Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fate Smiled

Oooh, I believe, fate smiled
And destiny laughed as you came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience, and with faith
She'll make her way...

I will never forget the day Natalie Merchant's song "Wonder" played in my kitchen. It had only been a week or so since Ellie was born when I really heard this song for the first time, with new ears. I almost fell to my knees listening to the lyrics and I truly believed that I was meant to hear that song, at that very moment. 

Today as I was brushing Ellie's hair into two little pig tails I couldn't help but think back to a little over 6 years ago. I was pregnant with Luke and it was when Jesse and I both had the dreams. The dreams about the little girl who was ours, with almond eyes and an extra chromosome. I will never forget those two pig tails and sweet smile. I can't believe that because of these dreams we made the decision to be done having children- as if to not "risk it". I had no idea of the little soul that was waiting up there for us. Waiting for that right moment to come down and be ours, to rock our world.

I am a true believer in serendipity, fate, and destiny. How could I not be? It was not a coincidence that Jesse and I both had dreams about Ellie. I look at the past two years, and the journey our life has taken. I think about the people I am meeting along the way, it doesn't feel like just any other ordinary connection. I look at my existing relationships and how they are deepening to a whole new level. There's something more to it, something extraordinary that is hard to put into words.

Today as I looked at my daughter; a sassy, opinionated, smart, beautiful 2 year old little girl, I realize she is exactly who she is meant to be. She completes our party of five and I wouldn't have it any other way. I wouldn't change her for the entire world. And I'm confident that she'll make her way.

That face!
Snuggles from her big brother Luke
But I want it now!
I had to include some drama queen photos!
Brotherly lovin'

My girl

Saturday, March 21, 2015

3/21/15 World Down Syndrome Day

Guess what day it is!!?

It's 3-21, otherwise known as World Down Syndrome Day!
I have so much to talk about that I don't even know where to start!! Can you hear the excitement in voice?? I mean in my typing!?!?

First off, the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network has been fortunate to team up with the amazing and talented blogger Meriah Nichols in A Day in the Life of Down Syndrome. We submitted our day here: A Day in the Life of Our 2 Year Old Bookworm. I posted a video of Ellie reading at 26 months old at the end of the post. She is just amazing us! We also posted photos to Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #lifewithDs. I'm still new to this hashtagging business but I think I figured it out. Here are a couple of my faves:

My big bro Joey helped design a shirt that we sold to raise funds for DSDN and we ended up selling more than our goal. Check out the awesome design (and the cute kids wearing them!) I'm kicking myself now, I wish I would have bought Jess and I shirts too! My father-in-law has one he will be sporting, the kid's daycare lady Lynn bought one (we love you Wynn!!!) and my friend Megan from high school even bought one. Heart. Is. Full!!!!

The Mighty made a shout out to their contributors to submit a short video answering the question "what is one thing you wish people knew about down syndrome?" and my boys answered. Check out the beautiful video below:

Yesterday the boys wore their sweet new shirts to school (yes they are wearing them 2 days in a row, and no I didn't have time to wash them) :) Mrs. Miller, Luke's Kindergarten teacher even played the Mighty video for the whole class, twice! Luke was so excited to share it with his friends, his smile was a mile wide when he got off the bus yesterday!

The Mighty also wrote a story about how those with Ds experience a range of emotion... this isn't a surprising concept, right? Check it out and see Ellie and Lloyd (our kitty) in the article. I cannot tell you the number of times I've heard that people with Down syndrome are always happy. As a matter of fact, one day Ellie and I were in our favorite store (Target) and a gal probably in her 80's walked by and said "oh, look at her, she's so happy!" and Ellie's facial expression at that moment was like this: LOL!

Oh, and get this!! Ellie is going to help Change the Face of Beauty! I'm sure you've heard about this wonderful campaign started by Katie Driscoll. Back in December the special needs community was encouraged to call out companies to use people of all abilities in their advertising. Well I had sent Ellie's photo to a local modeling agency and found out last night that they want to use her! The night before WDSD. How neat is that!?!? They are called Puddletown Talent and are located in Portland. I'm so excited and they are too. I will keep you posted on that in the coming months! I'll never forget when Ellie's friend Izzy's picture was in the Target ad and my boys said "mom!!! she's just like sissy", they LOVED seeing her in the ad. I can't wait for the day that seeing people of all abilities in advertising isn't a big deal anymore. 

So the plan for this special day is to mow the lawn and follow that up with an afternoon nap then Red Robin for bottomless fries, and maybe big beers. :)

We also celebrated "Spread the Word to End the Word" on 3/4. I shared the below photo of Ellie and it was shared 418 times, I was blown away. The support from friends and family as well as strangers is humbling. I am so grateful. Thank you my friends for sharing this important message!!

A few more photos of this cute little face:

So for this post I asked Will to pick the song. He loves this song and it's one of our top picks for our dance parties in our kitchen. :) And note we chose the Spongebob version because the actual music video is weird and inappropriate!

P.S I dare you to play the song and see if you can keep yourself from busting a move, I bet you can't! Just try it!

Turn Down For What - DJ Snake Feat Lil Jon