Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog. If you feel inclined to comment on a post, just click on the "comment" link at the bottom of the post. I would love to hear from you! If you are new to my blog, check out the archived blog posts listed in the left column.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Seven Months

Sylas is over 7 mths now, so I better update you with pictures before he turns 8 mths. It has been heartwarming to watch him grow. He is so observant of people, especially his family. He watches us as we dart around doing whatever we do. When his siblings come close to him, he automatically smiles. Sylas bursts into laughter when his daddy pretends he is going to tickle him with "The Tickle Hand". The following are some pictures of him from the last few weeks:

Taking a bath in the sink

After bath, talking to big brother

Hanging with big sister

Pulling hair, one of his most favorite things to do

Practicing sitting up. "Halt! No more pictures, mom!"

Another round of trying to get that perfect Christmas card picture. Lola the dog (why not add the dog, that should make it easier, right?).

Goodbye warm, hello cold


I have not blogged much lately, we have been in the travel mode and are now in the cold state of MN (For all you football fans, Go Vikings!). We really debated this year whether to return for the holidays. I feel as if we are in a bubble in HI, protected from all this yucky flu that has been creating havoc for all. I started an autoimmune booster and hand washing regimen with the family a few weeks ago, and I even tried to have Sophie and Sylas wear a mask on the plane. That was not exactly successful (the mask). So far no one is sick, except Sylas who was sick two weeks prior to us leaving. He still has a pesky congested cough, but no pneumonia.

Have I adjusted to the freezing cold? NO. It took me 3 days to leave the house.

The first picture above is a few days before our trip. We went to an annual fundraiser for Sam and Sophie's school. Brett made a comment about how long it took me to get ready. Yes, I actually took the time to shower, shave all the unwanted (and unnoticed, most days) hair, blow dry/style the front AND the back of my hair, put make-up on (not just lip gloss and mascara while in the parking lot of my destination), attempt multiple times to clasp a bracelet on my wrist, etc. After all my "high maintenance", we left the children with a sitter and had a fabulous evening!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Visit from Grandma

Grandma Kathy (aka "Grandma Moo Moo"-name affectionately given to her by Sam when he was a baby) has been visiting us for the past 2 weeks. She has made Sylas giggle a lot during her stay. She is planning on taking the kids to see Santa tomorrow, I wonder if he will be dressed in his traditional garb, or if he will go for the more appropriate outfit of a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts. We have had lots of fun times including today when we visited one of our favorite spots, the Lavender Farm. We attempted to take a picture for the holiday cards and gosh, professional photographers really do earn their pay. It was a circus trying to get all 3 kids look at the camera! I think next time I will try a glass of wine in one hand and a camera in the other. Here are some photos that capture the ordeal:

We will try again tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

This year has been full of things to be thankful for.

Everyday I am thankful for the sun rising (actually this picture is of the sun setting, sorry I can't get up that early!). I really am thankful for the sun rising, not just because I know that the sun will bring me warmth and remind me that I am not freezing in Minnesota anymore, but because the new day will give me more time to experience life and all that it brings. There is always something to learn, teach, or just be a part of.

Sylas getting ready to eat pureed turkey, squash, and mashed potatoes. Delicious! I am thankful that he eats well and is always grabbing for the spoon.

Sam and Sophie proud of their Thanksgiving Skittle Turkey Cake (not too fond of pie, they DO NOT take after their mother!). I am thankful for their creative minds and joyful spirits.

When the day begins, it is always filled with activity of my children. I am thankful for the opportunity to experience childhood again, although not personally but by observing daily three children grow. Their wisdom and outlook on life is unclouded and has a clarity that is sometimes difficult for their mature(ha, ha) mother to immediately see. Thank you Sam, Sophie, and Sylas for pointing me in the right direction!
This year when Sylas joined our family, I started an entire new chapter of my life which resulted in even MORE things to be thankful for! Sylas multiplies the love in our family. I am thankful for the way that Sylas looks at me and smiles, the way he clutches tightly to me as I carry him, and the way he calms when I hold him. I am indeed thankful for all of our family, friends, and unknown new friends who have shown support to our family in many ways, including following our journey through my blog. I am inspired and educated by reading the blogs of others, thank goodness for their writing. I am thankful for my dear husband who is always there to make me laugh and inspire me with his dreams.....I could go on and on. Gosh it almost sounds like I am accepting an Academy Award or something!

The picture above was taken a few days ago when we traveled to an island that is only 45 minute boat ride away. We had never been there, yet we look at this island everyday. We stayed upcountry in a lodge with wood burning fireplaces. You probably wonder, who needs a fireplace in Hawaii? Well, this place was cold..ok not really.. but it was compared to the other parts of Hawaii. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, horse-drawn carriages, croquet, wild turkeys running across the lawn, tiny little town, and orchids everywhere. Like I said before, we look at this island everyday, but have never realized the unexpected treasures and beauty it holds...hmmm...makes me think of so many things in life.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

New friends!

A few months ago, I was blessed with meeting families from all over the island who also have a young child with DS. We are planning on getting together every 1-2 mths, and we just happen to be getting together this coming Monday. I will cherish these playdates, as I have yet to meet any moms on my side of the island that I can relate to in this unique way. This is another reason why I feel so fortunate to have found other moms (and dads) who are inspired to blog, I can't even begin to explain how much support I have found within the blog world. If I was speaking to a parent who had just been given a diagnosis of DS, one of the most important things I would tell them is to "check out the blogs!". These kids are remarkable, go look and see for yourself!

The picture above is from our first get together. It was taken at the end of our picnic, the kids are exhausted from all the fun. In the group picture, Sylas looks like he is nursing through my dress, poor guy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009 (belated)

Growing up in WI/MN, I always planned for a chilly Halloween, complete with wearing a winter jacket under or over the Halloween costume of choice. So these days, living in 80 degree weather, the Halloween preparations have indeed changed. Now the goal is a cool cool costume. I couldn't put Sylas in one of those fuzzy baby costumes without cooking him. Instead I decided on a black onsie (with a little devil character on it that says "come to the dark side, we have cookies") and a spiky hairdo. Sophie dressed as a veterinarian, and Sam as "Cool Cat" the mascot of his favorite restaurant. On Friday, their school started the day with a Halloween parade, so after we rushed around that morning feeding breakfast, getting on costumes, finding cameras,..... I dressed little Sylas and got out the hair glue. A little glue here, a little glue there, spike, spike, ok ready to go. Well, we arrived at school, and the humidity had unglued Sylas' hairdo. Of course, he still looked cute and we had a fabulous time watching Sam, Sophie, and all the kids marching around the school.

Getting the pumpkin. I'll take the cute pumpkin with orange stripes! This is the same farm we went to last year. It is located on the side of a hill overlooking the ocean. We are quite high up and the temperature is cooler here. As we looked down on the spectacular view, we saw goats grazing and the farm's strawberry patch. Beautiful!

Grandma, Grandpa, the kids, and a not so scary witch.

Side view of the rock star hairdo...

Happy Halloween!

Sam and Sophie marched in a Keiki Parade (kid's parade) on Saturday. After the parade we noticed a Halloween rainbow crossing the sky. There must be a bag of Halloween candy at the end of it!

Trick or treating with a human "bush". The bush was actually the father of Sam's friend! Way to have Halloween spirit! Check out Sam's hamburger. "Cool Cat" carries a hamburger around, so I found this rubber dog toy hamburger at the pet store. I could not believe how thrilled I was to find it.

The fun-filled day unfortunately ended on a sad note. Sophie's hand was slammed in the car door by who else but her guilt-ridden mother. So, so, so sad, but all fingers were intact. Whew! I don't like even thinking about it.

I hope everyone had a safe Halloween, I have enjoyed all of your Halloween pictures!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Books and Toys!

Are you in need of any DS related books?

Woodbine House is a publisher specializing in books about children with special needs. My Hawaii friend Debbie of, reminded me that in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Woodbine House is taking 20% off the Down syndrome titles during the month of October. Here is the link to their website: . I am really excited about the "Kids Like Me..Learn ABCs" board book...hmmm perhaps Sylas will be getting some books for Christmas!

Speaking of gift giving, Toys R Us just released it's annual Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids. The guide matches specific skill sets with a wide range of everyday toys. The toys are divided up into different sections for example: Fine motor, gross motor, tactile, social skills, language, etc. You may want to check it out:

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Adrienne at created this button that you can click on and it will direct you to the National Down Syndrome Society website:


This month, many communities are having "Buddy Walks" that involve building a team for your child, finding sponsors, and then walking on the day of the event. The Buddy Walk was created in 1995 to promote acceptance and inclusion of those with D.S. It not only raises awareness and financial support for DS programs, but it also is a day that brings together many old and new friends. Unfortunately, there are not any Buddy Walks scheduled for Hawaii. Sylas is my inspiration to be involved with planning a Buddy Walk here for next year....I will keep you posted!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Bday Daddy!

Brett had a birthday last weekend and the kids joined forces to make a cake. They had their share of licking the batter spatula/bowl and thank goodness did not get sick (raw eggs, I always cross my fingers). Here is the bday picture.
We also went to the county fair with the kids. It was dusty and dirty and a whole lot of fun! In the midwest, I always have a big greasy corndog at the fair. Although the fair here does have corndogs, I instead went with Kalua shredded pork, cabbage, and rice. Salty good!
In honor of Brett's bday, he and I went ziplining. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it is basically when one is suspended by a harness that is attached to a pulley hung on a steel cable. After being strapped in, you pray that you survive, jump (or get pushed) off a platform, and zip high above the treetops through the mountains. For myself, who is deathly afraid of heights, it was good to face my fears, and yes, it was fun. I am so glad that I did glad that I will never do it again!