Saturday, February 28, 2009

I bought a dog toy.......for my twins!!!

I have been searching and searching for the right kind of "chewy" for the boys and nothing ever seemed right. They both love chewing on squishy rubbery stuff. Those rubber bracelets that everyone's wearing these days with advertisements or words or encouragement on them...they LOVE chewing on those. I have allowed this but they get lost so easily and we've run out of what we have. So I went to the Amish Bent n Dent store the other day and low and behold, I found exactly the consistency they would chew on, and it was a dog toy. I bought it for a whooping $.50

So here is my Isaac enjoying his new chewy:




Now the problem we face is that our dog is always on the lookout for when the twins are not playing with it. I have taken it off our Auggie Doggie twice now. Here was Elijah playing doggy with the toy and you see the watchful eyes upon him:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

5 Little Monkeys All in the Bed

I HAD to post this photo from tonight. Each night the older kids head off to bed around 9. Tom and I then sit and watch a show together and chat about our day and rock the twins to sleep. When we went to lay the twins down, for some reason, the girls decided to fall asleep in the boys bed with Elijah. So here we have all five kids (plus Carl the cat) in the bed together. How cute it that!!!

Tristin fell asleep in her clothes and Camille is sleeping with her diary right next to her head. I'm still giggling over these silly bugs. These are the moments to remember and remind them of when they don't get along :0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An apple made my day today

Yup that's right, an apple made my whole day today. There are times when being a mother to a child with special needs I find myself pondering happiness and today it was in an apple. I'll explain...

Caleb and Isaac both have Sensory Integration Dysfunction. There are some foods they just cannot eat. I can't decide if its because they don't like the taste of them, or if its because they don't like the way they feel in their mouth, but realize its mostly texture issues. The big thing I am dealing with right now is absolutely no fruit is going into these kids. No fruit juice, no applesauce, no canned peaches, no pears, no fruit cocktail, nothing. They are 3 1/2 years old and never have had fruit. Occasionally they will eat a banana in cereal or perhaps plain chunks of banana and somedays they will eat yogurt with fruit, but most often that too it only plain vanilla.

Today for lunch they shared a hot dog, common lunch for them. Then I got out the bag of pretzels and was about to give them their dose of crunchy when I thought "Its been awhile since I've tried an apple" I got one out and started singing rather loud and silly the song 'I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas....' They started to giggle. Ok, lets go with this. Then I started signing apple to them and saying I like apples. Still getting lots of giggles out of the little guys.. I decided it was time to try it AND walaaa they both ate two apple slices today!

Do you hear the angels singing like I do???????? I am so happy to have shared this moment with them...heehehhee and I hope to be able to share many many more of these moments with them from here on out :)

Here's proof:

Isaac looking at his apple slice, he did then take a bite...missed that with the camera


Caleb signing apple



Monday, February 23, 2009

Toe nails and Chocolate Fountains and Corn bags...OH MY

Today was our bi-weekly MOPS meeting. It was a spa day and I have to say that this year is my second year in MOPS and I've developed a few more relationships than I did last year and its so nice to be able to share two hours with other christian Mom's of Preschoolers. We have a great coordinator Daria who always plans really fun things for us to do. Today it was nice to have a foot and hand massage. We got a pedicure kit and gave ourselves a pedicure and painted our toes. I only usually do that during the summer months so it was a real treat to see pretty toes. And we made home made corn bags. Heat 'em up, put them on a sore neck and relax..AHHHHH Oh, did I mention we had the chocolate fountain going too! Strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows, bananas, angel food cake, and potato chips. I had to try one of each :) And my favorite treat of the day was the cucumber and lemon water. That might sound gross, but you just gotta try it.

While I'm at the MOPS meeting the twin are in Moppetts getting a bible story read to them, they make a craft and play with other kids their age. Its a really great thing for them and as of right now its the only socialization they are receiving outside the home. They are assisted by their TSS and I've been informed that for the most part they do participate in the activities but if any child is having a bad day and crying for any reason it really throws the boys off and they withdraw from the kids. I can understand that, they don't know what to think of it so they decide to withdraw. Another thing about my Caleb is we are thinking he may have Pica. Its a disorder where one might crave or eat unusual things. We often find Caleb eating a crayon, sponges, toilet paper, or dirt. But when he goes to Moppetts they are in the basement of the church building and he licks the brick walls...EWWWW that is just strange to me.

But as a proud mama I always try to display a few crafts each week from my kids when they bring them home from school. Well today, Caleb and Isaac brought me a craft that they colored themselves and with help glued on some cotton balls. I have to share as I'm very excited to see their work and the fine motor skills they're showing off these days:


And of course, I have to share a cutie pie photo of Caleb from today. I have seen others use a free photo editing website called Picnik and I decided to play around with the photo a little bit on there. I thought it turned out cute :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Something to consider.....

I saw this today on an online support group I follow and thought it was appropriate to post on my blog for family, friends, and strangers consideration.... Please watch:

Honestly, I'm guilty of using the word too at one point in my life and now being on the other end with having beautiful, smart, funny identical twins both with Down Syndrome.... I'm ashamed.... and hope to help others not feel that way someday

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I am thankful for crackers. Yes crackers. My twins love love love crackers so much. I don't know how I would get through a day without crackers. Tom and I are sitting down for the evening, all kids are in bed but the twins and Isaac goes out to the kitchen and brings in a pack of crackers and throws them at daddy's head and sits on the floor in front of him to wait until he unwraps his nightly snack. I was talking with a friend the other day about the crackers we buy, I seriously think we spend $20 a month on crackers.. YIKES!! Many days that is all I can get them to eat. I like to mix it up a little for them. Graham crackers for breakfast, peanut butter on wheat for lunch and cheese on cheese for dinner and a few Ritz for snack. Can you tell I know my crackers alot better than I did three years ago..LOL

I'm thankful for my mother and father in law. When we need them they are there to help us watch the twins. Tonight was board game night for the older kids' PTA monthly meeting. My in-laws watched the twins so that I could go with the other kids and participate. We had a lot of fun, we played several different games and then at the end they held a drawing to give away all the games the kids played that night. All three of my youngins came home with a new game. We had to come home and play with daddy then, so this ended up being a really fun family night. And I can give all the credit to my inlaws for watching the boys for me. Thank You :)

I'm thankful for the ladies bible study I host each week. I enjoy my weekly encouragement and study of God's word. I am thankful for my choices God has given me and for all the blessing that have come about since becoming a Christian. All Glory to God for the wonderful family and friends I have.

I'll end on that good note.. God Bless

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This was a year ago, but still one of my favorites!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grab Isaac's Button

Isaac is participating in a National Charity Model Search raising money for a charity called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, help me spread the word:

The code will produce this on your website:

Grab This Button

Grab Caleb's Button

Caleb is participating in a National Charity Model Contest to benefit the charity Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, each vote costs $1, Please help us spread the word:

The code will produce this on your website:
Grab This Button

Organic Chicken Anyone?

I have a friend who is very into natural eating. No dyes, no fructose sugars, no animal cruelty, etc... She is the first person I've ever even heard the words free range chickens from. She asked me if I wanted to hear what they do to a chicken before its harvested and I said NO!, but in response now I tease her about free range corn fed chickens all the time...Its kinda funny... But she recently had an order of frozen natural chickens from a local farm delivered to our town and had asked if I had wanted to give them a try. Sure.. I'll give anything a try.

Well, let me tell you. I got an 8 pound chicken. YES 8 pounds!! It looked more like a turkey. It was so delicious and I have to tell you it made four meals for a family of seven. I'm still deciding if I'm going to jump on the free range, corn fed chicken band wagon. I just may :) Here are some before and after photos,





Thursday, February 12, 2009

Down Syndrome Adoption Awareness Poem

I read this from a blog I follow and it really made me think. So here it is for your thoughts:

WHILE WE WERE....In Memory

While we were eating...
... they were hungry

While we were playing...
... they were restrained

While we were tucking our kids into bed...
... they were alone

While we turned up the heat...
... they laid in the icy cold

While we wrapped our children in blanket sleepers...
... they laid in their own excrement

While we sang songs and listened to music...
... they listened to the screams and cries of those around them

While we rocked our babies...
... they silently rocked themselves

While we hugged our kids...
... they scratched at their own faces and pulled their own hair for stimulation

While we cried over scraped knees...
... they moaned in their loneliness

While we brushed our daughters' beautiful hair...
... they had their heads shaven to stave off the lice

While we fought off the flu with love and nourishment...
... they got the flu and went Home.

No longer suffering... but so many more still are.

In memory of those that have never felt the love of a family, but have passed away alone. Today we learned of the passing of these two girls in Eastern Europe.





For those who have asked, please feel free to share this on your blog. And yes, I wrote it.

Thank you Meredith for helping us to feel so blessed with the life we have and to pray for those who do not.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Help Us WIN a National Model Search

We are excited to be entered into the 2009 National Charity Model Search with all proceeds going to a wonderful organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, an organization that provides keepsake portraits to parents who will never have the opportunity to take their child home from the hospital. This is an organization that is such a blessing to parents who may not otherwise have a professional photo taken of their child. When Isaac was in the NICU we came so very close to losing him to Necrotizing Enterocolitis (N.E.C.). We endured such fear and grief that we may lose our child for just a few short hours, and this allows me to completely sympathize for those parents who have actually lost their child.

Every dollar you donate to the organization under the boys photo counts as a vote for one of the boys. We could not enter the boys together so they are separate photos, but both very cute ones. And I want you to know that each dollar counts! One vote puts us one closer than we were before, and wouldn't it be fun to see a child with Down Syndrome win a national photo contest??

See and Vote for Caleb here (he's very excited in this photo):

See and Vote for Isaac here:

Please help me spread the word and help out a great organization in the process :D

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Color My World"

A few weeks ago during a snow day off from school I was listening to a local radio station and they were holding an interview with an author of a kids poetry book. It really caught my attention speaking of having your children think out of the box and not just thinking of what the school are teaching for good testing score, which is where schools seem to go these days. I actually had a terrible cold that day and didn't have much of a voice at all. The author was giving away a few free books to listeners who called in to participate in the show with questions or comments. I decided to call even though I could barely even talk. I'm so glad I did. I actually won the book AND she offered to come to my daughters school and put on an interactive poetry workshop. I was thrilled and my daughter Tristin was excited as she's been writing poetry a little bit in her free time.

Fast forward about three weeks. Well today was the day. Debra Mancini-Wilson came and inspired all the kids to write from their heart and soul. She was really great with the kids and all the kids enjoyed themselves. Her book is great for the little poet in all our kids, she starts a poem and the kids finish. Check out her website at and see a bit of her work, and there's even an interactive section to play with poetry yourself.

Here's Tristin with author Debbie Mancini-Wilson:

Debbie signing Tristin's copy of Color My World:
Book Signing

Tristin getting up in front of the class to read her poem:

Issac slept the entire hour and a half and Caleb enjoyed watching all the kids and was even being silly in his stroller:

So I was really happy I called into the radio station terrible cold and all. When I dropped off Camille tonight at Girl Scouts I had two parents come upto me and comment on how much fun their children had today at the workshop. Thank you Debbie!! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rest in Peace Dr. William Cohen

I found out yesterday that the Down Syndrome Community has lost a wonderful doctor. Dr. William Cohen of Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh died Friday evening of a massive heart attack. Its with a very sad heart that I must say Good Bye. He was by far the most caring, passionate about Down Syndrome, passionate about families, passionate about advocating and educating Down Syndrome man I'm sure we will ever meet. Because we have twins when we go to meet with him we get four hours of his time. One might think that a four hour doctors appointment might sound excruciating but it was very far from it. We enjoyed every minute of it. He listened to us, asks questions and offered advice, then he played with boys a bit, did a medical evaluation and then came back and recapped the appointment with us and made recommendations for what to do next.

This is what I read from today:

"Dr. Bill Cohen, national leader in the Down syndrome movement and dear friend of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), died on February 6, 2009. He touched the hearts of families around the country and was a respected colleague to all physicians who knew him. Dr. Cohen was serving on the NDSS Clinical Advisory Board.

As a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, Dr. Cohen was the director of the Down Syndrome Center at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He was the co-founder and co-chair of the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG) which produced the seminal healthcare guidelines for all persons with Down syndrome, ages 0-18. He also co-authored the book, Down Syndrome: Visions for the 21st Century, published in 2002 on behalf of the NDSS. For all of these visionary efforts, he was given a Clinical Service Award by the NDSS in 2004.

His colleagues remember him best for his seemingly endless amount of joy, his eager willingness to share best practices, and his earnest belief that all people with Down syndrome deserve the best from their medical providers and society, at large.

In addition to his work on Down syndrome, Dr. Cohen was a leader in teaching and studying doctor-patient communication, family adaptation to chronic medical conditions, clinical hypnosis, and family therapy. He was a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Ambulatory Pediatric Association, and the American Balint Society.

The world will continue to change positively because of Dr. Cohen’s lasting impressions. The NDSS family misses him intensely and will be grateful to him forever."

And when you have some time it is VERY much worth every minute to watch this video of his last presentation with the NDSS:

Prayers go out to his family, co-workers and the all of his patients who feel such a loss of a great doctor that will be impossible to replace.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thankful Thursdays....

There are so many things in my life that I am truly thankful for. I'd like to document some things weekly and recognize things in my life that have put me where I am and have made me who I am.

This week I'd like to comment on how thankful I am for the weekly bible study I host at my home. Some weeks we have four ladies some weeks we have 8 ladies but non the less I am so thankful for these ladies who attend and for accommodating my crazy schedule with my boys and our life. I am thankful that by hosting it here at my house it motivates me to clean each Wednesday and make my house a little less messy. I'm thankful for being fed the Word of God. Sometimes during church with five children to keep quite I may miss the meaning of the sermon or am unable to truly feel that encouragement I hoped for. By committing to a weekly bible study and having other Christian women in my home teaching me and enjoying their fellowship I get that encouragement. Today was a great lesson, one that again has made me thankful. We are studying from Daughters of Eve by Lottie Beth Hobbs and today was the chapter on Lots Wife.

She was by far a not a good wife yet she teaches us many things. These are the five things taken from this book that I need to remember in the trials of my life.

1. Trials help us to achieve life's major purpose: holiness
2. Tribulations draw us closer to the Lord and make us realize how helpless we are without him.
3. Tribulations are necessary for abundant living. If you have never known sadness, could you be grateful for moments of joy?
4 Trials help us readjust our sense of values. Many would never think seriously of spiritual matters if they were not brought to a low.
5. Suffering better enables us to comfort and sympathize with others.

Some might think oh "Misery loves Company" but I think oh I've been there done that and here's how to get through this. It also brings to mind the wonderful online support groups I have found with other people raising children with Down Syndrome. Its so nice, and I'm thankful for each and every one of them. God is shaping us with more compassion, love and understanding by blessing us with our children.

Guess I'm thankful for alot today, better save some for next week!

Oh and look at the yummy dessert a dear friend brought to todays bible study.
Isn't that the most beautiful fruit pizza you've EVER seen!! Thanks Kristen :)

Until next time...

How many balls can you put in your pants????

Are you wondering why I would ask such a question? Well the answer is because my son Elijah can fit 28 balls in his pants!!!!


Part of his daily chores is to pick up the balls from his twin brothers ball pit that end up all over the house each day and this is what he did last night. Hysterical!! He could barely walk... Then we helped him count them to see how many balls he picked up.


Emptying out his britches...

Now Caleb was ready to throw them out again...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hint...Hint...This works :)

I dont remember where I read this, but I remember I read about how someone disciplines their children when the fight and it works better than time outs or making them say I'm sorry or any of the other tactics people have tried. So today was one of those days that Camille and Elijah were just bickering and fighting and bickering and fighting and on and on and on.... I couldnt take it anymore. I sent them to their room and then I remembered what I had read at one time. So I gave it a try.

They sat and watched TV with each other for 15 minutes HOLDING HANDS!!!
Sibling Love

As you can see, Elijah was fine with it and Camille was rather upset by it all. I think it gave away who was really at fault for today's episode. Mrs. GrumpyButt. I will remember this for future use and go ahead and try it yourself if you feel so inclined :)

All in a day....

Yesterday we had a really great day with the boys. All three boys went to the pediatrician for a check up. Elijah was getting his ears checked and the twins were getting their three year check up. Caleb now had an ear infection as well.. UGH! But overall they did really great. The twins got their flu shot, which is late I know, but I was told that the flu strain has not officially broken out yet in our area. So better late than never. Then after appointment we went out to eat at Valley Dairy. The boys did so well and they always draw so much attention from those around us. Then after lunch we headed off to the grocery store. Now that they are walking I have been getting more and more confident to do things without the stroller. So they got to ride in the grocery cart. They looked so cute we had to take a picture.


It was nice to get out, with all the snow we've had lately we have all been cooped up in the house all day everyday.

So today was laundry day. I washed and folded five loads and folded the three loads I've had sitting in baskets all week because I was to lazy to fold them. I did all this while the twins took their nap and as soon as Isaac woke up he came and sat right in the middle of the huge clothes pile, it made me laugh and again I had to run and get my camera.


And I'll finish off with a picture that the boys TSS took of us the other day. I NEVER get photos of me and the kids together unless they're professional. I'm always on the other end of the camera, so I'm excited to get a cute pic of the boys and their mama ;)

Mom and her boys