Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Year in Numbers, Vol. 2

DSCN0500Piper, January 2011

1- New member!  Addy Jayne- 5 pounds, 12 ounces of pure cuteness came on May 22.  Definitely the highlight of the year!

1- New nephew!  How fun to have more babies in the family!

3- Days spent in the glorious Colorado mountains with friends

2- Nights spent in Vail at the Colorado PEP Conference- without the kids!

4- Haircuts Piper has had!  Three of which I’ve given her myself.  And we both lived!

19- Teeth Piper has (finally) cut- and it may be 20, but she won’t let me see…

5- Times Piper has gone to the doctor (single digits?!?!  Is that even possible???)

17- MY doctors appointments with Adalynn (I WIN!)

300- Low-end estimate of new words and signs learned by Piper

2, 6, 3 1/2- Shoe sizes, pounds, and inches gained by Piper

8, 6- Pounds and inches gained by Addy

224- Days since I’ve slept more than 4 hours at a time (yes, I counted)

82- IQ points I’ve lost as a result

It’s been a great year- we are so blessed!

Here’s to more more hugs, more fun and more adventures in 2012!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh, the DRAMA

So the girls and I were out the other day trying to get some Christmas shopping done.  By the time I had run our errands, it was darn close to nap time for Piper, so I had two options- attempt to make it home, Piper falls asleep in the car, and wakes up too soon from her nap because she’s hungry, or take her and I out to lunch, feed her, and then she could fall asleep in the car on the way home.  I opted to pick up lunch quick.  Adalynn didn’t approve of my decision, and had a meltdown on the three minute drive.  After some pretty intense screaming fussing, she fell asleep for a few minutes.  All of a sudden, Piper started falling apart in the back seat.  Addy, of course, woke up really upset because she was scared, so I looked in the mirror to find this:


Piper got her hat completely turned around on her head- and she couldn’t see a thing.  She was completely freaked out because she had no idea why she couldn’t see. 

Me, being the incredibly sympathetic mommy I am, could only chuckle and take a picture.  What else can you do?  There was no where to pull over to help her, I couldn’t reach her when we stopped at the lights, and talking and singing didn’t do a thing.  Poor munchkin.  It was pretty funny, however, when I realized what was going on (despite having two screaming girls in my backseat.)

So we finally get to Chipotle, I clicked Addy’s car seat out and walk around the car to get Piper out.  It was right after a pretty decent snow storm, so there were snow banks on the curbs of the parking lot.  Piper, of course, fell on the ice-melt and bunged up her little hands.  Melt down #2. 

Then she realized where we were, and wanted to eat N-O-W.  Melt down #3.

So did Addy- Melt down #4.

I finally got our food, Piper settled into her high chair, got me my pop (thank heavens for caffeine, yes?), and got Addy nursing (under her double-layered minkie blanket because I didn’t grab a hooter hider from the car…)  It was quiet for a few minutes.  Until we were ready to undo it all and head back to the car.  A nice guy took my tray for me (which I desperately appreciated) and we high-tailed it outta there.  Thankfully it wasn’t our normal store; maybe, just maybe, they won’t recognize us next time…

…but I still think the hat is pretty hysterical.

I’m sure I’m not prepared


Oh me, oh my.  These two are destined for a world of trouble.  I can’t wait!

Alleluia Chorus


Addy auditioned for a solo during the Christmas Eve service at church. 

The high notes were, regrettably, out of her reach.

Santa Number 3

Piper’s really into playing pretend these days. I think I’ll join her and pretend that I’m not nearly as overdue on posting as I am and try like a madwoman to get caught up. Sound good? It is the holidays after all. I have an excuse, right? 

A few weeks ago, we were invited to our CCB to visit with Santa (this was time #3 for Piper, in case you’re counting…)  To say that Piper had a BALL would be a gross understatement.  Santa read her and Addy a story and even got on the floor to play.  There were toys to choose from, kids to play with, and adults to run from (all of the service coordinators dared Piper to get past them out the door.  Piper won.  More than once, lol.)  The best part was, obviously, the tray of cookies that were within reach if she stood on the very tip of her tippy toes.  She snuck a few <<sigh>>.  But that’s what Santa’s for, right???



P1040058Addy, really, wanted very little to do with the mysterious man in red. 
The glittery present was much more interesting. 
And slightly less spooky.  And WAY more able to be torn apart.

P1040066Piper gave Santa a signing lesson.  Literally.
She was “saying” all the names of the animals as he flipped through the book
and kept looking at him as if to say “You’re turn.”

P1040067Told you- Addy was way more happy dismantling the shiny red box.  She won, by the way.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Addy’s 6 (and a half!) Months Old!


I canNOT believe that this little mite is half way to her first birthday.  Positively not okay with that, but no one asked me for permission, soooo here we are.

Little Miss weighed 14 pounds today (7%) and they said 24.5” (which I don’t buy- puts her below 3%.) 

But what she lacks for in size, she makes up for in everything else.  She showed off her ability to pointer-finger (with both hands!) and pincher grasp, her curious nature (as evidenced by her eager attempt at obtaining, observing, and figuring out the lights used to look in eyes, the name badges, the ear scopes, the stethoscope, the paper on the table, and anything else she could look at…), her pretend play with the baby doll, and her ability to get out of a headlock (which was required in an attempt to get a listen at her chest).

And also?  Her ability to stay up all hours of the night and be a perfectly (almost) happy little girl.  I do NOT understand.  Unfortunately (fortunately?) we’re, evidently, not doing anything to facilitate the inhumane treatment of her parents at night time.  She can be up all day long (with maybe, maybe two hours in naps) and get five hours of sleep at night, and be ready to play.  I’ll go into her room and she just smiles at me.  It’s driving me insane.

No, that’s not true- I’m pretty sure I’m already there.  The only thing we haven’t tried yet is one of those machines that puts the stars on the ceiling (this is the kind of thing I’m thinking of getting)- Dr. Karen said that some kids just crave that added stimulation when they’re too busy thinking about everything else.  And frankly, even if she doesn’t sleep but it keeps her happy for a little while longer, I’m so game. 

Something else that she does quite well?  When she’s adamant about something, she means it.  And I mean she means it.  Take, for example, eating solids.  I believe her philosophy is “why eat off a spoon when you can nurse”; we’re getting no where quick.  My worry has been pushing her to do too much and creating aversions, which I really don’t want to do.  Karen didn’t think much about it; she said when she’s ready, she’s ready.  Ironic, though, that Piper was “supposed” to be the difficult one and Addy’s the one who not so politely declines… Go figure.

But, my goodness, is it fun watching her learn and grow.  She has such a sweet little disposition (even at 3am, I hate to admit) and is one loving baby.  She gives kisses like they’re going out of style, crawls into my lap for hugs (or to eat, obviously), LOVES getting nose kisses from Piper (they sit and laugh at each other for ages at a time), and wants to do everything Piper’s doing.  She has the sweetest smile and most adorable coo.  She’s quiet almost all the time, and is happy so long as she has something (or can find something) to play with.  She and Piper are definitely the best of friends- and there’s nothing more fun that watching them together!





Happy Half Birthday, little munch- Just don’t grow up too quickly!

Piper’s Checkup and Thyroid Issues

Today, we were brave.

I’m not sure who was the most brave, however.  Addy, for having to have four shots.  Piper, for having to have a blood draw, me for taking both of them, or my poor mom who came along to help toddler-wrangle for the duration.

Yeah, it was a great day.

Adalynn had her 6-month checkup (albeit a tad late) and Piper had “just” a checkup, too.  So the logical thing to do is have both appointments together, right???  P1120310

I’m starting to rethink that philosophy.

Anyway, Piper was 22 pounds even (12-ish%) and was 32 1/2 inches (MORE than the 25% on the Ds chart!!!  FIRST TIME EVER!)

We let Piper “go” first with the doctor so that she could get outta there and run around the hospital while we finished up with Adalynn.  Turned out to be a good call; she was fed up with the exam room exactly 8.6 seconds after we arrived.  And that’s probably a little generous; I don’t think she was in the mood when we left the weigh-in room. 

Anyway, Piper’s visit was pretty much just a weight check.  But, as usual, I always like to add a little more to the mix.  When we were in Vail, we met a guy who has a son with Ds and who also works for Social Security.  Piper’s never had a karyotype done after the amnio; we have no post-birth verification that she does, indeed, have Down syndrome.  Apparently that’s not so cool (and required for SSA), so we needed to rectify it.  AND, apparently, verification from early in life is required, as well, because if you only have verification when they’re an adult, it doesn’t mean that they’ve had it their whole life (yeah- are you rolling your eyes, too???)  Anyway, I brought it up with the doctor and she agreed that we really ought to have a postnatal confirmation (as if anyone is questioning it, right?)  Timing worked out, though, because we needed to recheck her thyroid today after a few goofy readings at her two-year checkup, so we could do it all in one poke and be done.  At least that was the hope…  We also got a referral for speech therapy through Children’s (the wait list is several months long to get in; hoping that by getting on the wait list now we can get her in when she ages out of EI in May.) 

After her appointment, we wandered down the hallway to the lab.  Or, as Piper would call it, The Worst Place on Earth and I HATE You Here.  The thyroid screen doesn’t take a whole lot of blood, so they’ve done finger pricks on her before (which are traumatizing, too, because she has to be squeezed the whole time- which she does not like.)  But this time, since we were adding the chromosomal study, they had to go in the arm.  I was pretty much okay with that (hoping it was better than the squeeze).  That is until they couldn’t find a single vein in her little arms.  Tried the first arm, went to the second.  “Thought” they had a good one.  Poked, prodded (Piper screamed.  Ranted.  Screamed) and dug some more.  Finally got the vein, but couldn’t get it to “give” anything.  Fantastic.  Had to go back to the first arm and try again.  You can imagine what Piper thought of that.  It was pretty awful.  But at least they got it on the first time in the second arm (no digging!) and then she was done quick.  Poor kid had red dots all up and down her arms from it.  She looked at me with those eyes of “WHY are you letting them do this to me???”  I’m pretty sure she was high on adrenaline for a good couple hours after that…

The thyroid tests came back tonight and her TSH is barely elevated, but elevated nonetheless.  So I guess we’ll retest again in a few months.  And the part that really bugs me is the blood test, not the thyroid.  Go figure.  Does it always have to be something???

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas party!

Saturday was the Christmas party for Mile High Down Syndrome Association- and we had a blast!  There were 360 people there this year, AND we had a bigger venue so there was room to move around.  Both major plusses! 

Remember this Santa picture from last year?santa1

I was hoping for a repeat of awesome this year, so the girls were dressed in the Christmas fancies for the event. 

Teach me to leave Christmas cards until the last minute…  P1120236

Yup- that’s Piper’s head in the foreground.  And yes, that’s as good as it gets.  Hoping that the “good” camera they had there will have something more worthy on it, but I’m not holding out hope…

Piper was in such a hurry to get out of there because there was live music this year.  She, of course, couldn’t wait to get her groove on and join the small group of dancers center stage.  Her “dancing” consisted, primarily, of dancing around in circles until she fell down, and then trying to stand back up again.  And with a dress that was a little too long, the standing up, while dizzy, proved to be a little more difficult than she had anticipated.

Other dance steps she auditioned included the river dance:P1120266

…ballroom with her baby doll:P1120263

…and something that only slightly resembled a chicken pecking corn from the ground:P1120272

The two characteristics that I give credit to the extra chromosome are her willingness to dance (pretty sure she’s the first one EVER in 100 generations- at least on MY side of the family…) and her willingness to be in front of people.  And I respect that.

Anyway, we had so much fun talking with all the other families, oogling over the new babies, and entertaining some of the bigger kids.  Addy even had fun- she was so exhausted by the end that she crashed about 4.2 seconds into the car ride. 



…and now all that’s left is getting a suitable Christmas card ready.  Dang.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Littlest Reindeer

Within the last couple of weeks, Addy has mastered the long-term sit.  As in, she can sit for however long she wants, and uses the rotation to the side to lower herself back to the ground when she’s done.

Yup, she’s officially a full-fledged sitter.

She’s so good, in fact, that she can even lean herself backwards as she looks at something on her head and maintain her balance.

How do we know this, you ask?


Is it mean that I kept flopping the reindeer antlers to the front so that she could see them?  If she weren’t so cute, she wouldn’t get picked on all the time…

Piper’s Pose

My new favorite pose Piper strikes when she’s either bored or playing on the floor with Adalynn:DSCN2947

I think I love it so much because it makes her look so big.


Although, I must admit, it’s even funnier when she does it at the dinner table as she not so patiently waits for her plate…

Friday, December 9, 2011

Addy Models

My mom needed a model for a project she was working on.  And since tutus would be significantly less cute on her and her fabric-wielding friends (nothing against them or anything) than on my teeny-weeny daughter, Addy was enlisted. 

She minded a whole lot, can’t you tell?  She was pretty cute, if I do say so myself.



There is, of course, one being in their house who COULD wear the tutu.  She was, however, a much more reluctant participant. 

We, on the other hand, got a lot more laughs this way…


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Movin’ and Shakin’

Addy’s, officially, all over my house

As in, I look away and two seconds later I can’t find her.  Because she’s in the other room, down the hallway, under the kitchen table…  You get the idea.  She’s been on the move forever now, but her distance is improving quickly.  As is her speed.  And that, my friends, is a dangerous combination.

But if you think that all this action during the day time is making her more likely to sleep at night, you’d think wrong. 

Sadly, you’d think wrong.

At least she’s cute doing it.






Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Stockings

This was my first Christmas stocking- my grandma made it for me the year I was born.  My brother has a mini-stocking, too, and now they both hang at my parent’s house.P1010979

The year after, Grandma made me my real stocking.  My brother and cousins all have theirs, too.  It always made me feel special to have a stocking that was made JUST for me.  Besides, that way Santa couldn’t get mine and my brother’s mixed up.  That would, after all, be a catastrophe.  P1120094

And now, as spouses have joined the family, the collection of stockings has grown.  The first year we were married, Grandma gave Luke one, too.  She cross stitched the front and my mom sewed it into a stocking. P1120095 

Then came Piper’s…P1120085

And this year, at Thanksgiving, Adalynn got hers, too.  P1120084

I think it’s so cool that Grandma spends the time to make these.  And the awesomeness compounds when Mom has a hand in them, too.  I think it’s sort of the reason I love the Christmas season so much- the traditions and the memories.  I love having ornaments on my tree from my Great Grandparent’s 50th anniversary, stitched frames from my grandma, and things that my mom made to fill their tree over the years.  I love my “hand-me-down” decorations- they make Christmas feel like Christmas!P1120080

Monday, December 5, 2011

Piper Helps

Okay, so I’m a little behind, but, ya know… 

Piper is REALLY getting into the “helping” business, and usually insists on helping cook dinner, she helps vacuum (I give her the wands that she gets to “vacuum” with), putting clothes in the washer and folding clothes, emptying the dishwasher, setting her place at the table, feeding the dogs…  You get the picture.  If she thinks it’ll make her big, she’s insistent ready to get her hands dirty.  Or clean.  Whichever.

Anyway, when it came to Thanksgiving, Piper was absolutely willing to help.  She, of course, didn’t really have an idea about what was going on.  Only that things were different, and busy, and BIG, and that meant she had a job to do.  I started running out of ways to keep her occupied without being under someone else’s feet.  This expands my job, too.  And my creativity levels.  Which is a dangerous combination when you’re sleep deprived.  But, again, I digress.

Piper helped make some of the finger foods we took to Luke’s parents for Thanksgiving.  We made this cheesecake/caramel/toffee apple dip (YUM, btw)- Piper’s job was to help pour each layer together.  And taste-test the apples, of course.  And she helped arrange crackers on the platter (again, taste-testing was required).  But she had the MOST fun doing this (just please ignore the chaos that is our kitchen; apparently a day of cooking took its toll…):


We always dip pretzels in almond bark- I still love them, but they are TIME CONSUMING.  So, when I saw this on Pinterest, I had to try them.  Pretzels topped with Hershey’s Hugs, melted in the oven, and sandwiched with another pretzel.  Not sure I like them quite as much, but the ease factor was well worth it!  Even if it wasn’t as fast as it could have been had my two-year-old not been in the driver’s seat.  But ya know.  Piper diligently, and enthusiastically, took each Hug and found an empty pretzel to put it on. 



And we only had a few candies, ahem, accidentally fall INTO Piper’s mouth.  She’s an expert taste-tester, if you haven’t gathered…


But, no no, the helping didn’t end there.  After Thanksgiving dinner, I was washing dishes and Luke was helping dry.  Addy was being held by her aunt, and I think Piper felt a little lost.  So she insisted on helping.  We found a little stepstool and she helped dry dishes.  And she actually did a good job!  She rubbed everything she could to make them dry, was very gentle with everything, and followed directions.  She had a blast helping; and as odd as it may sound, I was really proud of her for WANTING to help, and actually helping, to boot.  DSCF3864

It’s so much fun having a little helper by my side.  I’ll admit that occasionally I have to remind myself that, while it’d probably be easier/faster/cleaner to do some things without her, doing them WITH her is more important.  And ultimately more fun.  I like to think that I’m getting to create my very own mini-me.  Watch out, Luke…  Watch. Out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa??? AT Nana’s???

Guess who showed up at Nana’s house this week?  Thank goodness we happened to be having dinner there that night <<wink, wink>> so we didn’t miss Santa’s visit!

And, obviously, Santa can’t ask the reindeer to fly TOO often before The Big Day, so he gets some help getting around from the local fire department.

And he rides in style, folks…  In style.P1010900

Piper met Santa out on the porch and kindly invited him (and his firefighter helpers- not elves, because they’re busy at the North Pole) into Nana and Grandpa’s house. 

She, surprisingly, sat on his lap and had a nice little conversation with the Man in Red.


About a minute into the conversation, though, Piper looked at us, pointed at Santa, and asked “Who’s this???”


Next it was Addy’s turn on Santa’s lap.  She liked his beard, but thought she could help…  um…  groom him a little and take care of the unkempt hair on his face. 

Santa did not appreciate the fashion tip and after a few fast swipes, Addy’s turn came to a close.  After all, Santa needed to go visit some other kids around town, too. 


I’m not sure, but I think that both girls verified their position on the “nice” list (although, if I had anything to say about it, sleep habits would be an aspect, a LARGE aspect, of that list, and a certain tiny munchkin would find herself a little sad on Christmas morning, but I digress…) and they’re anxiously awaiting his next visit to the house in a few weeks.

Thanks Santa (and the fire department!) for visiting our girls!  We had a blast!