Thursday, March 31, 2011

Miss O

Miss O is kicking butt & taking names, as my Dad likes to say.

She started deliberately smiling on March 30th.  It was her 3 AM feeding, and the girl was a big old flirt.  She was ridiculously smiley and loving me that night.  It was fantastic!

She is also picking up her head and turning it side to side while on her belly and even pushing up some with her arms.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get a nutrition lady in to take a look at her, and this RN was highly impressed.  She said Ollie was doing just "AWESOME".  I was proud & thrilled all at once!

She's going to come back every 2 weeks and monitor Ollie's weight gain in our home and work with our pediatrician to make sure we are on track for surgery.  I am so excited by this because this lady was super sweet, and her knowledge was just uber helpful! 

Last night, Ollie slept from 10-5:45!  Oh yes I'm feeling grand today!  And no worries - I asked the doctor if it's OK to let her sleep these stretches because she's been pulling 5 and 6 hours at a time at night, and as long as she keeps gaining weight steadily, he isn't concern and feels she can rest at night.  Hooray!

PS - I'm hoping to score a video of little miss doing her belly time soon.  I have to show her off because she's fabulous!

Oh Ev-E Mason...

Tuesday night at tumbling Everett hurt himself.  I got there and he was bawling hard that his arm hurt.  I couldn't get his coat on, and he was a wreck.  This boy typically can about knock his head off (he hits it on everything) and he's perfectly fine.  He's one of those walk it off boys, just like his Pa Stuart.

I got him home and knew we needed to go the ER.  Two hours later with a hankie made sling & ice pack, crying most of the time on the way to the doctor, he finally was acting like himself - a typical comedian.

He had Xrays and they said he's fine - just a bruise.  Ironic because he didn't have a bruise.  Then, they printed me off worksheets on how to care for a bruise - seriously what a waste of paper right.  As if I've never had a bruise home we go.

Yesterday about noon the ER called back and said oops we missed it.  His arm has a small break near the elbow on the radius.  We were surprised because he said his arm hurt right above his wrist.

The guilt poured into me.  You see I had sent Everett to preschool without any pain medicine.  I kept telling him his arm was was just a bruise.  I did not baby him one bit...ugh.

So Jade took him back to Effingham to the orthopedic clinic because I had an appointment with Ollie.

After much waiting they told Jade - oh he has a greenstick fracture.  It's when young soft bone bends and partially breaks, but doesn't break.  That he was fine to go without a cast or a sling just to baby it and skip tumbling for a week or so.

Seriously?  So today I'm getting a second opinion.

However, I had to share the waiting room story Jade told me last night.  You see Jade never takes the kids to the doctor.  I typically do that job.  He didn't realize what goes on while you wait for the doctor.  At the ortho clinic there were about 15 chairs in an open room and the receptionists area was open too.  So everything Everett uttered- they could hear because he doesn't have volume control either.

So it started out with Everett on Jade's lap and he let it rip for about 10 seconds and then goes "Oh, Daddy...I tooted on your lap."  Jade = mortified as a man next to him chuckles goes "yeah you did buddy."

After a little bit, Everett takes it further and says "Daddy, why do you have so many hairs in your nose?  Why you got these hairs?"  Then he tries to grab them.  Again, Jade is dying on the inside.  Everett has to take it a step further and says "Daddy, why you got pimples?  Why you got pimples Daddy?"  Hilarious, I think so.  I don't even think Jade has a pimple right now which is even funnier. 

Then, Everett wouldn't sit still he kept trying to wander, because luck would have it - they had a water cooler.  So Jade decided to do the old parent trick of the secret pinch.  You know when you pinch your kid and they instantly know to end whatever it is they are doing.  It's non-verbal so you don't have to chew butt in front of a thousand eyes.  Well Jade didn't know that doesn't work with Everett.  He pinched him and Everett yells "Ouch Daddy why did you pinch me!"  Again, Jade was about to crawl in a hole.  I was shaking in bed laughing at this point!

They finally get Jade into an exam room and the madness continues.  Everett likes to explore EVERYTHING...he's hard to contain in a doctor's room while you wait and he gets even louder.  After much waiting Everett starts in that he had to poop.  Jade tried to ignore it - why I don't know - and Everett just started yelling "I gotta poop Dad!  I gotta poop RIGHT now!"  So they took that trip too.

So we're waiting today for Everett's second opinion on his arm.  Better to be safe than sorry, and Jade is reflecting on what it is I do.  He is probably more thankful than ever that he rarely does the doctor appointments!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Moving on up...

Well Miss Chubs is doing great!  We gained 13 ounces in 2 weeks - the goal was 12 so woot woot baby girls got back!

She's up to 9 pounds 2 ounces.  I am thrilled, Dr. H is thrilled!  Orders are to keep on keeping on exactly as we are - so no changes.  She looks good.

We see our cardiologist April 8th so I'm praying we continue to get good news about Miss Ollie Faith.

Also, I ask you to please pray for a friend.  Her adorable daughter, Bailey, is going in for her AV Canal surgery tommorrow.  I know they can use all the prayers they can get.  I'm sure they are feeling a hundred different emotions right now.  I know how I personally feel about Ollie's upcoming surgery - anxious anticipation to have a healthy heart mixed with the biggest most terrifying fear of my life.  It's a lot, but God has equipped us with miracle working doctors and God is good all the time. 

I know I have a huge following of prayer warriors so please remember them.

1 Samuel 1:27
 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Loving My Life...

Life is good.  Great actually.

I am busy ALL day long.

I clean, do endless laundry, feed Miss Ollie, pump, feed the big kids, pump, change diapers, sew, stamp jewelry, paint furniture.  The list goes on and on.  It's good though!  Maternity leave definitely isn't a vacation!  But since I'm staying home until after surgery Mama needs to bring in some cash so I've been blessedly busy with my side jobs!

I like to multi-task & I am doing a lot of that!  I'm kicking the task lists butt daily.

I hold this gal a lot!

Her priority every day is to sleep, eat, poop.  If she isn't pooping, my sister Abbie the chiropractor makes her poop.  She is good like that.  The aunt that scares the poop out literally!

Seriously Mamas, if your child is ever needing to poop & can't - visit a chiropractor - they poop immediately - it's bizarre I know.

Yes she sleeps hard.  She's doing so well though!  I'm anxious for a weigh in at the pediatrician tomorrow!  She seems chubbier so we shall see!

In our "free" time we try to do fun stuff.  Aubrie likes to craft a lot.  I mean like all day she'd craft.  So I'm forcing the kids to play outside.  I played outside all day when I was little, crafting is good, but we can't sit indoors all day crafting and watching TV - not gonna happen.  She does NOT like to play outside...think bees, bugs, spiders, heat, and on and puts her in a panic mode fast.  However, she will dig for worms for hours with her booty crack out...worms apparently aren't in the same bug category as everything else.  Everett supervises her and sneaks in a cold hot dog - his favorite snack - as much as possible.  I have to watch him closely when hot dogs are in the house - he LOVES them.  It's scary what schemes these mega-minds come up with daily.  Payback has hit me for my childhood in a big way...

This gal has a cold now.  No fever praise the lord, but a cough, yes.  Try to tell a 5 year old not to cough on or near the baby - then she will cough directly on the baby.  It's just how they work so she's sporting a mask.  She hates the mask - it interferes with her glasses - I get that.  Thankfully Grandma Janie came and took the big kids to play today.  Aubrie is staying the night and she couldn't be more thrilled about it.  She said and I quote "Grandma Janie has a HUGE house for me to play and craft in!"  Oh snap Grandma Janie - you'd better have some big time crafts in mind for this girl!

Sewing Up A Storm

So the custom blankets have been rolling in.  I finished 3 today for some girlfriends of mine from High School.

They are pretty stinking cute!

They are very large - I use a yard of fabric!  They are perfect for a toddler or bigger child.  If you are shopping for a baby - think stroller blanket - but I have made smaller baby blankets as well.  The double minky fleece backing is super soft and cuddly.

For details email me at  I help pick out the perfect fabric for each blanket & go from there.

Here is my facebook fan site for all my sewing/jewelry creations :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Honest Post...

This post has been on my heart & mind for sometime.  I'm just finally brave enough to share it.

All the time people tell me I'm amazing...
but am I really an amazing Mom?


I'm just a Mom.  I love my kids as much as my heart can possibly love, all in very different ways.  They are all unique, special, beautiful, and they all have so much to offer.

But do I lack patience?  Yes. 

Do I lose my temper and yell?  Yes.
Do I get grouchy?  Yes. 

Do I play with them as much as I should?  Do I do enough therapy with Ollie?  No, there is always room to improve, and I try my best.

Do I try hard to be a great Mom to my kids every day?  Yes.

I'm just a Mom.  The fact that Ollie has Down Syndrome & that Jade & I still wanted her isn't amazing.  It's part of being a parent - loving your child no matter what.  It's my job to love and protect her.  It's not shocking or amazing or special.  It doesn't make me a better Mom than anyone else I know.  I wouldn't change a single thing about her for the world.  What is amazing is that 9 out of 10 people abort babies like her.  Why?  I just don't comprehend that part.  Do they think it makes their life better, or that her life would be less than perfect - less than worthy?  Her life has extreme worth to not just me, but my family and friends too.  I can't imagine that in a group of me and ten peers that I am the only one that would keep my baby.  I just can't understand removing a gift like Ollie from my life.

In this journey I have a lot to learn.  I am learning that people are incredibly insensitive, and offensive about my daughter, but they don't even know it.  They try to be nice, but since they aren't living this life, they don't know what is inappropriate to say.  I have to keep on my happy face, and I'm good about that because nice is what I am, but it does bother me a lot.

They say things to me like "Are you sure she has Down Syndrome?  She doesn't look like it."
Yes, I am sure.  She has had chromosome tests.  She has characteristics of Down Syndrome.  However, she is a member of my family.  Of course she looks like her brother and her sister.  She came from Jade & me, so yes she looks like us.  That's not unusual or surprising or weird.  It's just like having any other baby, they look like your family.

People think because she is so pretty and they can't see the Down Syndrome, that maybe she has a "mild case."  Well there are not mild cases.  It's not like a cold where you are kind of sick.  You either have Down Syndrome or you don't.  No one, no doctor knows what her mental capabilities will be.  We hope and pray that it mildy impacts her life, but it could severely impact her life as well.  We will not know until she develops and grows.  However, we will work hard with her to reach as many milestones as possible for her.  No matter what her cognitive abilities, Jade & I will love her dearly and take care of her.  She's our child no matter how old she is. 

She is constantly referred to as a "Downs baby."  I can't explain how or why that is so offensive, but it is.  I don't like it at all.  She is a PERSON with Down Syndrome, and it doesn't define her.  She will tackle a lot in her life beyond her chromosome count.  Please don't call her a Downs baby.

Don't use the words "retarded" or "Mongoloid".  They are terrible, and that will make me mad.  You wouldn't use the N word to a person of color.  So don't use similar words about my daughter to me or around me.  Those words are outdated & completely insensitive.

My daughter won't "Max out at 3rd grade".  No one knows what her mental capabilities will be.  No doctor has ever said that all people with Down Syndrome plateau at 3rd grade levels.  That is just ridiculous and again uneducated.  They all have different capabilities just like me and you.  We all are different.

I write about my family because I know how my husband and I feel about my family.  I know all the facts, I go to all the doctor appointments, and I know best for my family.  Through this process there was an online article written about my family and published in my local paper.  The facts were inaccurate and the author has never met my family.  The intentions were meant to be nice and prayerful, but the facts were so wrong - I was devastated.  I blog because I have a HUGE family.  This blog makes sure that everyone is on the same page.  They all can come to one place and know exactly how Ollie is.  I also live in a small community, and have lived here my entire life.  Almost everyone in this town knows me, or multiple people in my family, and this community has been amazing when it comes to supporting our family.  This blog keeps the rumors to a minimum because the facts are here in black and white.  It cuts down the miscommunication in a huge way.  I also blog for a journal - so I can read back in my life and remember what I felt like.  I also blog so maybe someone else in my similar situation finds comfort in my family.  That they realize this life is livable, it's not terrifying, it's full of joy, love, faith, and hope.  So they aren't as scared as I was after our first level II ultrasound.

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant, but it was something I need to get off my chest.  It's a real, honest post about my life today.  Until you live this life, you don't understand.  I was guilty of all the things above, but now I know better.  I just know better.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Buddha Belly

Oh don't let this girlfriend deceive you.

She is rocking the belly and the cheeks, but she's a wee little thing!  She's still wearing the newborn clothes and she'll be 6 weeks on Thursday!

We finally got her taking the formula supplement in her breast milk every time.  She eats 2 ounces about 8 times a day.  I wish girlfriend would eat 3 ounces, but I'm not pushing her - every ounce of liquid gold is for the most part staying inside.  If we push it - she explodes and we lose all that precious breast milk and calories.  Since I'm a slave to my pump I have a HUGE amount of frozen milk...not sure what we'll do with all that!  My sister Maggie is amazed at my frozen supply!  Oh and woo to the hoo - she will nurse some!  There is still hope for after surgery that we'll only nurse - I'm telling you this bottle feeding business is way harder than nursing!

She's doing great!  Rocking the hairdo as always, grinning like a wild woman, and sleeping hard like she's in hibernation!

She goes back to the pediatrician on Monday - I'm praying we've hit 9 pounds...keep your toes and fingers crossed for us!

Also, if you like my house & my furniture...Ethel Edith is back for spring!  We have some very cool inventory on hand & some new colors sure to knock your socks off!  Our first show is April 2nd, and our big spring show is April 30th with multiple amazing vendors by our side!  Check out our Ethel Edith blog for details or find us on Facebook!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Seven Years...

In seven years time, so much can change.

You marry the love of your life and your best friend.

You fix up a ratty trailer in the country and make it home.  You adore your pug, Trudie, like she's your child.  You learn how to be a wife, how to share money and a home.  You learn a lot when you are first married.

You take a few trips, date a lot, and feel rich, because for the first time in your life you have real jobs that pay & you aren't living the college mac and cheese life.

You love your jobs & experience a lot.  You travel around in helicopters & take trips to China.  You think it is an important job, and at that point in life it was.

You decide to have a baby.  She is beautiful.  She has Daddy wrapped around her little finger.  Daddy loves her so much he cries a lot.  You fall in love with him all over again, because he is an amazing Daddy and you have never seen that side of him before. 

You quit your "important" job for a better job closer to home with less travel & bling.

Then, you decide to build a yourself.  You see your husband transform before your eyes again.  He's now a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, a jack of all trades.  You used to hold the drill, now you realize he has been hiding his skills from you for a long time.

You have another baby, a boy.  He changes your hearts again & Daddy becomes an even better Daddy.  You move into your dream home, and say good bye to the sweet trailer in the country.  You feel for once "grown up".

Life gets busy, really busy.  You laugh a lot and spend a lot of time at home with your kids.  You date a little bit, and love every free minute you have together.

You watch him open up his dream business & pass his land surveying test.  So many years of hard work finally pays off.  He makes you proud every day.

You have another baby.  A baby that tests your faith in so many ways.  A baby girl that makes your marriage an even stronger partnership than it has ever been.  A baby girl that completes your family and makes your heart grow ten times in size.

In seven years a lot can change.  You never know what path God will take you down & how your life will pan out.  I thank God every day for Jade in my life.  HE picked the husband just perfect for me before I ever picked myself.  I am so thankful that I picked Jade as well and that he picked me back.  He's my best friend and my rock.  We've spent 14 years together, and the last 7 we have spent married have been the best years.  I look forward to many many more with this man!

Happy Anniversary Jade!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What we are up to...

We are doing really great!  Ollie is a sweet heart!

Last week we found out she isn't gaining as much as she should, and I wrote a blog about it.  The first few days with formula were really hard.  She's not used to it and she would spit up...more like vomit...everything I just fed her.  It was kind of defeating the purpose.  I have never used formula, or very very rarely with my big kids so I had no idea what was going on.  It was stressful.  I called the doctor and I reduced the amount of formula she was taking until she could handle it.  Then I slowly increased it and now she's taking what the Dr. wanted her to take.  She's still taking breastmilk, with just 2 teaspoons of formula mixed in.  So I'm still a slave to my pump, but it's good for her...and finally some weight is coming off my body because of it!  I'm really hoping the formula helps her gain faster.  She goes back on the 28th and then we will know.

Monday she's evaluated by her physical therapist.  I'm anxious to hear what they think about her!

Other than Ollie, we are all doing good.  I'm super busy sewing and stamping jewelry so I can stay home until Ollie's surgery.  The big kids are busy playing and fighting most of the day.  My days fly by and I'm not sure how considering I'm up at 6:30 every day.

I also noticed I'm up to 200 followers - woot woot!  I apologize in advance b/c I am so very busy I haven't had time to read other people's blogs.  So I'm not ignoring anyone, I'm just running around in a hectic manner all day long!

Oh and now I have to go - baby is hungry :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Truth...

I was going to blog about what we are up to.  Blog about my big kids and Miss O.  Until I read this.

It's true that kids just like my beautiful blessing, Miss O are unwanted, abused, and neglected.  It makes my super busy day where I never sit down but accomplish nothing, really quite pointless to share. 

So please share about Carrington and all the children like her.  Inspire someone, somewhere to do more, to do something for a child...not tomorrow, but today.

Remember, Jesus loves the little children, and they deserve better.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ethel Edith is BACK!

Oh yes oh yes...we are back & in rare form!

Our first furniture show of 2011 will be April 2nd.  Please come out to see us and support the American Cancer Society.  We will have some fabulous inventory & goods showcased!!

More Jewelry

Here are some more necklaces I have made.  Mostly custom orders.  If you are interested - I can stamp pretty much anything - necklaces and bracelets.  Email for pricing.  I can setup a custom Etsy & ship it to you or if you are local - pickup is at Maggie's salon on Main Street! 

Thank you for your support - it all goes to help me be with Miss O until surgery!

PS - Mother's Day is coming up - have your men or children contact me early!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Miss O

Little Miss saw the pediatrician today & her occupational therapist.

She had a good day!  The occupational therapist feels that she's doing everything right on target for a one month old.  She does not have any concerns for Miss Ollie right now!  I was excited!  I thought she seemed relatively strong (babies with DS tend to have lower muscle tone & feel some what "floppy").  Her head control is really good.  She can pick it up and turn it.  I think her weakest area is her legs, but we do some exercises to work on that.  I am really proud of her - she's already meeting the goals!  Most likely based on how well she's doing right now, they will not start therapy yet but re-evaluate her at 6 months of age.  I'm happy about this - I want to save every single ounce of energy she has to her chubbing up for surgery.  Our primary goal is to fix her heart, then we can make sure she's working on all her developmental goals and tackling them.

At the pediatrician she weighted 8 pounds 5 ounces.  She only gained 3 ounces since last week when she was in St. Louis.  The doctor & I were a bit disappointed with this so he has me adding a specific amount of preemie formula to her breast milk bottles to ramp up the calorie intake.  Breast milk has 20 calories in 3 ounces and this addition bumps it to 24.  It's amazing that a mere 4 extra ounces a feeding can make a huge difference, but he said it will.  Other than this, he was also pleased with her.  He thinks she's looking great & he also mentioned he thinks she's relatively strong with her muscle tone.  She has those good Fox family muscle genes in her!  She also received her second RSV vaccination after a battle with insurance.  My pediatrician threatened to contact the lawyer to get her approved - and voila - she was approved!  I heart that man!  It was terrible though, she hardly ever cries and when she does she sounds like a kitten.  Today she screamed so hard she was shaking -

When I went to St. Louis they gave me a Down Syndrome growth chart.  I'm very glad they did.  Children with DS tend to be much smaller than their peers.  Ollie on a typical growth chart is only 20% in her weight (she was 62% 2 weeks ago) and 40% on her height (she was 85%).  On a DS growth chart her weight is really about 60% and her height is about 55%.  This is a huge help to know that she really is right on track, even though she is growing a bit slower than typical babies.  She's nearly 5 weeks old and still wearing newborn clothing!  I can't believe it because even though Aubrie and Everett were tall and skinny babies, they were in 0-3 months by now.  She is going to be a wee thing for quite awhile I am guessing!

Overall she's doing great.  We are thrilled with her!  Aunt Maggie showed us how to style her with bows.  She's rocking that look, especially after I picked up some more bows today.  She's a beauty! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jewelry Work

I have been a busy bee.  I have been making sterling silver sing & dance for me.  Here are some custom orders I have done locally. 

Faith, Hope, Love

Bracelet with 3 name charms

Necklace with 2 names & birthstones - also hand stamped design

Bee Humble

Another name necklace on a square blank - 3 names & birthstones with hand stamped design

Long/Lat necklace on a rectangle blank


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