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Article in today's AZRebublic...

We subscribe to the weekend paper and after looking at it on the counter today, this article leap out from the front page at me!
Gene tests alarm Down syndrome families
They interviewed participants from the DSNetwork (one of the groups that we do alot with here) here in town and on the whole, I thought it was a fairly good article. The author makes a couple of remarks about "Should they abort a fetus that shows a high likelihood of developing Down syndrome?" - which in my knowledge, there are far fewer cases of a baby developing "Down syndrome" - for the most part it is there from the start. The article also seems to slant towards the thought that we, the parents, are alarmed by the declining numbers of babies born with Down syndrome due to the fact that smaller numbers mean less funding by the government. While that is a consideration to me, it is not my main thinking. My main concern is that Matthew will be a endangered species (as I have said before) - becoming more of an "oddity" than a "fact of life". It would make Down syndrome more of a rarity, therefore making less people that are like Matthew out there. Does that make sense? That he could be out and about and not see people that share certain characteristics with him, not see people that look like him. And truely - what's next??? What happens when they develope a screen for Autism? Or cancer? At what point will it be stopped?
I would much prefer the government, the testing groups spend their money on helping to make the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome, autism - any disorder - better. Just seems to be a much more productive area in my opinion!

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Mr. P's photos...

Can now be seen here...


We had a fairly quiet Thanksgiving. Pretty nice! It got very cool here today - very nice! I have all the windows shut again - we are all in pants and I have candles lit! Yay!

Still busy, busy! Trying to keep the boys occupied again today. Have lots more photos to proof and a CT page to do. Will be back soon! :)

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Happy Thanksgiving...

Busy, busy, busy!
Pool...
They came on Monday and plastered the pool. When they finished, they stuck a hose in it and started to fill it. They started plaster at about 1:30pm and started to fill it about 4pm. Once again, just amazing to see how they did it all...




It took until about 8pm the next night (Tues.) for it to be done filling. We turned it down some, for we didn't want it to overflow. So it might have been done sooner. Today someone showed up (while we were gone of course) to put chemicals in it and start up the equipment.

After Ryan got home toay at 3:30pm, they went in! Ryan wasn't too sure, so Michael helped him out a bit...



Matthew would only get in for a bit and was quite happy just putting his feet in. I think Ryan would have stayed in longer, but we made him get out!

The birthday party on Saturday was very fun! I took lots of photos while we were at Build-A-Bear, so will just share a few! (ha!)






I took alot of photos of this little guy on Sunday! I haven't edited them yet, so will share all of them at a later time...

He totally wasn't too sure about the Santa suit, but was a good sport! :)


Then he had to have a little bitty...


A very little bitty...

Tomorrow I am going to Diane's to photograh her whole family of 8 people! Wish me luck!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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Scrap Pages...

Happy Birthday Card
I took this photo of this beautiful little girl back at Easter. It's her birthday today and I wanted to make her a very special card just for her. So - I did!

My 3 Boys
I took the photo in the header, but used a better one of Ryan that I got that day, and voila!

Autumn
This beautiful young lady is the daughter of one of my very good friends, Janet Butler. I love all these fall kits, but have nothing fall-ish to use with them! I really wanted a fall-ish photo and this photo of her daughter was perfect! So thank you again, Janet!!!! (Janet is a photographer in the Kansas City area)
Just click on any of the titles to see the credits! :)

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She's here....

Isn't she pretty?????

Someone said that waiting for the camera battery to charge is harder than waiting for the FedEx guy and I whole heartedly again with that! But she's here now and that's the important part! I've never named my camera's before. Betsy popped into my head when I thought about it - but then I thought how plain and ho-hum that is and Veronica was the next one that popped in. So, we'll see if she ends up with a name...

I worked in Ryan's room this morning. They had a guest today that brought some fun AZ creatures for them to see - toads, a scorpion, lizards and snakes! I took my old camera and got a few good shots. Amazing to see how bad the quality is getting with it, so so glad to have my new camera... I got alot of shots of the kids, and I won't show those here, so here's some of the critters!



Of course, the camera decided to freak out right when Ryan got up there to pet the snake, so I missed getting a photo of him - bummer! And yes, I did pet it! :)
The speaker was really good. She had a good mix of things to say to them to get them to understand what she wanted to get across and made it really fun and interesting! :)

So - yesterday's post. I usually don't post things like that. It's another thing that I just don't do and yes - probally because of the Down syndrome. I don't ever want anyone that's searching for answers to stumble across my blog and factor that into their thinking about DS. I've heard that 80-90% of babies with DS that are prenatally found are aborted. I don't ever want anyone to think - gosh look how hard they have it, I'm not sure about this decision for us. We do not have it hard at all. At all. There are far worse things out there just as there are far better things. But life is not a box of chocolates (to borrow a phrase) and not always a bed of roses, just as it's that ways with "typical" kids sometimes. Matthew has his "preschool-I-do-it" moments, just like any kid. They are just mixed in with the other moments that he has and when they all happen at once, it gets a little much sometimes. Such was our last few weeks. He's snapped back out of it now and life is easier again. He seems to get into periods of strife (for lack of any better word) right before he goes through a huge expolosion of growth (physical and mental). It's just so hard to see that that is what's happening until after it's passed. But I did feel better about talking about it and I feel so much better after reading that others go through many of the same things that we experience. That is the value of community!!! Whether it's here locally at our groups or over many miles to our friends in this cyber world! :)

And on...

I was in scrapbook mode yesterday - did 2 pages and 4 cards. Wanna see the 3 cards that I did uysing the Songbird Avenue kit, Sugar-Plums?










I'll wait to post the rest after I post them in the galleries!

Well - I'm off! Off to stare at the battery and see if it will charge faster. What's that, Janet - a watched pot never boils??? Remember that? ROFL!

Have a great night!

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The smallest things...

sometimes are such the biggest deal. Jennifer at Pinwheels has an awesome post up today at ParentDish. She's such a good writer and so often voices things that I have been mulling over in my head. Such as her post today.
One of the hardest, most time consuming, mental energy draining things that we deal with with Matthew are often the smallest things. Haricuts - always a HUGE ordeal for him. This last time was the exception that we have been working towards for the past 2 years - to use clippers on his hair again. I too, have such concern for his haircuts. I don't want anyone to judge him by the fact that he has a bad haircut. Is it a concern with Ryan? Yes, of course - I don't want anyone to judge him by a bad haircut either. And he gives me problems with haircuts sometimes too. But it's just not quite the same. The Down syndrome factors in with Matthew.
Going to a restaurant, going to the store, getting ready for school, getting into line for school can all be very stressful sometimes. You can't just tell him to go get in line. He has to have the last climb up the ladder and down the slide. This used to take quite a bit of time, but we are shaving it down. I've learned if I get up there and go down the slide with him - it goes much faster. It's all about learning what Matthew needs - what routine needs to be in place - to get the end result we need. We used to have an intersting time at school, for he would put a treasure to share into his backpack to take to school. We tried to take it out and hide it, but he would find out that it was gone - usually when it was time to walk into school and be upset. Now - we have a routine. He knows now to leave it in the Green Machine and it will be there after school waiting for him. Crawling under the table at restuarants, hiding in the clothing racks at stores, getting sidetracked by fun displays at the store can all lead to stressful times when you are trying to get something done or do something fun with the family. Ryan trys so hard to help - but most of the time, he's just adding to the stress, for Matthew will rail against what Ryan is trying to get him to do.
Bruises - I always worry about bruises more with him. I have this fear that someone will look at him and the bruise and think that "beacause he has Down syndrome - they have hit him". Or they don't care enough about him to protect him from getting these bruises. An irrational fear? Totally off the wall and couldn't be farther from the truth? Sure - but it is there with me just the same.
I do find myself looking him over before we go somewhere and changing him into a new, clean shirt - only to get to the place and see that Ryan should have changed his too - LOL! That feeling that I just don't want anyone to have any reason to see him as anything other than cute is just all too present.
It's not always fun. It just feels so mentally draining to Michael and I to go places sometimes. It's hard for people to understand sometimes. Why don't you want to go out to eat more? Why don't you just all go to the store together? And we do go places together, don't get me wrong. We have just figured out what works best for us. We eat out at off times - can't wait for a table, just doesnt' work for us. If we will be at the store for a bit, Matthew still goes into the cart. If it's a shorter trip - he can be a big boy and walk beside us.
Is all this too much? Am I teaching him the wrong thing? Somehow making him feel less than himself for all this attention to his apperance? I certainly hope not. I try to let things just be as much as I "help" out his apperance too. After all he is just a boy. A boy who likes to play in the dirt and get messy with painting. A boy that doesn't always want to do things the way that I want him to do things. A boy with a mind of his own, who knows what he wants and when he wants it. It just up to us to decide how the best way of meshing how he wants and how we want together. Sometimes it's easy. And sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's really stressful. Really stressful. It's about picking your battles and sticking to them. And it's always about him. About how much we love him and how much we are willing to do to find those routines, those little things, little ways to make things go smoother... And we will continue to do those routines, to adapt those routines as needed and to learn new routines to do what will come up. For we love him and he is so worth it!

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Feelin' short on time...

It's that time of year when things go into overdrive and I start feelin' stressed... Everything just seems to be going by faster and faster and I start to feel like my to-do list is growing and growing. To be fair - I've gotten alot done, but still have so much to do. I've finished editing the photos for the little buy I took photos of, I finished printing out my current pages for me, my mom and My MIL, I've edited photos to send to my MIL (for her birthday last month - see - not so ahead - LOL!), I did get all my mom's birthday things bought and given to her (her birthday is today - Happy Birthday Mom! Love you!). Started on Christmas presents a little, but still wishing I had more done. I've kinda itching to start decorating for Christmas - can you imagine that? Ali's blog is really inspiring me. I seriously what to do the framing little Christmas art pieces. I wanted to do that at Halloween, but it didn't happen. It would be sooooo easy to do with digi... I got her Life Artist book in the mail last week, glanced through it, but haven't had real time to really dive into it yet... can't wait...


Pool - kinda upset (to put it lightly) with them again right now. No communication from them. The girl called yesterday - said that she saw that she could schedule the final inspection now, told Michael she would try to make it for today. He told her to call and let us know. This morning, we drop the boys off at school, come home, call her. Get her leave a message - so I do. We're going to run errands, please call us if the inspector is coming today. We can come home right away. Give home and my cell number. Fine. Run our errands, come home, there's a note on the door that they couldn't do the inspection because we weren't home. Um - yeah - we would have been if we'd known to be there!!!!!! Michael calls the foreman - a little upset - and he says he will get it rescheduled for tomorrow. No - you'd think someone would call us back to make sure to let us now, or talk to us or something. But no. Ugh.

The insert tiles on the steps were put in on Mon. They look cool.


The guy leaves and I go out to check out what was done. Peanut floowed me out and was determined to go down in the pool. Before I could talk him out - he stepped straight onto one of the tiles and smooshed it flat! On man! So - I finally got him out of the pool and Uncle Paul fixed it... (more about Uncle Paul later)

The other thing that happened Monday is that they put in the new RV gate. It looks sooooooo good! I need to stain the wood yet someday soon... The door is on a spring, so that it self closes.

This kid is a very cute goof ball. He decided to write a book about the building of his train table (long story that I'll tell at a later time soon). He is writing chapters and has an about the author page at the end of each chapter. He asked if there was a good photo of him to print out and put there. Me - sensing an opportunity - said no, of course! So he let me talk so photos of him on Monday morning. My camera sucks, so they didn't turn out awesome, but they are good!

My camera sucketh. I was taking photos of Matthew on Friday afternoon and I heard and really funny noise. The viewfinder went black too. Ut-oh! I turn it off, take off the lens and flip up the mirror. The shutter curtains guts are hanging out. Bummer. Thought for sure it was dead. I did get it to go back into place, but it kept doing it. I could see a tear in the curtain too. So - out of curiosity - I switch from the 50mm to the kit lens and it does work again. Better - but it's still not focusing as good as it should. I am totally bummed. So - come Monday, Michael worked some serious overtime hours (he worked for someone and then went back in after being home when they could figure out how to fix something on an airplane). He came home at midnight and told me to trun on the computer and order a new camera. WOOT! He was going to get me one for Christmas (after we said we weren't going to get each other anything...), but he knew I really wanted one now! So sweet! So this nice XT is on it's way to me now...
Ordered just the body (I have pleny of lens and I use the 50 mostly right now) and just couldn't justify ordering the XTi right now. Went black this time too. My next camera after this (I think) will be a professional grade something. But we'll see. Wasn't ready to give up the comfort of knowing the camera yet. Not to mention the extra money - LOL! (although I did see a D20 that went for $450 on Ebay and kicking myself that I didn't get on to bid on it!!!) It should be here on Friday (hurry up FedEx!!!!)! Can't wait! We have a birthday party on Sat. that I can break it in on, I reshoot the sweet baby boy on Sun and I'm taking (large) family photos of Diane on Thanksgiving. So it will get it's use this week!

Speaking of that little cutie... if you want to see the album of his shots, you can go here...

Unlce Paul (my brother) came to visit us on Sun. & Mon. Ryan (as I mentioned) was in 7th heaven and hogged him almost the whole time! I told him that he wouldn't be in until noonish, so that my parents would have time with Paul alone on Sun. He came in at 8am. Michael slept until 11am, we got him up and going and then went over to my parents. Spent most of the day over there doing things and celebrating my mom's birthday early. Came here to our house on Mon. to do all the things here and so that I could be here for the pool/fence dudes. I didn't take too many photos since my camera sucketh and I was depressed about it. Got a few though...


I waited until night to take photos of them together - so they are not super good. But we took some and that's really what counts...




This are some of the other cutie in our house (photos are the ones that made the camera throw up it's guts...)... Playing with Diego and the sash to my robe (hea calls it a scraf and loves it!) He got them both and disappeared. I kinda look up and watch what he's doing. He goes over to the table, pulls out the chair, gets in it and starts playing, wraping Diego up in the sash. So cute that I just had to get out the camera and try to capture it...




We got Ratatouille on Sat. and bought Shrek 3 today (with some money Grammies sent them) for them - both very cute movies!
One more thing - a Congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, recently had a baby boy. She is the first woman to give birth while in office for quite awhile, and you may have guessed it, her precious son has Down syndrome. CNN did an interview with her and her husband recently and you can watch it here & here (there's 2 parts if the links don't work right). Her son is seriously cute! Mixed feelings bout the interview - the whole thing just isn't very upbeat. They seem to concentrate on the "bad" things that can happen. But to be fair - I thought about alot of that in the beginning too. The rates of abortion (80 to 90% that find out in utero) is astounding! I so feel like Matthew is an endangerd species sometimes. People fear and just don't understand, so they don't make an effort to try to. And it's just so easy sometimes to just ignore or do away with thinge we don't understand... Now - selfishly - I'm glad that she is out there. A Congresswoman in the public eye there in WA helping to make decisions. Hopefully lots of good will come of it!
Alright - I'm off! :)

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About This Blog

Kit used in header is
Digitally Smitten Kit Freebie
by Digital Design Essentials

Digital Photo Frames by
Nancy Comelab.

Photos in header by
Adrian Hindes of
Canyon Photography


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