Sunday, October 27, 2013

Video Fun from the Carnival

So two posts ago I wrote about attending a Family Fun Carnival for Sharing Down Syndrome of AZ. I neglected to mention that I had the chance to meet up with an old friend I hadn't seen in 7 years. It was great to get caught up and have a way to keep in touch. He husband put together a video of the evening and I thought I'd share.

The event was hosted by the Paradise Valley Stake of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and features one or two faces you might know!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Open Possibilities!

Up until recently I never thought much about Eli's future. To be honest I was too overwhelmed with doctors, appointments, navigating governement agencies and therapies to think much beyond it. Now that things have settled in a routine and Eli has begun to show us a little more of his own personality, I realize he will not always be a baby but someday a man. He will have his own dreams and hopes and I wondered how much it would be like his older siblings. Would he drive, go to college, get married? I know now that such hopes and dreams are within his reach. It will take longer just like all things have for him, but he can have the typical life despite his atypical genome. In fact I have a feeling he will appreciate all his life and accomplishments so much more because of his extra chromosome!

Those with Down syndrome are breaking down stereotypes all over the world. There are several who are actors and actresses, models,a business owner named Tim Harris in Albuquerque and the list will go one I'm sure. I'm grateful to these people for working so hard so others like them can see that the possibilities can be endless! Check out this article from Huffington Post to glimpse just a few!

After watching his sister color with the chalk, the little man decided to make his own mark on the world!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Festival Fun!

It's holiday season again and one of the best parts of it is all the activities there are that allow us to connect up to other families who have loved ones with DS. The desert botanical garden hosted a Pumpking Harvest Festival during the week that Keila, Eli and I were able to attend. Keila loved the games and the petting zoo but especially the little baby pumpkins she picked out to take home. Eli tried out a game or two as well and took a mile curiosity to the animals. Mostly he enjoyed being held by me and interacting with other kids.

Greeting Gina! The little girl next to him is a match the mother in the background thought would be so fun for the future!

This shot makes me laugh, he would wave on his own to other children, mostly those who had DS as if to say, "Yo wasup my brother from another mother!"

This shot was with the help of CJ's mom, the young man next to me. He's ten and he went from major sensory issues (yes, even with sand) to loving it! His mom couldn't drag him away!

"Mom's busy, quick get the glasses off!"

During that same week there was a Carnival hosted by one of the stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was so fun to have the whole family there. We were amply feed between hot dogs, ice cream, cotton candy and candy apples. They even had fruit there and you better believe I stuffed them with as much as I could before allowing all those other goodies! The games were fun as we're the prizes.

Ice cream makes the world go 'round in our family! Especially Blue Bell!

Eli's personal favorite was the music. His favorite toys either play songs or its the keyboard. He always makes me smile as he sways and wiggles to the songs. It was no different here, the live band wasn't too loud and he happily danced with kent and I for most of the evening. There was plenty of participation and some very enthusiastic dances that night!

While at the activities Kent and I got to chat with other parents. It's a reminder to me how very blessed we are. We're blessed that aside from aspiration issues, Eli is an extremely healthy boy. Many of these others children had heart surgeries at four months and often more than one not to mention those who dealt with Lukemia. I love that I can glean ideas for helping along his development and sensory issues from experienced moms as well as cheer each other on when we can say, he's starting to walk! No matter our challenges we all love these children and the joy and perspective they bring. Success, patience and true strength are lessons we learn through these people and I wouldn't change them for the world!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

So life has been a little crazy lately. Aside from recovering from the fundraising (note to self: start MUCH earlier next time!) and then teaching a cooking class for our church Super Saturday, I didn't have the time to dedicate posts on October being Down Syndrome Awareness Month. But it's always better late than never! For the next few days I hope to write more on this subject near and dear to my heart as well as give resources to any other parents to be of children with DS.

I love this article from entitled 21 Things People Don't Get About Kids With Down Syndrome. It's a quick read and best of all you see pictures of the most darling people!

Like this little cutie!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A New Love Baby!

So today was our annual super Saturday. It's a huge craft activity day we do at our church and I swear we have some of e most talented ladies on earth running it! All the crafts are only for the cost of materials and these gals donate their time and talents to create new things for us annual as well as prep the materials for our orders. I love that I can set aside time from kids and housework to creat, beautify and enjoy the companionship of other wonderful women!

This year they asked me to teach a Chinese basic Chinese cooking class. Thankfully the fundraising I'd been doing a few weeks back prepped me for it and desipte my anxiety all went fairly well.

I managed to finish most of my projects and just have a few bracelets to finish up. Not bad for a days labor!

I have to say my favorite was my afternoon class with a talented artist - Dina Wakley. She introduced many of us to one of her passions, art journaling. She's amazing and I've always loved how expressive and free her work is. She's published one book on it and is working on her second as well as does classes all over the world (literally!) to help other discover this form of art. I have to be honest and say that I was worried though that her talent would find a wall with me.

For anyone who knows me well I tend to over think things a lot! My frist attempts at scrap booking we painful, not just in the finished work but all the way through the HOURS it took for me to finish a page. I was worried about balance, accents, placement, color.... The list does not end! The only thing I seem to do naturally is journal so eventually I gave up and went to blogging instead - pictures and words all contained efficiently in one place. I still love my blog and I love that my kids spend hours gazing at the memories I've tried to compile, but I miss the artistic aspect. But thanks to Dina I think I've freed the muse within!

Most of what she did was to introduce us to some different mediums and create color backgrounds on paper. There was just enough direction so you didnt stare at a blank page hopelessly but not so much to squelch your own crative jucies. It was a blast to play around with ink, paint, stencils, etc with no preconceived idea of the end product which was exactly what I needed to do. It was in the process that ideas would take on a life their own. The clors, the lines, stencils I had randomly chosen would grow and take on a tone or a feeling. Dorky as it sounds it spoke to me and listened and took a little leap. This is what I ended up with and it's a far cry from the carefully structured self I show, but I like how free it is!

This is my first attempt. Inside the figure I wrote, "don't think too much, just learn to be free. You know your true self inside!"

This one if my favorite and journaled, "Your mind and Imagination can take FLIGHT!"

So I'm thinking I found a new love .... And now I just need the time and materials to explore further! Thanks Dina for it! It was more than a class, it was an adventure with new possibilities!

Most pictures courtesy of Shannon Baker, the main organizer of the event. Check out her blog for more details.