Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Her First

She is one!!! Time has flown! I still remember bringing her home like it was just yesterday.

She started crawling on her birthday she has gotten pretty sufficient at it, to the point of actually moving kind of fast. I still have yet to get it on film.

But, I do have a video of her eating her cake.

Here are some things I want you to notice in this video:

—She gets upset when we are singing "Happy Birthday" to her (this happens to a lot of kids with FXS for one reason or other, and apparently she decided to be anxious about it on the first go 'round)

—She is really tired, yet, really hungry for cake

—She stuffs her mouth (this is also a typical FXS thing — notice how her fingers are in her mouth, it's so she can feel where it is...)

—She's flipping the bird while eating the cake at one point

—My brother, Aaron and Baby share the same birthday so the next day we went to my mom's to celebrate some more (she wasn't really happy about us trying to get a picture of the two birthday kids together)

The song I used for the video is called "All the Pennies" by Mindy Gledhill

OK, I think that's it. Enjoy!

My deep thoughts: When I was pregnant with Baby I was scared.

The normal scared a mom gets when she is pregnant.

Will she make it? Will she be OK? Am I eating enough? How much tuna fish should I eat so her brain will develop well?


It was: What if she has Fragile X? What if I can't handle 5 kids (because I still had 13 and 18 living with me at the time)?

A good friend of mine told me that she knew Baby was coming to our home for a good reason and would bless our home. I thought that it was very thoughtful of her to say that and deep inside I hoped that meant that she wouldn't have FXS and that she would bring our family close together. Toward the middle of the pregnancy we, as a family, were all doing so well. 13 and 18 were really becoming enmeshed in the family and calling us Mom and Dad and Brother and Sister.

It was heavenly.

Then it happened. My world was turned upside down and I could feel that our kids (13 and 18) would be leaving to live with their birth parents...

Baby came early when the stress got hard.

I fought, for a time, to keep 13 and 18. Finally knew I had to give them back to their parents.

Then I was confused about the consolement my friend had given me about Baby being a blessing to our home. While gaining one I had lost two in the process.

Brother and Sister still have such a hard time with the whole thing. They still don't fully understand why their "brother and sister" had to leave. They still think that they will be "coming home." How do you explain all of this to children who are still learning how to understand their feelings?

Moral: I see now, what my friend had told me about Baby. She was always a joy, but, I am finally, truly, understanding that "Baby [came] to our home for a good reason and [blesses] our home." She has kept me together. Her smiles fill my heart when I am down. She has brought a new sense of companionship to the kids. I don't know how to really explain it, but, watching my three kids grow up together, teach each other, help each other, play together, and... even... fight... it makes me happy. To be their mom. To know that Heavenly Father sent our little angel at a time that our family would need her spirit to help us through hard times. So sweet.

Baby, you are a blessing!

We love you!

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

All about Baby...

I was thinking about Baby—now that she is so close to one year old—and how I am able to document all her little accomplishments for the world to see how a girl with Fragile X Syndrome can/will develop. We started at day one and have let you know her ups and downs, delays and her achievements.

I haven't focused just on her for a bit so this post is all about her.

She has started crawling quite bit. She will take 6 or 7  moves on all fours and then she gets excited and begins flapping around on her belly like a sea lion. It is quite entertaining. So, I think she can do it but maybe doesn't quite have the muscle tone for it. That is one thing about FXS kids—they have low muscle tone which can cause the delays in speech and gross motor development. So, it is hard to tell if she is worn out or just likes the combat crawl instead. I haven't been able to get a good bout of her crawling on video yet because she does the sea lion thing when she sees the camera out but, I did get a really funny clip of her moving...

This was so funny and I am so glad she did it for the camera. I was cooking while she was in her high chair and hadn't realized how far she was moving... ha ha ha!

Now that you have had a good laugh... here are some more stats and some more really cute pics.

- I can do her hair now! She has enough of it that I can actually do something kinda fancy. Hee hee!
- loves to make us laugh.
- eats table food pretty well now
- takes a sippy cup instead of a bottle
- combat crawls around enough that I actually have to keep an eye on her now
- makes the sounds "d", "b" and "o"
- bangs two toys/objects together
- shows a desire to try to pull herself up on things
- bears weight on her legs when I prop her to standing position and can hold her own weight for a couple of seconds
- still has no teeth (yay for me, no brushing little teeth yet)
- points with her index finger
- can pick small objects up in a pincer grasp (thumb and finger)
- feeds herself small food like dry cereal
- can hold a cup and sometimes get it to her mouth (smile)

- crawling more consistently
- holding a cup by herself and drink successfully from the cup
- standing
- cruising along furniture
- going from sitting to crawling position
- going from crawling to sitting position
- making more sounds
- looking at someone when we say their name, like if we say "Daddy" she looks at him, etc.
- immitating sounds we say

And now for all the pictures!
Soon to be 1 year! Wow! Time flies when you are having fun!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ABC's and Stars

Marc has been wanting to get rid of our piano since there is no one here to play it since 13 left.  I refuse to give up the piano. I have a prayer in my heart that one of my sweet Xtra special children will one day play the piano, or at least take a lesson or two. So in desperation I asked Sister if she wants to play piano. She immediately said "yes" and ran to the piano lifted the cover and began to "play" the keys with a huge smile on her face.

A few days later, my mom and dad stopped by. I asked my mom to play the piano for us and of course Sister wanted to join in. My dad and Marc are working on a desk in the background so don't pay too much attention to them—besides this is too cute!

It's times like this that I forget that my kids have a genetic disorder that causes mental impairment...

I love those moments...

Watch one of them...

Sister is singing with Grandma Judy. Priceless moments.


Baby started making this "oh" face on Saturday and does it all the time now to make us laugh.

It works.


I'll try to get better pictures. Every time I pull out the camera she smiles... I know it's because of all the pictures I take. This one was with my phone so it isn't the best, but, it is still funny! Have you ever seen "Mac and Me"? Dumb show, but she looks like the little alien on there... you'd have to see it to understand. Anyway...

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I don't think weany is actually a word... spelled like that anyway, weenie, yes, but weany just made me giggle and so that is the title...

I am officially done nursing.

For the first time out of three kids I have stopped nursing before the one year mark. (By about a week.) So I will still claim one year of nursing.

It is rough. But, I am so done.

She cries a lot, unless I am holding her.

I hurt because I am so full.

But, we will both make it through.

So happy not to wear anymore:
nursing bras
nursing pads
skirts and top to church

I am excited to wear again:
dresses to church
shirts that tie in back
shirts that do not unbutton in front or don't stretch
a normal bra

I am also excited:
to have my body back
start losing weight (that's all bull about losing weight while you're nursing—at least, for me)
get my hormones back to normal
to not accidently expose myself in public while trying to "secretly" nurse



No pictures.

Just words.

Funny ones.

Today was such a sweet experience at church and what clutched the moment for me was when this little 3-year-old girl got up and sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" with her brother and sister. Oh my, her voice was adorable and she had no fear. She would grab the microphone if the older sister tried to move it a bit. Oh, she sang with all her heart and my cheeks hurt from grinning. Seriously, it should be recorded! So cute! And Brother and Sister, who were restless the whole time because I had them there on my own, (because Marc was sick (I know crazy that I went with them alone and unarmed)) were mesmerized when this little angel sang...

Yesterday, Marc and I were working on our new garden spot, so there is this nice square of bare dirt in the back yard that Brother and Sister were having a ball playing in. You know, the typical stuff: digging, mud puddles, digging, kicking dirt, digging, playing horses, scooping, digging and dirt angels.

Dirt angels?

Yes. Dirt angels?

That's right. Like snow angels but in the dirt.

Now this is not like some one getting creative in the sand at the beach...

This is dirty dirt.

And Sister was laying in it and making dirt angels. Dust flying all around and her happy face dusted in grit. Her blond hair now "sandy" blond (pun intended).

I so wish I had a picture but, I don't. It was one of those I-forgot-to-grab-the-camera moments.

Which reminds me. This morning as we were getting ready for church I was inspecting the place for any loose markers... (check previous post) and I discovered that Brother had written his name on the table top in nice, big, red letters—his full name, mind you. And, Sister, not wanting to be left out, wrote her name and some lovely lines all over the screen of my old iMac computer AND keyboard... (The magic eraser cleaned it all up quite well)

I can't post a picture because it was their names, but, just know that if they weren't such sweet angels, I don't think I would be able to blog about it. (smile)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sunday Dress and Markers

...don't mix well.

I love getting my two little girls ready for Sunday church. They are so cute and I have some wonderful hand-me-down dresses that they have acquired. I was especially excited for Baby's dress because it was recently given to me and is lace and satin-type, white and pink and so girly. I got her cute little hair all curly with a little water and hairspray and a cute bow (of course).

Now that the girls were all ready I needed to get ready and with only 20 minutes to go before I needed to leave I needed to get a shower in and look presentable quick.

So, I employed Brother's services to keep and eye on her and make sure she doesn't get into the markers that he and Sister were coloring with on the floor of the exercise/study room.

I hop into the shower and then I hear someone open the bedroom door.



It was Marc. I just figured he was coming in to say he was home and then he opens the shower curtain and Baby's head pops through, smiling as big as could be...

I won't say any more, I'll just show you the pictures that Marc took. (Bless his heart for knowing I would want to blog about this.)

You can't really tell, but the marker (black, mind you) is all over the dress too.)

Sorry, Amy... but Shout did a great job getting it out and she will be wearing it this Sunday, sans marker.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marc's 42!


...and still completely hot!

Sorry, hun, I just had to post it! Mmm hmmm!
I caught him by surprise after his workout. I really had the camera out while the kids were doing sit-ups with him, but I missed the opportunity. (I'm not complaining about this opportunity though.)

We had a really fun date on his birthday. Lynne watched the kids while we went out to eat and bum around. Then on Sunday we got together with my family and had a party, so of course we had to sing him Happy Birthday!

My mom didn't have any candles so she was "kind enough" to use the lighter... funny!

Then on Monday we wanted to have a party with just our kids so that they would understand it was Daddy''s birthday. It was so cute because as soon as the candles were lit and the camera was out, Sister started in on the birthday song. (Sorry about my loudness, I forgot that I was the one holding the camera—but if you can get past me, you can hear Sister's sweet little voice and sometimes, even, Brother's.

The kids sang happy birthday to their dad!

Grandma Lynne's Impromptu Birthday Party

Lynne didn't really want to celebrate her birthday this year... what? Of course, we know, that I couldn't let that happen...

So we had an impromptu party when it worked out for my mom and dad and Marc's mom and dad to come over for dinner on the same night, which happened to be the night right before Lynne's birthday. Once everyone gathered I announced that this was Lynne's birthday party and she smiled shyly. It was so cute. We had homemade stew and breadsticks. Then we had dutch oven peach cobbler. My mom had to have ice cream with hers and I had none but, Lynne had some at home. So, my mom and Marc's mom went together in the car to go a block away to get he ice cream. My mom sang "Happy Birthday" to Lynne the whole way there... tee hee! This is them when they got back with the ice cream:
No, Lynne is not that short, she was on the step below.... she is actually taller than my mom, I think.

Here she is just before blowing out her candles.

It was so cute because while the grandmas were gone getting icecream, Sister asked Grandpa Gary, "How old's grandma gonna be? 7?" (smile)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Punkins, Carrots and Tizer

Who didn't call them "punkins" as a kid? I don't think I realized it was said "pumpkin" until I was in first grade!

We did not have a very good garden this year. Not because of the weather but, because of me. I didn't really take care of it... weeds took care of it. So, along with our incredible crop of cheat grass, we got sparce peppers, few tomatoes, hundreds of carrots and plump punkins!

For family night we decided it would be fun to pick out the kids pumpkins from our own garden. We had the pumpkin plants given to us by a friend and I didn't have much hope for them (the pumpkin plants, my friends are fine).

Well, here are our sweet pumpkins for our sweeter punkins...

Then while I was out there I figured I might as well pull up the remaining carrots from the garden. Marc took some pictures of the event. I had to put in the one of me pretending to bite the muddy carrot because it looks so realistic.... sheesh! I look like I have FXS, where am I looking? not the camera... I must have been worried about one of the kids doing something or other because my smile/chomp even looks a little tense like I am thinking "Hurry up and take the picture so I can yell at Sister to stop it..." Whatever, it's funny, so I'm posting it. Oh, and check out the neighbor's horse eyeing my carrot. "Feed me." (Say it with a funny neighing-type waver and it is funnier—promise.)

Now my favorite part of the post, the tizer.

Sister L.O.V.E.S. hand sanitizer. I buy it at the dollar store because it comes in vanilla or strawberry scents... mmmm... much better than hospital alcohol smell. Anyway, she loves to put it on her hands, again, a sensory thing.

She loves to get her own little thing of what she says is "my tizer" and use it constantly. Well, this night I walked into her room and she had lined up chairs and a stroller from her room and had her stuffed animals all sitting on them. She was lecturing them and telling them stories as I walked past the first time. Then it was quiet for a really long time and you all know that silence and Sister alone are not a good combo so I go to check up on her. Apparently it is lunch time for the toy classroom and she is sanitizing all their "hands." She would go in a line and put it on while she talked to them about having clean hands and then she would rub their paws together for them and then get out the wipies to wash off the dirt... so cute. I took pictures with both my phone and my camera.

Monday, October 11, 2010

180th LDS General Conference and our last day with Daniel

The last day that Tynelle and Daniel were here was conference weekend so we all got together for the Saturday afternon session. Looking back at all the pictures, I realize I didn't really get any of Daniel and Tynelle. The other thing I am kicking myself for is not getting pictures of me and Daniel cooking Thai food together. You should have seen the wok full of chicken curry!!!

Anyway, here are a few pictures anyway. It was good to spend some good quality time with them.

Even though I don't exactly remember all of the special things I felt during conference (hat is why I am bugged I haven't had a chance to stay current on my blogging, because I forget the little things) I do remember feeling a strong spirit—not just because I was able to hear modern-day prophets speak and testify of Christ but, because I realized how blessed I was to have all of my family surrounding me while listening to it all... pretty neat stuff.

Now, I know that I talk about 13 and 18 a lot, but I think that this weekend as I listened to some of the speakers during the conference I realized that I did OK with them as their mother for that time. I wish things were the same, but they are not. I guess that is what I meant in my last post, I want them to be the kids they were when they were here, the kids I was able to love on, hug, guide, teach, encourage, and strengthen. Now, I am just on the sidelines. I try very hard to continually let them know I care about them and love them and hope the best for them. It is getting harder and harder as time goes on. I thought it would get easier, but, it's not. I don't know quite how to explain it... it's just so different now. So, listening to General Conference at least gave my heart peace that I did my best at the time. Someday they will know that I love them as my own.

My most favorite line from all of General Conference that brought tears to my eyes was, "I am grateful for selfless parents who—perhaps for a lifetime—care for a challenged child, sometimes with more than one challenge and sometimes with more than one child." —Jefferey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I felt stronger when I heard that and that strength even lasted the whole day... (smile)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The REAL Annual Family Halloween Party and Another Campy Horse Ride

Boy, this was a night to remember!

First off, Marc and Brother were going on another camp and horse ride adventure so I was helping Marc get things together for that. They left. (Brother was so excited he couldn't wait inside—he had to wait outside while standing on the horse trailer or sitting in the suburban.)

Then 18 showed up for me to do her hair as Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Her and her boyfriend were excited to come to my family's Halloween party and show off the costumes they had put together. Grandma Lynne fixed up a thrift store find for 18's dress and my mom had a cool jacket for 18's prince to wear.

Anyway, I was so excited for it to be like old times where I was doing her hair and make-up.

It wasn't like old times.

I don't know how to explain it, it's really different.

But, we both had fun regardless and she looked fantastic when we completed.

18 left.

So now it was me and two little girls to get costumed and ready to go to the Halloween Party!


Note to self:
Don't wait until last minute to do your costume and two little girls who don't want to dress up...

Anyway, I finally convinced Sister that it would be fun for her and Baby to be pink princesses. She was so excited after I got Baby all dressed up that she practically leaped into her costume.

Another note to self:
Think of these wonderful ideas BEFORE the tantrums start...

Since Marc and Brother were off camping for the night I figured it would be fun to sleep at my mom's! Yay! Sleepover!!!

So once we were all dressed I had to pack:
changes of clothes
hair stuff
baby toys
Sister's blanket

And along with all that I had to bring:
My dutch oven "Western Hemisphere" dish for potluck
my huge five-gallon water jug (for Jane's family famous green punch)
and the candy to share for the candy hunt

After about 7 trips to the car to pack everything in, drive down to my mom's I was fashionably 20 minutes late... I was very proud of myself.

I had invited 13 to come too. I figured that he would be riding along with 18 but, I guess not... he was there before I even got there and 18 and her prince came later.

While it was still light I wanted to get shots of all of us.

I thought it would be fun to get pictures together like "old times." But, again, it wasn't the same. Oh well, I tried. We got some "separate" ones too.
 13 is a Ninja Star. His mom made his costume... clever huh! Cute!

And yes, because EVERYONE asked me, that is my real hair. I ratted it and then smoothed it over the rats nest... voila! It was awesome when I would bob it from side to side... sheesh!

And I have to show you the back of 18's hair so you can see I did it just like Belle's
OK, so that picture doesn't really show it, but, I tried.

Here are some more pictures of the hay ride, and other costumes...

 Is that Tyler or Tara? I can't tell...
Zzzzzzzzzzzzoooooorrrrrrroooo... or is that Antonio Banderes with my Aunt Aleesa!

Aaron is the pumpkin grower and Chelsea is the growing pumpkin... tee hee.

 Yes, I had to put the crown on....

K.. seriously LittleB... that is one of the funniest things I saw the whole night!

And I LOVED Jman's glasses and check out MrT... he has a mullet and a mustache with a knight's helmet on!! Bwa haa ha!!!

 Joel really went all out on his costume this year... oh, never mind... that is a fun backdrop my mom bought at a yard sale for the occasion.

Uncle Slade

Sister wanted her face painted because LittleB had her face painted.

Ya, that's my mom.... pppfffth! She is so hilarious, every year!!!

The Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter... who knew they would make such a cute couple... Kirsten made the hat out of paper and the hair is some stuff she got at the dollar store... creative!

Since we had to change the date because of the weather, Daniel was able to be there! He even helped with the candy (look how excited he is to take the instructions...). My aunt Jane sure knew what she was doing when it came to stuffing 90 bags to hide in the corn... and we still ran out of bags, we ended up needing 97!
Funny story: 13 found a bag of candy. There was a little girl who couldn't find hers (I don't know how little—she could have been 12 for all I know, but "little" makes the story funnier) So, 13 told her that she could have his candy bag, but, only if he found another one for himself.... he didn't find one. So he went and got his back from the girl... tee hee. What a gentleman. (smile)
This is some of the candy that went into the bag... mmmm ?????

This is my hair after I took it down... it looks like I am leaning but that is my hair, actually standing sideways out the back of my head... 

Anyways, this is where we just all got to that tired funny part of the night. There were a few who stayed until midnight and we watched homemade movies and laughed and scared eachother... ah the fun. We got really goofy and had Kirsten doing some of her antics. My girls were asleep and I was having the time of my life.

Then, at 2am, they woke up... it was a very long night... we even wore my mom out.

But, all while I was having fun at the Halloween party, Marc and Brother were having some great father-son time.
Brother was trying to show how flexible he was when he was trying to avoid the camera...

Marc is attempting to get a picture of them together... close.


I promise, he was having a GREAT time, he is just a little cold here... That's the palamino in the background, Socks, that he got to ride. He was so excited!

One of Brother's favorite movies "Cowboys" with John Wayne. So nice of our friends to let us borrow their cooler to use for a TV stand...

ready for bed


tent... what? I was naming everything... so I thought I should tell you what this was too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I can't believe they had to go...

waaaaaaaaa.... I miss Daniel! (Aaron, I do love you, promise. If you move out of state I will cry when you leave too.)


I will be updating soon...

What to look forward to:
The Real Annual Family Halloween Party
Sleepover at my mom's after The Real Annual Family Halloween Party
Final activity with Daniel and fam
180th LDS General Conference highlights and insights for me
More Sister-isms
and of course—pictures!

Friday, October 1, 2010

More fun with the Floridians

I went and picked up Daniel and his fam at Tynelle's parents and piled them all in the Suburban to go to Mom's house. We had a great time hanging out and eating Grandma's yummy food. Popo loved grandma Judy's helicopter and played with it the whole time we were there.

Berry found this fun guitar...

The next day I piled them all in the suburban again and we went to Aaron and Chelsea's for lunch, fun and singing. (Popo and Berry are singing together in the golden microphone while Aaron plays the piano. They were so funny.

Then later, that same night, we all gathered at my house for Daniel's famous Thai food! Mmm mmm! I didn't get any pictures of me and Daniel cooking together but hey, I got the rad game of Upwords that Aaron, Chelsea, Brother and I played after most everyone left while Mom and Marc cleaned up the mess and Dad read to Sister... mmmm... good times!

Here is a video of my two brothers singing together... priceless... especially since Daniel rarely sings for us...

I was so intrigued so hear how much my brother's voices are alike. Aaron is always the one to sing and Daniel usually is just quiet in the background. He's still pretty quiet here but if you turn it up you can hear them together. I think my favorite part is Daniel trying to hide his smile when I say how good they sound together.