Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!

We had a happy and healthy holiday.

This year, I thought I would give a little recap of 2010 because I honestly can't believe we made it through the year! It was so busy and quite stressful, but I look back now, and I can now say it was all worth it. During the year however, I did doubt whether the stress and sleepless nights were taking too much of a toll on my family.

In 2010, I continued to grow my photography business and I am so thankful for the 75+ clients who visited my studio. I have discovered that I have a true love for photographing babies and children and I look forward to continuing to meet more wonderful families in the years to come. I feel truly honored to capture the beautiful little faces of my clients, "because they don't stay little"!

This past year, I also planned the 1st ever Down syndrome awareness walk in my area. It turned out to be a huge commitment, but now that one year is under our belt, I am extremely excited for the years to come! Some of the obstacles were challenging and stressful, but I also met some amazing people a long the way. The generosity of so many was amazing to see. I can also now see a very bright future for Logan in our community with an increase of acceptance for people with Down syndrome. Logan is now a famous little man in the small community we live in after having his face on the front of our local newspaper along with a great article that even listed facts about DS! Now, he gets recognized everywhere we go! That alone, was a huge step towards DS awareness where we live! Now, it is time to have that kind of impact in all communities!

Logan is doing great! He loves school and he is talking more and more every day! I have been amazed by how much information he absorbs and remembers. He loves music, books, tractors, animals and his little sister.

Devin is going to be 6!! He is doing well in Kindergarten and loves to play with his friends in school and out. He is a wonderful big brother and was a huge help to me over the past year. I am so thankful for his patience!

Aubrey grew up without me realizing! She was 2 before I knew it. I am looking forward to a less busy year, so that I can enjoy each day with her a little more. Maybe it is just a third child thing, but I feel like I wasn't able to enjoy each milestone with her like I did with the boys.

Here's a few pictures of my sweet little girl.

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A rare post...

We are still here! Someday, I will get back to blogging.
I have been busy with photography and getting those last minute family photos taken and sorting through the daily deliveries of orders.

Logan LOVES school! "school" has pasted up "tractor" as his favorite word.

We are thinking about potty training around here, but I fear the process and how LONG it may take. I am in holiday survival mode for now. The potty supplies are bought and I have a strategy in mind, but I am too intimidated at this point. I also am not sure about "double potty training". One seems scary enough. I attended a workshop on potty training children with DS last month, but am still in need of advice. My biggest fear is starting and giving up...once I start, I know it's best not to stop. I am open to any advice from Moms who have been there. Has anyone potty trained two at one time? Is that a bad idea? I may go nuts!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Logan uses a spoon!

Over the last few weeks Logan has finally decided to use a spoon and he does it well!!

In the past, and still every now and then, Logan got frustrated with his spoon after the first bite and would throw it across the room. If the food fell off before he got it to his mouth, he would give up. Now, he uses the spoon and rarely gives up! It's not always pretty, but I can tell that he is very proud of himself. He especially loves to eat cereal in the morning with a spoon. He asks for multiple refills, I think so that he can practice and show off even more! It's so cute. :)

Great job Logan!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010!

Happy Halloween! Here's my astronaut, fairy and elmo!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Aubrey!

Aubrey is 2!! She is a real girly girl. She is enjoying that fact that we now have some girl stuff around here and she also now has a girl room all to her self! She is also doing awesome in her big girl bed!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A walk sneak peak!

I now have LOTS of pictures from our photographers and participants, so I am putting together a video. When I am done, I will post it here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Star Struck!

I can't wait to share pictures from the 1st Annual Fox Cities Down Syndrome Awareness Walk!

The 1st Annual Fox Cities Down Syndrome Awareness Walk was a huge success!

991 walkers, 65 volunteers and 18+ vendors were present at the event!

Just over $60,000 was raised for DSAW-Fox Cities!

It was emotional for me to watch families enjoying the day and the being able to connect with others. The day was a dream just two years ago and I can't believe that it came true just a couple of days ago. Two years ago, I dreamed of a way to bring our families and friends together to celebrate what we have in common and to share it with everyone we know. Down syndrome has changed my life in ways that I will forever be thankful for. I think we can all agree that it is now clear that this event was just what the area needed in order to provide us with momentum as we go into the future. Continuing to spread Down syndrome awareness will ensure that our loved ones with Down syndrome will enjoy full acceptance, full access, full life and full potential.

Rachel Coleman's Keynote Presentation the night before the walk was inspirational! I still can't believe I met her in real life!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Logan's First Day of School

Logan's first day of school...well, I was told he did well and that they heard lots of words! Logan is quite a bit smaller that the other three year olds and we have big things to accomplish this year like going up and down the stairs to and from his classroom and following directions. Logan HATES having his hand held. He insists on being free to go where he wants to go. He can also be stubborn when it comes to trying new things or transitioning to a new activity. He does much better when he knows the routine and what's coming next. I hope that he will find a routine at school, but it may be hard because he only goes two days a week for 2 hours each day.
I was told I need to find a way to keep his backpack on his back. It is the tiniest backpack I could find, but it is still too big for him.
I am excited to see what this year brings and to see how far he comes with the help of his teachers and therapists at school.

After school today, I did a little "first day of school" photo session with Logan! He is so funny!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Billboard!

It was a dream of mine to have a billboard "some day". I never thought "some day" would be TODAY! That's Logan's friend, Brandon and Katie up there.
If you want to do a drive-by, it's between Main and Winneconne in Neenah on Hwy 41. You can see it when you are going south and it's on the left side of the highway.

Devin's in Kindergarten!!

My little man is looking so grown up! He started all-day 5K this week. I like that I am getting more time with Logan and Aubrey, but it's hard to let Devin go all day long. I am so used to being there for everything. He did enjoy his first day...and that's a great start!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My two stinkers

Logan and Aubrey got "too quiet" in their room yesterday. I walked in to see this! They emptied the shelves and climbed up! I think it's so funny how Logan is at the highest point! I wish I would have been in the room to see that! He is very competitive with Aubrey and I am picturing him pushing her out of the way and climbing up as fast at he could. He looked so proud up there, but I don't think he knew how to get down! (I think they take all those books off the shelf at least once a day! It drives me crazy!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Logan's Horse Show

Logan had a great time on Saturday showing off his riding skills! He loved the horse trophy even more!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Freckles and Dogs

So, over this this summer, Logan got something new...FRECKLES!! The cutest little ones on his nose! As if he wasn't cute enough already!
And today, Logan got some time with my aunt's dog Rosie. Logan wanted to sit as close as he could to her. It was the cutest thing! Logan would sit by her and lean his body on her like he was snuggling with her. Logan even gave her a few hugs. sweet. I don't want a dog, but seeing him with her made me realize how much fun Logan would have with a dog. Maybe someday. :) I wonder if Logan having a dog that was loyal to him would help us all in any way. Logan often tries to wonder off. I worry a lot about it and wonder if we will soon be installing an alarm system to make sure he doesn't get outside and wonder off. Would a dog let us know that Logan left the house? Do dogs do that kind of thing?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Devin and Aubrey at Disney

Finally, some more pictures from our trip to Disney. I also didn't give any details yet, so here's what we did. We visited ALL FOUR parks and I think we rode just about every ride we possibly could have went on and we went to most of the shows too! I was amazed by how many rides Logan and Aubrey could go on! All of us were able to enjoy most rides all together! My favorite ride was a toss up between Aerosmith's Indoor Coaster at Hollywood Studios and Mt Everest Coaster at Animal Kingdom. They both were awesome! Didn't event realize how much I love thrill rides until this trip!
Devin's favorite rides were Soarin and Test Track at Epcot. Aubrey and Logan loved the many slow moving indoor rides and of course the flying Dumbos, Dinos and Magic Carpets! I quickly figured out that they didn't mind the dark rides, so they even went on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan. Aubrey is obsessed with birds, so she loved the Safaris at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. There is just something for everyone! And of course, what kid doesn't love parades and fireworks!
I would never go in the summer again!!! Too hot and humid, especially for the kids. We had fans attached to the stroller and water squirt bottles and that really didn't help. It also down pours just about every afternoon...BRING PONCHOS! We did and they were a life saver! Also, don't be afraid to rent a stroller for your older child. Devin is 5, and we didn't rent one for him the first day. BIG MISTAKE! He was so crabby, with the heat and the long distances. We rented him one every day for the rest of the trip and he was a much happier kid and we didn't have to remind him to keep up. Oh, and bring your own fans and squirt bottle fans...much cheaper at walmart than in the parks. We brought our own from home.
Of course, the Down syndrome convention at Disney was amazing! I learned a lot about what I was most interested in this year, and that was speech and PT. It was also so cool to run into people with DS every where you went. are some more pictures. Mostly of Aubrey and Devin, and some attempts at some family photos. Oh, and we brought along some help as well. Grandma Bonnie and Auntie Amy came to help. Couldn't have done it without them!

Devin loved Mission Space at Epcot. Made you really feel like you were going up in a rocket. Devin was our Pilot and he even did the more intense version of the ride. GO DEVIN!
His favorite! Awesome ride flying over the entire state of California!

All the kids grew to love the bus rides everywhere.

The two toy story rides were awsome! This one, was a 3-D arcade game. I have to admit that I LOVED it.

Waiting to go on the ride in "Andy's Room"!!

All the kids enjoyed seeing Playhouse Disney live!

This has to be the craziest family picture yet! Yikes!

Poor babies looked like this all week!

Devin did Splash Mountain, but didn't want to do it again. LOL

This restaurant was an awesome experience. There was a meteor shower every 20 min inside! So cool. And it all had a "Build a Dino Workshop" (a version of "Build a Bear")