I had no clue that she was a Girl Scout volunteer! The night was going great and my nerves were definitely being calmed. Having a child with Down Syndrome and special needs I often worry when we enter in to a new environment. Will people understand her speech? Will it be too loud for her? Will she be asked to eat something she can’t? It can be very stressful. But when I saw my friend there I was instantly put at ease. Phew! Not only that, I looked around to find Reese sitting in a circle with the other girls already participating in the activities! They had an older Girl Scout watching over Reese and giving her guidance. This momma was overjoyed! They were so helpful and accommodating! They didn’t bat an eye. They just jumped in and did all they could to help Reese fit right in. It was honestly beautiful. Reese had a ball with the girls and she was so proud of the bracelet that she made and the picture she colored. Needless to say, I signed Reese up for Girl Scouts tonight and I signed myself up as a volunteer. The leaders are working to find a local troop that will suit Reese best. Tonight couldn’t have gone smoother. And I couldn’t be more excited to see where this new journey takes her. Thanks Girl Scouts, thanks. You really know how to make people feel welcome, safe and included.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you become a Girl Scout!!!

Celebrating a beautiful soul …

Today is Libs' 15th birthday. I remember her birth like it was yesterday. Her delivery room was like a party, filled with laughter. She came into this world in such a happy way and it truly set the tone for her life. This green-eyed beauty is so funny and has such a good heart. She will keep you smiling and have your back. She is loving and loyal. And she is also gifted. Smart and talented. She has a voice like an angel. She is honestly a joy to spend my days with and I absolutely love being her momma!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a beautiful soul!!!

A story about faith, love and believing in miracles …

I post these words every year. I don't think I will ever be able to change them. To do so would be an injustice to her. To me. And to all our family and friends who stood by us then and who continue to share this life with us now. This story is about our beginning together. It is a story of faith and love … and believing in miracles.

We were told when I was about 11 weeks pregnant that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.

A few weeks later we were told that not only was our baby “not typical”, but that there was a chance I would be delivering her still born … I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … to which I screamed an adamant and angry “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … to which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … to which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away … I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not what we had hoped for. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have time to help our baby’s lungs grow … to which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue who were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby would not be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … to which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small that she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … to which I thought, “That is a loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as could be, breathing on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she has some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Eight years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She was 6 weeks early. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since … and I would have it no other way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

Everything went wrong but it still turned out perfectly …

Eighth years ago today my family and I were headed to a local water park. I was 34 weeks pregnant with Reese. We had planned on stopping by my doctors office for a brief check-up before. The hospital was just down the street from our water park so we thought our morning would go easily. It didn't. Things couldn't have gone more differently than we had planned. But in the end, it all couldn't have turned out better.

Well, I hope you all have a day where things go wrong and still turn out perfectly!!!