Saturday, October 31, 2009

We Have A Winner!!!!...and Halloween Pictures Too

We have a blog give-away winner!!! Monica from Monkey Musings was picked by Reid to receive a $100 American Express gift card...yeah Monica!! After trick or treating tonight we dumped out "Elmo" of all the loot Reid received from neighbors and used it as our "bowl" to pick the names from. Monica, he picked your name and I realized later that you actually commented on my last post about missing the "comment cut off" for the must have forgotten that you commented earlier in the month, lol, and good thing...because you won! Monica Email me at and I will get the gift card in the mail to you.

...and for everyone else, I hope you had a fun Halloween!!! Here are a few pictures from our evening.

Poor Reid refused to nap all day and then fell asleep right on the floor before all the festivities began, we actually had to wake him up so he could go trick or treating to at least a few houses. This kiddo can sleep anywhere!

Luke decided to be Albert Einstein for Halloween. This totally fits him, he has been saying he wants to be a scientist when he grows up for several years now. As I was buying the costume for Luke I saw they had it in an adult size, so he and his dad were my scientists for the evening. As you can see Albert Einstein Sr. was rooting for the Yankees amidst handing out candy! :)

Waiting for the last few trick or treaters.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Last Day to Comment for Blog Give Away-$100 Gift Card

Oh my poor, poor neglected blog....I have had so many things I've wanted to blog about in the name of Down syndrome awareness but life has been so full lately that it has been a challenge to get my fingers on the computer keys lately...or before I pass out from exhaustion. Tonight however I had to overcome my exhaustion and press on for my little ones as Luke needed 60 cookies for his Halloween party in a few hours and needed his pants hemmed for his Albert Einstein costume, and...and....and, the list goes on so I am now finding myself still up at 2:45 am. Oh the joys of motherhood...! :)

So......since I am up and am realizing it is now October 30th I wanted to send out a reminder that today is the last day to leave a comment on my blog give away post, in order to be added to the drawing for a $100 American Express card. If you haven't commented yet, please do I would love to have you included in the drawing...but would also love to hear from you! Scroll to find the Give-Away post or click here.

Happy Friday! to bed, hopefully I can sleep as soundly as the little guy pictured above. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Foam Yoga Blocks...for Our Little Ones with Down syndrome

Classic Foam Yoga Block
In the effort of Down syndrome awareness I wanted to share something that our fabulous occupational therapist, Karen, introduced us to that has helped Reid tremendously with his sitting posture both during therapy but also at preschool. As we all know low muscle tone is something to contend with for our little ones with Down syndrome and it is not rare for me to find Reid sitting on the floor with his back hunched over, looking up at Sesame Street with his chin down but eyes turned up and tongue out or head way back resting on his shoulders with tongue out. Karen started using a foam yoga block with Reid during therapy about a year ago and explained that this helps tilt his pelvis forward and realigns his shoulders, neck, and head. This in turn changes his visual perception of things, seeing them at a different level and helping him to be more alert and engaged. It totally works... and I have noticed less open mouth and drooling from him. Below are pictures during therapy and the last one is Reid and his backpack....about a week into preschool I noticed that familiar floppy posture of his while sitting during circle time. I asked his teachers if it would be okay to try the block with him at school, which we did...and they noticed a HUGE difference in him. Plus, they also commented that it helped him to stay in one place on the floor LOL :). So Reid takes his block with him to school and knows to get it out first thing and takes it to the floor to sit with the other kids. We bought our yoga block at Target but you can also find it at any sporting good store.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How My Boys Got Their Names.....

I have been tagged by Adrienne from Our Unexpected Journey to write how I came up with my boys names...this has been really fun reading everyone's stories as it has made its way around "blogland".

Well Luke's name was a "back up" just in case we had a boy, lol. I was so convinced we were having a girl and her name was going to be Ellie Rey (the Ellie was short for both of our maternal grandmothers who were named Eleanor(a) and the Rey was because we were living on the central coast at the time we were pregnant in one of our favorite places of all time, Monterey) But...........obviously we had a boy, so good thing we had a back up plan! I never knew how much I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a mom to boys! Honestly I think it was God's sense of humor because I can never be surprised, somehow I always figure things out...but Luke Ryan was the best surprise of my life! I have always loved the name Luke and when Toby and I were dating I threw the name out there just to see if our relationship should go any further... ;) and thankfully he loved the name too. The middle name was tough for us at first...Toby and I both share the same middle name which is Lee (mine is after my dad's first name and Toby's is after a family friend) so you would think Lee would be the obvious choice but Luke Lee sounded like he would karate chop you in we went the baseball route instead. Toby played baseball for the Seattle Mariners for a few seasons as a left handed pitcher, so we decided to give Luke a name from a pitcher Toby admired, Nolan Ryan. The Ryan is also after a very good friend of Toby's who was his catcher in college...they were both drafted after college, Ryan to the Tigers. We discussed whether we should actually give Luke the name Lucas wondering if maybe that went better with Ryan...but in the end decided that Luke is the name we really liked and to stick with it rather then to call him a nickname version of Lucas. However, Luke has goofy parents and we actually find ourselves calling him Lucas, even though we decided against the name, about 50% of the time. In fact, most people think his name really is Lucas because we say it so much.

Then came Reid Maddux five and half years later....I do not know where I first heard the name Reid but loved it and brought it up to Toby on a plane ride coming back from Seattle. We had a really hard time getting pregnant after Luke and even had a miscarriage in between these two. So our discussion on the plane ride was very "hypothetical" ...." if we ever had another baby..." but we decided then and there that we loved Reid and if another baby boy was in our future he was going to be our little Reid. Again the middle name stumped us at first, but decided that if one had a baseball name the other needed one too, so Reid's middle name is Maddux after Greg Maddux, another baseball pitcher. Reid's name couldn't be more perfect for him....he loves to "read" just about as much as he loves to play baseball...he will pick up anything including a carrot and make it into a baseball bat and throw anything he thinks is a ball as evidenced in this previous post. Again, goofy parents this little one has and we find ourselves calling him, "Reider Peter Punkin Eater" all day....and I have often wondered if people think that Peter is his middle name. I am sure we confuse the heck out of people...I know I am ;).

So, that is the story behind my boys' names... you even got a little bonus with Ellie's story though she never made her way into this world of boys over here ;) least not yet (Oh did I really just write that?!?)

I am now going to tag;

Down with Oz

Three's a Charm

Life with Bubba, Chicky, and Nika


Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Blog-Anniversary Give Away! $100 American Express Gift Card

See full size image
I am super excited to host my first official "Blog Give Away" in honor of my "One Year Blog-Anniversary". Actually this is a little delayed since my true anniversary for my blog was last was 8/08 when I first entered this amazing blog world (to be honest... I didn't even really know what a blog was before then, I know... a little sheltered this girl is :)! However, since then I have met so many amazing blogging friends from... literally all over the world and I just love it!!!!

When life was getting a little crazy in August and I knew I would miss the opportunity to do this then due to sheer busyness I thought I would delay my blog anniversary until now.....October, Down syndrome Awareness Month, and this is why.........

As much as the month of October is set aside as a time to bring awareness to those that may not know much about Down syndrome......I feel I AM actually the one, who over this past year, has gained a "heightened awareness".... from all of you. I have definitely learned to stand a little stronger and a little taller in these shoes. I have learned to not fear the future thanks to those who are a little further along on this road. I have benefitted from hours and hours of research many of you have done and been gracious enough to share. I have learned about nutrition and supplements specific to children with Down syndrome. I've learned about sleep studies, sleep apnea, and blood panels to have drawn consistently (um okay, yeah that one I'm still a little fuzzy on :) ). I've watched BEAUTIFUL children come home to their "Forever Families" who would have otherwise been institutionalized because of their extra chromosome. I have learned about nasty words like Leukemia, Infantile Spasms, and Atlantoaxial Instability. I have watched families fight like hell to keep their children alive and I've cried and cheered right along with them! I've watched as others have stepped out and gracefully advocated for their children....for our children. And over the last year I became ever so aware of what an amazing group of families and what an amazing source of support and resources there are in the Down syndrome community.

So, part of the intent of my blog anniversary give away is to say THANK YOU, a hundred times over....for sharing your stories, sharing your struggles, and sharing in this amazing journey with me...and to say thank you for popping in and checking in on us over here...I am always so humbled and tickled every time I look over at my site meter and I see that someone has come for a visit, whether you let me know you are here by leaving a comment or not....but I'm hoping that you will for this post so I know who you are and so you can be entered into the drawing...whether you have a family member with Down syndrome or not.

To be entered into the drawing:
Simply leave me a comment....whether you've been here 100 times or just once

by October 30th 12:00 midnight (PST)

Reid will pick a name from a hat and I will post the winner on October 31st

If our winner lives internationally I will make sure the gift card is in the proper currency

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