Monday, November 28, 2011

Bagels = Zeros.... and Some iPad Love

In case you didn't know....... bagels look like zeros. ....Reid told me so. 

A week or so ago while making bagels Reid shouted out, "Mom..... ZERO!!" while proudly holding up his bagel. I stopped and looked at his little face.... and realized he was connecting that a bagel is shaped like a zero, therefore it was a zero and....well, I squealed.... yes, like a girl.... no, more like a very happy momma that was celebrating that her child had made this connection and then picked that little guy up and twirled him around. These little connections are BIG connections in our world! I didn't even know he knew zero yet.

So what do you do when your child brilliantly declares bagels look like zeros? Well.... you plop him on the couch and document it baby!

and then you eat those zeros bagels!


One of the BEST investments we have made for Reid..... which we have seen contribute to much of his progress in number and letter recognition is the iPad. I love this thing, absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.  He is so independent with it and navigates himself around to the apps he wants to work in that day and I feel ZERO guilt because he is playing and learning all at the same time. 

If you have thought about getting one for Christmas or are on the fence..... my advice? Get it. The advantage it gives our little ones with special needs is HUGE. In my opinion it is worth EVERY cent!

The app Reid is working on below is the iWriteWords app (it also has a # section) and I believe the one with the letters is from his Starfall ABCs app.... both are must haves. 

Other items worth mentioning are the Big Grips Frame shown below in blue and the Just Mobile stylus. The Big Grips Frame goes without saying... you want to protect your investment and we have found this one to be perfect for Reid's little hands. We had our iPad about a month before we bought this and we had too many close calls with falls so I feel much better with this on! The stylus is something we decided to purchase to help him with gripping an item such as a pencil or crayon. This is also one of his IEP goals so this stylus is helping us achieve that I think. We bought it in yellow to resemble a pencil but they have lots of different fun colors. He loves using  it to trace letters and numbers on the iPad... and sometimes you will even find my goofball with it behind his ear to be, well, ahem ....a goofball. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

Okay, so let's talk about it, the elephant in the room.... Yes, yes I do know it is a bit early to "Christmas-y" up my blog but this is the deal....  Each. And. Every. Christmas...... it sneaks right up on me even though I plan for weeks for it and before I know it I am sitting amongst the dust that flies from eager little fingers ripping open presents and I vow to do it differently the next year and savor it just a bit longer. 

So this year..... I'm doing the sneaking up on and decided to start with my blog ...though with the red and white stripes on the side I don't think "sneaking up on it" is the right wording ;). The truth... I miss my old blog background and cute scrolley side bar buttons and sometimes I pop on the blog forgetting I had it changed and I get this jolt... hmnnn, maybe it is because of those stripes, hmnn might need to re-think them. Toby says he feels like he needs to visit the barber shop each time he's on. lol

Anyway.... "Christmasy" it is for awhile. I have reached out to have help with both my last 2 blog backgrounds. This time around Masto Mama Designs helped me, and she was great to work with. I love color and patterns and fonts and eventually I want to figure out how to create my backgrounds for myself.... but for now it intimidates me a wee bit too much! Santa... if you are reading this Photo Shop would come in really handy for this! xoxo


Monday, November 14, 2011

"Daddy and Mommy Welcome You................. To Life"

The tiny TEN POUND... 9 year old little girl I mentioned here... Her name is Katerina and I read today that she is finally with her Forever Family.... finally she is coming home to start her life. She finally has a family of her own to love her and care for her and tell her how precious she is... 

Actually her mom's words which put a frog in my throat read as..."Tiny daughter, come with us.... Daddy and Mommy welcome you to life". 

Today is a good, good day!

Katerina, we celebrate with you and your family today!

To read her story go here.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Please Consider Sponsoring an Orphan...

A few days ago when I wrote this post, ONE Thing I Would Want to Share, I had some people email me to see if I wanted help with raising awareness and funds for 1 orphan in particular?... and this is my answer, in case you read it too and were wondering....

As a family when we first learned of Reece's Rainbow a few years ago we scanned the site and found a little one to sponsor...actually Luke was our official "picker-outer". So, if that is what you want to do as a family as get your children involved, by all means please do!! I think it is meaningful and powerful for children to understand about compassion and how they can help.

AND....Just as a little clarification in case this is the first time you have heard of Reece's Rainbow, the money you donate whether at Christmas or anytime of the year does NOT go to feeding the orphans... or clothing them...or making their orphanages more livable........ the money LITERALLY goes to paying the children's "randsom" so to speak to getting them the heck out of there and into a family's arms. The money goes directly to the child's adoption fund.... which you can watch grow right on the site.

This year little Robert from Eastern Europe grabbed Luke's heart... a little boy who will be turning 2 this December who only has $133 at this moment towards his adoption fees, which run about $25,000. 

What's unique about donating at Christmas time is that when you donate $35 dollars or more you also receive a Christmas ornament with the child's picture on a special reminder of the little one you have helped. 

If you would like to help us raise funds for Robert we would love it (click on his name and it will direct you to his donation page) ....I like the idea of a group of people banning together to make a difference... putting our $35 together to make a bigger impact

On face book I stated it this way,  "I have 344 friends on facebook, if we all sponsored 1 child we could raise over $12,000 (which is about 1/2 of the adoption fees needed) and I am sure we would never even miss that $35".

A little bit really does and can go a long way... ;)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You.... Veterans!

Thank you to my dad, Lee, and to my father-in-law Roger, and my uncles Alan, Dennis, Steve, Gary, Jim, and Larry (my Grandma had 4 of her 7 sons serve in the Vietnam War), Toby's uncles Den and Rod, to my brother-in-law Brian, and my nephew Brian Jr. ..... who have all served our country. We are so grateful for your sacrifices! You are my 12 favorite veterans.... but we are also grateful for your friends that you served shoulder to shoulder with. xoxo


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ONE Thing I Would Want to Share...

October was Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I usually participate in trying to blog each day of the month in October but this year.... I did not blog as I have in previous years (you can click on any of these years 2008, 2009, 2010 to find previous Down syndrome Awareness posts if you'd like).

However, if there was ONE thing I would want to share bring awareness to, is that if any one of us were to hop in a a little over half a day away.... we would step foot backwards in time in terms of acceptance for a child like my son. My son Reid would have no place in many eastern European countries. He would be tossed aside as worthless. He would be sent away right after birth to an orphanage where his outlook would be grim and no one to love him. If I tried to keep my son I would be ostracized by my community. His only hope would be to be adopted, and if that did not occur by the time he was 4 he would be sent to an institution where his care would be even grimmer. I have seen videos of such institutions and been just gutted by what I saw.... and because my brain cannot fathom that type of treatment I rationalized that that must not be true...or that only happens in very few places and they must be 3rd world countries... but the truth is it does happen, in fact there is a family trying to adopt a little girl from one of these institutions right now who is 9 years old....and she weighs 10 pounds. TEN POUNDS. My heart and head cannot comprehend that. Why??.... because she was born with an extra chromosome, like my son. THAT. IS. SO. WRONG. ....How can they not know that is wrong? How can they not see the beauty in these precious children?

There is a mom here in the US who after her son Reece was born with Down syndrome learned of the tragedy I wrote of above.... and she was moved to action, because these children just like her son...just like my son, deserve so much more. She started a non profit organization called Reece's Rainbow that helps raise funds for families who are wanting to adopt these re-write their life story, to give them a home to call their own and a family to love them and show them they are valued and precious. In five years Reece's Rainbow has helped over 500 children find their Forever Families... unbelievable, I am so grateful she followed her heart to help make a difference!! Here in the United States there are waiting lists to adopt children born with Down syndrome, thank you USA for getting it, for valuing life...but for our little friends oceans away it is not the same, they do not have people in their country waiting to adopt them.... and they need our help.

Reece's Rainbow is kicking off their annual Christmas Angel Tree Fundraiser, where they raise money to go directly into the children's adoption funds. When you donate $35 or more, you will recieve a beautiful photo ornament of your sponsored child to hang on your tree. This is a very special way to "share Christmas" with an orphaned child. The goal is to help raise at least $1,000 for each child. Click here to see the faces of these precious little ones needing our help, waiting for their "Forever Families" and watch their funds grow as we together raise awareness of this tremendous need.

How incredible to be able to make a donation that LITERALLY will help save a life. ...And what a great message to share with your children.

Please consider sharing about Reece's Rainbow and The Christmas Angel Tree Fundraiser if you have a blog, or on facebook..... you never know just how far your efforts could go, you may know someone who can make an incredible difference in one or more of these children's lives. 

Can you imagine my Reid in an orphanage? It is so unfathomable to me.... 

Grab This!