Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Quick $5 Fundraiser...

Three times a week, LC and Jace attend the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center to participate in individual and group therapies.  We cannot say enough about the programming this center provides and affectionately refer to it as Squib University.

In order for LC and Jace to be able to participate in physical, occupational, speech, recreational, water and music therapies our family utilizes the scholarship program the center has available.  If this program wasn't in place, the services that we receive on a near-daily basis simply wouldn't be an option for our family.

Because we personally benefit so significantly from our school's scholarship program, we're eager to do our part in participating in our school's virtual fundraiser that directly benefits the scholarship fund.

We're conducting a short and sweet fundraiser that will hopefully be something you'll enjoy participating in.

For a donation of $5, we'll send you the files you need to create a copy of the squibs' latest favorite learning tool.

We've expanded our knowledge of body parts in a book that also employs function and word recognition.

We've created images for 9 body parts and text that reinforces the body part, its function, and 3 visually emphasized presentations of the word in print.  Each part has a 2 page spread, for one 18 page book.

Here's an example of the 'arms' pages of our Body Parts and Functions book...

(Pages are displayed as they appear in the 8x8 scrapbook we used to make our own book.)

By making a donation of $5 in honor of Pudge and Biggie at our fundraising page, we'll send you 18 files that can be printed on 4x6 photo paper.  We'll also send you the text of our book so you can create your own body parts and functions book at home.

And...just to sweeten the deal...when the fundraiser ends on August 31, we'll randomly draw a name of one of our supporters and send them a brand-new Signing Time DVD of their choice!  Each $5 increment enters your name in the drawing, so $10 means two chances to win, etc.

Donations made on our fundraising page are safe and secure and I'll be notified via email of your donation.  If you are able to make a donation, feel free to personally email me as well.  It will allow me to send you your book files that much faster.

Thanks for considering helping to support Squib University and the scholarship fund that helps so many like Pudge and Biggs!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Unpaid Endorsement...

...made by Pudge.

For these.

LC is not usually a fan of things that are extremely cold and handheld. 

Popsicles aren't popular around here.

But a sweet friend suggested these mini-cones based on her own daughter's enjoyment of them and the way they were perfectly sized for teensy toddler hands.

I gave it a go tonight after LC's favorite supper of beanie wienies.

I wasn't sure we had a winner at first.

But a few licks in...

It became pretty clear she was seeing it through to the end.

Just you try and stop her.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Match Up

Better parents around the world will shake their heads and sigh at learning that my children physically attack one another at least once a day.

And further roll their eyes at the fact that I would stand passively by, taking pictures of the latest assault.

But it captures their individual personalities so perfectly...I just can't help myself.

Always...always, it begins with a sneak attack by the crafty Pudge.  She sees Biggs sitting there, innocently lost in his favorite Backyardigans episode, and her nose starts to twitch.  She can TASTE victory.  Her little mountain of a brother is begging to be climbed and conquered and she's never able to resist the impulse...

I love the trademark squish of her face as she's certain today...THIS DAY...she has finally succeeded in disarming the tank that is her 'little' brother.

And, I love how he giggles underneath her chokehold.

Because he knows he needs only shift to the right...

and twitch his hip...

to send her FLYING.

And...when it's all said and done...there's never any need for hard feelings.
Because they're both absolutely sure they walked out of today's match up the obvious victor.

And they're absolutely right.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Potty Diaries Update

LC...caught in the act.
She will consistently leave whatever activity she's doing...swimming, etc... to go and stand in front of the sliding glass door when the magic's about to happen.
She is endlessly fascinated by the pitter pat of her urine hitting the patio floor.
And...should anything ELSE occur on the pavement?
I'm telling you. It's like CHRISTMAS for the kid.
Completely and simultaneously disgusting and bizarre.

To read more about Pudge's progress and her two newest goals, visit our "Potty Diaries" page and scroll down to July 28, 2011...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Playing Pretend

Thanks to a new baking set from Nana Cam and a flashy new apron from Aunt Sandy, LC's been doing a lot of pretend baking lately.

And Jace has been doing a lot of pretend eating.

But, based on Biggie's refusal to eat all things NOT made of wood or plastic, Pudge has little faith in his palate.

So, all formal taste testing is done by Mr. Ape

Making sure his mouth is cleared. 
(Never trust the opinion of a taste-tester
who doesn't chew and swallow.)

Upon learning her sous chef has gone down for nap and left her with all the clean up duties...

Baking is a lot of work, Pudge, but you're proving to be quite an accomplished little cooker.  You are quickly becoming my best squishy baker.  Well done.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Abandon Hope...

...all pigtails that enter here.

Biggs is coming for you.

And, when he does, he does NOT intend to walk away empty-handed.

It's a lesson painfully learned.

Remorse rarely results from time spent in the time-out seat...

...and only leaves the beast hungry for more.

So, unless you've got a good 6 inches of clearance on the kid, I'd advise a short bob or less tantalizing up 'do.

Oh...and don't wince in sympathy for Pudge just yet.

This girl has a pain tolerance that science fiction characters only dream of and...when it's met...a right hook that keeps any 'little' brother in line...whether they outweigh her by four pounds or NOT.

Just giving folks a peek into the daily toddler cage match that is our domestic life...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blueberry Bush

Felt obligated to document LC's first artwork that actually resembled what it was supposed to be.

Judging by the force that those blueberries were planted with, I'm pretty sure LC would title this one "Green Monster Stabbed with my Blue Knife", but I'm nearly positive that wasn't what our occupational therapist had in mind.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Uh Oh, Mr. Thompson. He's Coming for Ya.

There are tons of reasons to love Dr. Brian Skotko and his tireless advocacy for people with Down syndrome. 

You can read one of my favorites here, as Dr. Skotko calls John B. Thompson of GQ magazine to task for criticizing the style of the general public of the Boston area with the following quote:

"Boston suffers from a kind of Style Down Syndrome , where a little extra ends up ruining everything.”

Dr. Skotko, per usual, does an eloquent and tactful job of addressing the ignorance of John B. Thompson in his blog posting.
But it's not enough for the Biggs.
I'm sorry, Mr. Thompson, but it appears this time you've hit my son below his well-coordinated belt.
So, he's invited you to a public fashion face-off. 
I tried to talk him out of it.  There's no way this can end well for you.
But when the Biggs sets his mind to something, it's best just to step aside.
So you name the time and place, Mr. Thompson.
But I have to warn you.
The boy's got his game face on...
...he's pulling the seersucker OUT...
...and, considering the fashion reinforcements he can call in at a moment's notice, there's just no way this can end prettily for you, Bud.
I'll bring some towels to mop you up with when it's all said and done.
Don't worry.
I have a few extra.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shish KaBeading...

I'm not really sure why I keep allowing LC to participate in activities that improve her fine motor dexterity.

Since I daily curse her tampon-opening, baby gate-conquering, remote control-scrambling, purse-unzipping little fingers, it seems defeatist.

But she loves anything that puts her fingers to the test.

And beads have become one of her newest passions...

String's too she uses skinny dowel rods.  She digs beading with pipe cleaners, too.

If we can keep Biggs from eating them.

Which we can't.

So, for now...dowels it is.

Well done, Pudge.  You'll be picking door locks before the week's up.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Boy Wonder

After 18 months of refusing to eat ANY food other than warm yogurt and oatmeal, Biggs decided to wow us tonight by downing a bowl of stage 2 spaghetti and meat sauce.

Could it have been the heaping spoonful of sugar I stirred into the slop?


But we'll celebrate whatever we can get.

Way to go, boy genius.

Friday, July 15, 2011

T.V. Heads

Soaking up some Mickey Mouse Club.

I swear Jace is wearing the EXACT expression his dad does whenever that stupid box is on.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Food is Love.

It seems I can't go a week without hearing someone blame childhood obesity...or emotional issues...or adult weight management difficulties...on the fact that they were done the disservice of growing up with a parent who showed love through food.

I'm just completely baffled by the argument.

It could be my rural, midwestern upbringing.  Or the fact that I grew up with an amazing family of amazing cooks who rejoiced in nothing more enthusiastically than meals shared together.  But, if I've said it once, I've said it 100 times.

If you aren't showing love through food, you aren't using biscuits as God intended them.

It's more than just throwing random, preservative-filled junk at your children to buy yourself time with a magazine.

Loving through food...done a magical thing.  And, I'm pretty sure my parents were masters at the craft.

And I don't have one regret about the sweet nothings they whispered to me via my tastebuds.

Because of this.

At the age of 33, I can walk into a Daylight Donuts shop and suddenly be four-years-old again, standing by my mom as she waits with infinite patience for me to make my donut selection.  (At four-years-old, I always went with the glazed twist.  Because, honestly, if you have the opportunity to leave with a pastry wider than your shoulders, you take it.)

I can walk out still feeling my hand swallowed up in my dad's and a cold juice in my other, even though I haven't purchased a juice in years and began preferring caffeine to folic acid a long time ago.

Because my parents were masters at loving through food I have magical portals doors...oven doors...that can immediately transport me into the past and surround me with the sugary, sunshiney state of toddler happy that I haven't experienced in 30 years.

Since I'm there...I can take my own toddlers to donut euphoria along with me.

And...because I'm particularly lucky...I get to treat one squib to a pastry that's half her body height.

Even better...I can treat the big food-hating one to the sack...
...which delights him more than the donut would have.

And allows me to munch my own memories without sharing...completely guilt free.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What She Does in Her Free Time...

Free time = the 2 minutes it took for mom to load the washing machine with a load of laundry.

Mess breakdown:

1.  Wallet emptied of contents...still looking for three unaccounted for cards...

2.  Fine motor skills:  handy for fruit snacks...less helpful applied to a box of tampons.

3.  All You Can Eat Buffet Day for Barney and Roobie...leftovers carefully filed away in cabinet for later.

4, etc.  Self-explanatory.  But worth noting that the iPhone she's holding has 2 new versions of Texas Hold 'Em on it that neither Justin nor I are responsible for downloading.

Fast AND naughty is an exhausting combination folks.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


...mimicking his dad's best moves.

Joint laxity + Biggie's pelvic mojo is really enough to make any mother blush.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Diapers for Dariya: Final Update!

As Murphy's Law would have it, we were without phone and internet as the Diapers for Dariya collection came to a close, so were unable to officially share how the collected diapers and funds are being used to benefit the bums of orphans with special needs in Eastern Europe.

Here's how your generosity was managed to impact as many littles as possible...

In order to avoid oppressive shipping costs, we were able to send over 85 pounds of donated cloth diapers and accessories to Texas where they boarded a plan with another family adopting via Reece's Rainbow.  This family was able to ensure that diapers would make it to Dariya's orphanage, but were encouraged to donate to other orphanages their European guides would have access to as well.  It did mean we had to send diapers out before the official collection date ended, however, so we were happily left with multiple donations that were unsent.  So, we made the decision to do the following:

1.  We contacted a wholesaler who is currently working with us to get the most 'bang for our buck'.  I'll share the actual quantity of diapers sent when it's finally determined in the next day or so, but all of the funds collected via Dariya's Chip In account will go directly toward diapers that will be sent directly to the orphanage Dariya has spent the past years in.

2.  We have decided to make the remaining diapers available to other families traveling to overseas who are adopting children with special needs via Reece's Rainbow.  The diaper situation at Dariya's orphanage is NOT the exception to the rule, and we felt confident that those who lovingly donated diapers would approve of them being distributed to other orphanages in need as well.  Families adopting overseas who contact us will receive a shipment of diapers to pack in their luggage to take as an orphanage donation when they travel.  We'll pay to ship them to wherever they're at on a first come, first served basis until our additionally collected diapers are gone. 

While the Chip In has closed, if you had purchased diapers or collected donations, please don't feel as though you missed the boat.  Collected diapers will be shipped out until they're gone, so none of your diapers will go to waste.

Nearly $800 and over 150 pounds of diapers certainly exceeded our greatest expectations for this collection and we are so delighted to be able to benefit little bottoms that are waiting to be claimed and diapered by a loving family of their own.

As we wildly celebrate the homecoming of each orphan claimed, we can't thank you enough for your willingness to  extend love and mercy to the bottoms of the little ones left behind.