Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I posted this on Facebook, but really felt the need to blog this too.  I know i'm rarely present on this blog & need to be better about this but I advocate a lot on FB.  I feel someone needs to see this today...feel free to share my #IBet story...

Recently one of my friends shared the most inspiring story I have ever read - she is a "single" military wife (while her husband was deployed a year - he is home now! ) with 2 small children living in Japan & she has officially built an income by helping others that allows her to retire her spouse so he can be home and present in their lives. A man on a plane tried to belittle her for being away from her children for work, and her response was priceless & had him in tears - and me too! She in turn challenged us to write our own stories so here is mine...

#Ibet if you were pregnant and received a Down Syndrome diagnosis & open heart surgery diagnosis that you would still celebrate the child that God was giving you. That you would understand that unanswered prayers are always the best! That you would see that she is beautiful, smart, funny, and perfectly made.

#Ibet if you received this diagnosis that you would NEVER call someone or something "retarded" again. That it would pierce your heart every time you heard it and you would regret every time it had been uttered from your mouth in the past.

#Ibet that after you handed your tiny baby over to a team of surgeons praying for God to hold her hands so she wouldn't be scared, that they could repair that broken heart so you could take her home again, and that her pain could be managed because it tore your heart to hear - that you would never take for granted every day of life. That you wouldn't fret & moan over the minor details that hold you back from life but that you would celebrate the small things like they were big things and you would turn it all over to HIM.

#Ibet that the fear you once had about how your new baby would impact her siblings would turn into great thankfulness. Thankfulness that they have a sibling that is special! She makes them better because she teaches them patience, kindness, and complete and total acceptance. That you will know they are better because they have each other.

#Ibet she would constantly blow your socks off - that you'd witness her walking, talking, potty training, and all of it would bring tears to your eyes because you've been given papers & books that said she wouldn't, couldn't, or would NEVER do this that or the other...until she was way older or possibly never - and you'd fist pump the air every time because she is just that awesome & because she's breaking the molds!

#Ibet you'd talk about her a lot because people NEED to learn from her. That adults need education MORE than the kids! That you'd have a constant fear that it wouldn't be kids that view her as less than - but actual adults that breed that into their children...so you would share her beauty, smile, and daily glow to teach them that what information was handed to them was wrong so they can learn and teach their children better. It starts with adults - not kids.

#Ibet you would push for inclusion, high school, college - because you know she's capable of anything! You wouldn't EVER limit her!

#Ibet your life would be bigger, richer, and better because you learned what a life with Down Syndrome meant. That you would embrace it. That she would be JUST like your other kids. You would treat her the same, respect her the same, set the same expectations, and she would rise to the occasion every time. That you would forget Down Syndrome in your daily life but thank God daily for her and the lessons you have learned.

#Ibet Down Syndrome would bless your life too.

*these photos are my property*

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Filthy Kids

Recently my sister, Maggie, caught her two little girls glue-handed.  They had applied glue stick to their lips like chapstick, their arms, legs, and the entire tv as well.  Their palms were nearly glued together.

My nieces:  Penelope (2), Caroline (4)

I was in hysterics picturing her walking into them covered in purple, dries clear glue!  And thinking paybacks are a B.  Which is funny because she lived with me while Everett was a full-blown hellyun & I'm sure she thought thank God my kids aren't like him - haha now she knows Penelope is him in a shrunken girl version!

But what was funnier was the Facebook conversation that ensued - the be thankful your kids never...

And it went something like this:

left a half eaten chicken leg behind your tv cabinet...
painted your house with yellow paint pen...
spray painted your brand new navy work truck with yellow spray paint...

Can you guess which one of the above was Everett????

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Annie's Diet Bet

Hey friends - want to put some skin in the game & add extra incentive to your weight loss goals?????   

Check out the link below & join in a DIET BET with ME- if you lose 4% of your weight in 28 days you split the pot of CASH with anyone else that hits that goal - you invest $35 to join but may get much much more in the cash pot!  I know many of us wouldn't mind to drop some weight & to win some cash in the end sounds like a pretty sweet deal too!  

Now here is my warning I want you to do it the good old fashioned way - hard work - exercise + nutrition! It's about getting healthy & getting rewarded - NO starvation tactics or you will gain it all back and possibly then some!  Go check it out - it's all online & we can do this as a team!!  We start September 23 - October 20th!

If you want my help & guidance email me anniereidfitness@gmail.com & we can design a plan that WILL WORK for you!  

Click HERE to join!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back To School

Well they are back at it! 

Aubrie went to 2nd grade.  Here is what I've basically gotten out of her since she started..."Mom everyone knows it's impossible to make new friends in 2nd grade."  Really?  I did not know this.  But apparently it is so.  She's already requesting a cell phone and Ipad Touch - apparently some other 7 year olds have them already.  Seriously people - my mind is blown.  Not gonna happen Aubrie, not gonna happen!  She's again a top notch student that is brown nosing her teacher daily - it's how she rolls and she's quite good at it!

Everett is repeating Kindergarten.  Why?  Because he just turned 6 August 16th.  There are many reasons, but last year he was one of the smallest, he struggled with maturity, attention span, and impulses.  I feel like he really, really grew up and changed so much since March to now.  So this year he's going in as the big dog.  If I say he's one of the biggest he gets mad - he IS NOT the biggest, he's just bigger than some of the kids.  His teacher sent a note and said she already cried this year over his progress & that he is her go to guy!  Yep I'd say repeating kindergarten is most likely the best move ever for our little dude.  When I ask him about his day - he remembers nothing - literally nothing other than it was good & he liked lunch and recess.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Six Years Old

It's hard to believe how fast your babies grow up, but they do!

He started off chubby at a whopping 8 lbs 11 oz with dark black hair that laid so nice!

Within a year we knew his personality.  He was sweet, slept all night, never cried, and loved his big sister!

By 2 his true colors were coming out, he was a walking tornado always into something and taking things to a new level beyond what his bigger sister had thought up!  He was a walking concussion that always shook it off - I to this day don't know how!

At 3 he was just full of personality and most definitely my favorite little boy ever!

At 4 we saw him as an older brother that would do anything for his new baby sister - they are also the best of friends.  He is the most love able little boy I know - kisses and hugs have always been his thing!

At 5 he constantly made us laugh with his crazy antics - he loves the DS & his Wii and loves to make friends everywhere he goes.  It's true take him to the park and I guarantee you some 15 year old girl knows who he is and acts like they are BFFs - I'm not quite sure how he does it - but he does!  He also hugged everyone and kissed them goodbye - he even tried to get the mail man!  Ha!

Going into 6 is exciting!  I'm a little sad that he's so big, but yesterday he wasn't too big to still hold my hand!  It's an exciting year for him - we are doing Kindergarten again since his birthday is so late & he's really matured since this spring!  He's sweet, funny, kind - he'd do anything for anyone, he always shares, and he always smiles!  I'm very blessed to be his Mom and proud to call him mine!  He's definitely a light in our lives!

Happy Birthday Everett Mason - don't wear out your Wii today with all your new games!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

When you turn 16...

Call me what you will, but the truth is I love to harass my kids!  I got it honest from my Dad!  So the other night we had a conversation about cars.  I informed Aubrie at 16 she would get an old Buick Lesabre and Everett would get a minivan because when I was 16 in 1998 I scored a 1976 Yellow Ford Gran Torino - it's only fair they receive similar gifts right?!!  Everett bawled - why?  Because he wants a big van!  Can you say pedi van much?!  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Real Stay At Home Mom

Let's be real for a second here - and some Moms out there may gasp in shock when I say this, but as a stay at home Mom - I can't wait to see book bags on these two again and a big bus pulling up my drive daily!


Don't get me wrong - we have had an awesome summer together!


But I'm ready for routine & ready for these two to go get their learn on!


Ollie will still be with me 24/7 except when she goes to her preschool for early intervention - then you can find me at a Panera or Starbucks blissfully enjoying a coffee and some Internet time in peace & quiet and occasionally shopping the aisles of TJ Maxx and Target looking at whatever I want for however long I want!!  Whooooo baby! 14 days - but who is counting?!? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mini Fitness Challenges

I had shared these on my Facebook like page but not here - and go add me as a Facebook friend if you haven't yet!  So I thought I'd share them with you all too!  These are some mini challenges to challenge your strength - do them 2-3 times :)  Feel free to share!  Enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Girls

I'm not sure how I did it, but when Jade and I made babies I some how created two little mini mes and I love it!  Enjoy!

Ollie at 2 1/2 - doesn't her scar look amazing - I think it does!  It's so faint you hardly see it now!

Aubrie at 7 1/2 - new hot pink glasses ready for 2nd grade - yes 2nd stinking grade - time goes so fast!!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Underpants & Kittens

You know you are a stay at home Mom when....

1.  Your kids stay in their underpants most of the day.  And everyone sprints to get dressed before opening the door for the mail man around 3 PM.
2.  Posting pictures of kittens on Facebook posed with stuffed animals becomes a high point in your day.
(said photo earned almost 200 likes - a picture of Everett earned about 10 - what the heck friends?!)

3.  House slippers are definitely shoes.
4.  Getting dolled up means you are going to the grocery store & bank.
5.  Going down the road to your Moms still in your pjs to eat lunch is considered an appointment.
6.  Facebook is your "adult" time. 
7.  You sing cartoon theme songs in your free time.
8.  You stop to pick up turtles on the road to keep your kids entertained AKA free babysitting.
9.  Cleaning is therapeutic.
10.  You find yourself organizing closets and drawers for "fun"!

Now you share with me your list!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ground Breaking DS Research - My Minds Blown....

This week I heard about this new article where scientists have figured out how to turn OFF Down Syndrome.  Before you get all up in arms for many reasons GO READ THE ARTICLE.

I read it, then I read discussions online between many of my friends and you see my mind is BLOWN.  Jade & I can't wrap our brains around this.  I'm writing this blog not to start controversy, not to debate with others opinions, but to simply put out there things on my mind.  If you have nothing nice to say, please say nothing at all - warning you in advance I'm not putting up with nasty comments.

My initial thoughts were - this is the end of Down Syndrome, they will eradicate babies like Ollie. Then I started thinking more into it.  They won't be eradicated, right now they are - so many babies with DS are aborted b/c doctors are sharing outdated, misinformed information to new, scared shitless parents, and they are pushing abortion.  This is happening right now.  Not ALL doctors, but many doctors.  Insurance companies don't enjoy babies that medically cost a lot of money & some countries are pushing for NO kids with DS by 2030 - think about that a second - what doe that mean???

So perhaps this treatment may save the lives of many, many babies.  Or perhaps new parents will be pushed into this treatment option before they really know the right option for them - I can foresee that too.  I just don't know!

Further questions - right now toddlers with DS have a much higher chance at developing leukemia but also a much higher chance of beating that cancer too.  So this makes me wonder - is the key to beating cancer hidden in that extra chromosome - if you turn it off will our kiddos be less likely to beat cancer but much more likely to get it - that's scary in itself!  Is there a miracle in that mix of an extra chromosome that has the potential to save a mass amount of lives?  Again I just don't know!  All I know is there isn't enough research on it.

Then throw in the fact that people with DS have much higher rates of developing Alzheimer's at a young age, in fact it's been found that patients with Alzheimer's often have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome in some of their cells - there is a link.  If they turn off the extra DS chromosome will our kiddos be less likely to develop Alzheimer's so young because that would be a huge blessing?  No one wants their 30 or 40 year old suffering from Alzheimer's and it scares me to know it's quite possible.

Now to the part that truly blows my mind.  When we were pregnant and had this diagnosis - we accepted Ollie for who God created her to be.  We educated ourselves and celebrate every tiny piece of her.  But I never in my wildest dreams imagined that in my lifetime there would be a way to help her cognitively to a point that she could possibly function like a typical person with 46 chromosomes.  Most of you won't understand this b/c you don't have a kid like Ollie but imagine trying to make that type of medical decision for your child.  I say I'd never change her no matter what - that God created her like this for a reason - and trust me I mean all of that.  But I also read a friends comment who has an older adult daughter with DS who would want this treatment because she wants to be typical so badly.  We aren't there - my daughter is 2 - what would Ollie want?  The fact is - it's not my decision it's Ollie's.  What if this is an option for her one day, what if she gets to decide, what if I have to decide for her?  How in the hell do you know?  

It seems partly like playing God but then I look at people with huge medical gifts - her heart surgeon that repaired two major holes and a valve in her strawberry sized heart - what if this is another gift from God - that he gave someone the talents to change things?  

What if this could be used to save the lives of babies with Trisomy 18 or 13 in utero?  Or kiddos with extra pieces of chromosomes that have terminal conditions - just think about it - mind blowing isn't it!

Anyway - I had to share the article because I just am not sure what to think of it.  And fortunately we have a lot of time before it's going to be something truly available or affordable where it's even an option to our family but I talk a lot about education and advocating for my daughter and sharing this is doing that for her. 

 So say some prayers that God's hand is in ALL of this. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Disney Recap - 4 months delayed

I can't believe I didn't ever blog about this BUT probably because I may never recover from our trip!

In March I earned a free vacation to Disney from Beachbody.  It was a partial week at the Yacht Club so we extended the week at a resort of my parents.

On the way down Ollie started puking & puked the remainder of the drive.  She sat on a towel cut to fit her seat and after blowing through clothes and a roll of paper towels she rode in a diaper with another towel for a blanket.  It was hellacious - yep that's a word!

Baby girl finally recovered by the time we got to Florida on the second day, but the van smelled like death.  She had a couple major diaper blow outs of course on the streets of Hollywood Studios but we survived!

It wasn't long after that and they started dropping like flies.  

One night it was Jade in the middle of the night swearing it wasn't the stomach flu.  I refused to kiss him the entire trip - I'm hateful like that but I NEVER caught the bug!

We planned a full and I mean til you drop day at Magic Kingdom my most favorite place ever.  By the end of the day Everett didn't look great.  I just thought he was tired.  He slept through the fireworks, parades, all the fun, and when we got back to our condo he puked in the parking lot.

Fairly certain I did not win Mom of the year award for demanding we see the night show that day!

The next morning we were off to the Disney resort and we stopped for donuts then food supplies for the hotel.  

As I was in Walmart oblivious to what was taking place outside Aubrie puked all over the car - literally all over milk & donuts - too graphic?  Sorry!  Try to clean it up with wet wipes!  We threw her carseat cover away right then and there.  It was just a mess.

We pulled into the hotel parking lot only for Everett to proclaim he crapped his pants.  Jade (the one who cleaned up the puke as I shopped) lost his cool and shouted, "Why can't you guys warn me before you puke or shit yourselves!"  I was DYING - some adults can't even control themselves let alone a 5 and 7 year old.  Everett was promptly stripped nude in the Disney parking lot.

I did a full load of laundry in the hotel bath tub & hung the clothes on the balcony - did it help - absolutely not.  They were awful until we got home to do laundry and everything smelled.

Everyone missed the first party - which was amazing - Disney characters, a DJ, food, my family would have loved it but I had to go solo - boo!

The next day Aubrie and Ollie were the only two ready to rock so we hit Epcot pretty much on our own until Jade & Everett could meet us later in the day.  Epcot is right next to the hotel it was amazing!

Finally near the end of the trip EVERYONE was healthy!  

Not to make it sound like the worst vacation ever but seriously it was pretty touch and go but we had an amazing time!

We saw every park without puking!  And even hit the water park two days of the trip!

The last Beachbody party was out of this world - it was a Pixar party with all the characters in this huge building no one knew even existed followed by fireworks and dessert by the Epcot lagoon - is it called a lagoon?  It was just the perfect ending to our trip!

I had some time without the kids & worked out a couple mornings to Shaun T in front of the Epcot ball - it was opened to just us coaches early each morning & it was amazing!!  This is my coach Bec on the left & Veronica on the right - I love them!

All in all we had the best time despite circumstances!

And the van after several days in the Florida sun - oh my - Jade joked we'd trade it when we got home it was that bad!  And then in May we did trade it!  hahahaha!

Apologies in advance to the hundreds and hundreds of people we infected while we were there!  And these pictures were in no specific order :)


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