Monday, June 17, 2013

Raising a Toddler with Down Syndrome

As you all know I rarely blog anymore, but today I knew I needed to write this blog, pretty sure it's a God thing.

When I was pregnant I tried to envision my future.  I always knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would love my child no matter what.  But I didn't always know if I would love living a life with Down Syndrome.  That's a harsh, honest truth that hurts me to honestly put out there, but it's true and I know I'm not alone in that fear - there are other Moms like me.  I think we all have it in some shape or form but we don't let fear consume us anymore.

Now that Ollie is here.  Now that she is 2 years old, almost 2 1/2 - living with Down Syndrome is like raising any other child.  Yes, she has things we have to overcome.  She has delays.  Delays suck.  But she's working on them with such a fierceness - I know she will whatever the heck she wants to do in her lifetime.

Some days it hurts more than others.  Seeing kids younger than her talking in sentences, saying Mama, doing all the things she hasn't yet...yep it's hard.  I dislike that it bothers me.  I wish she would (notice I didn't say could b/c she says lots of words she's stubborn mostly) say Mama and I'd be a liar if I said I didn't wish she was close to potty training.  

But then I look at my sweet girl, the girl God blessed me with and she smiles.  And I know that everything she accomplishes means so much more to us because she worked her tail off for it.  She loves everyone and I seriously mean everyone!  She hugs strangers, she laughs with her soul, she's stubborn, and ornery as the dickens.  She loves to dig through the garbage, watch Dora, dump dog food, empty all the toilet paper on the floor, climb things she shouldn't, play in the toilet, wrestle her siblings, and the list goes on and on and on of things she does like every other child.  And discipline - OYE - girlfriend has a pout lip like no other, thankfully she's rarely naughty!  But she's not like other kids her age.  She's special.  Not because she has DS, but because the personality that God blessed her with.  That he blessed us with.  I wouldn't change her for the world - I'd keep that extra chromosome!

So if you asked me, what's it like to raise a toddler with Down Syndrome, I could honestly say, it's like raising any two year old.  Terrible twos some days yes, some days it's Terrific twos.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Step Up For Down Syndrome

Sunday we celebrated Ollie's 2 year healthy heart anniversary in St. Louis at the Step Up for DS walk.  I can't explain how full this makes our hearts.  Jade & I laid in bed reflecting the day and we just feel so incredibly blessed to be in the DS community.

Ollie rocked her blue & yellow all day & of course a huge smile.  She LOVED the people and gave out so many hugs!

Proof of said hugs...

They seriously had a bubble truck - don't you wish you knew that was a career when you were in high school - a bus with bubbles & squealing kids - ummm yeah that's a great gig!!

One of the best moments was crossing the finish line - Ollie was given a metal by an adult woman with Down Syndrome talk about choke you up!!!

How many family members can you cram into a train?  7 in this example until said train died & they had to get out & walk!  hahaha!!

We had an awesome day & are ever thankful to our family for supporting us and joining us at these events.  We are incredibly blessed that they adore Ollie as much as we do!  <3 much="" p="" so="" them="" very="">

Sunday, June 9, 2013

2 Year Happy Heart Day!

Well it's been another year.  I can't believe it's been 2 years since we handed over our sweet Ollie Faith in heart failure over to that team of surgeons.  I have never been so scared or prayed so hard in my life.  I prayed for God to hold her in his arms during the surgery and for a complete correction resulting in no future surgeries and for a swift recovery.

He delivered her back to us with my prayers answered.  We had a rough first day, watching your baby moan in pain that you can't fix or control is beyond difficult, but day by day she got stronger! 

Two years later she is a happy, bubbly, wild, totally typical two year old little girl that makes our hearts sing. Her journey wasn't one I would have ever asked for, but it is one I am ever thankful for.  It gave us faith, it gave us perspective, it showed us that life is never to be taken for granted and that God is good in everything that he does.

Happy Heart Day baby girl!  We love you!!

We are celebrating today at the Down Syndrome Step Up Event in St. Louis - what an awesome way to celebrate!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Woah! Simply Woah.

I'm terrible at updating you all, but I had the most mind blowing call recently. 

Beachbody has asked me to step on the big stage at the MGM in Vegas on June 20th to share my success story!  This means getting real and vulnerable in front of roughly 8,000 fellow coaches!

If you know my story - then you know it comes with a lot of shed tears but now a ton of joy!

I'm ecstatic & scared!  Public speaking isn't my strong point & well I know without a doubt I will cry.  But I know I'm getting on this stage for a reason.  It's a total God thing & he has a message for me to share.  So pray me up for confidence, strength, and to share his message with my story!!

(the hashtag I have used since October hoping to get on this stage with my weight loss transformation - God has a funny sense of humor!!)


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