Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spread the word to end the R-WORD


Today, March 31, 2009, is the day the Special Olympics has designated as "Spread the word to end the word" day. This is a day to help spread awareness that a word that is used so casually can be very hurtful to many people, including our family. Prior to Whitney's birth I knew it wasn't "nice" to say "retard" or "retarded" but I have to admit that I have made comments such as, "this is so retarded" or something like this (not realizing at all that I was being hurtful by using this word in a negative way). I have heard many people, including myself, other family members and friends say "Don't be a retard" or "It was so retarded". It would be very easy to replace this word with "ridiculous" or "silly" or "annoying" and at the same time we would not be hurting people unintentionally.

Here are two very good blog postings about this mission to end the "R-WORD", if you have a minute please read them. Thank you to all of our friends and family who are reading this posting for stopping your use of the r-word and for spreading the word to your family and friends!
Big Blueberry Eyes
Our Unexpected Journey

Friday, March 27, 2009

Anne's first official haircut

I have some posting to catch up on... I have been sick with some sort of horrible stomach virus/the flu since Sunday night. I finally started to feel a little more normal last night and went through the entire day today feeling MUCH BETTER after 4 straight days of being sick. I know a lot of this has been going around, so I hope and pray my family and friends are able to avoid this like the plague!!!

I will try to do a couple of different postings to catch up - the first one is about Anne's first haircut. We went to Lafayette last week (Wednesday, March 18th) and Cheryl gave Anne her first official haircut! Anne is 2 1/2 and I have trimmed her hair 2 times in her life (trimmed is maybe even an overstatement). Anne literally did not start getting hair until March of 2008. Seriously, I can pinpoint it down to the month - February 2008 - fuzz - March 2008 - hair-. Here is a little video of Anne's haircut - she was VERY SERIOUS through the whole thing. Not upset, not necessarily having the time of her life, just serious. She was very good through the whole thing - I think the only hard part was at the end Cheryl put a cute braid in her hair and Anne was disappointed because she wanted "curly hair" as she told me later. I guess she thought since she was getting her hair cut by the same person that cuts her mom's hair that meant she could have curly hair too. Her hair looked adorable with the new shoulder length cut and braid :)

(anne 1 month, january 2007 [6 mos], july 2007 [1 yr])
(january 2008 [18mos], february 2008, march 2008 [anne has hair!])
(july 2008 [1 yr], january 2009 [2.5 yrs], march 2009 [first haircut!])

Saturday, March 21, 2009

3-21 World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. The date is March 21st (3-21) and it is representative of the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. For more information about World Down Syndrome Day please visit: http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org

In case you haven't heard about President Obama's interview with Jay Leno on the tonight show, here is a clip from the interview that is causing quite a stir. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKlYT2bseII I am hopeful that this can be turned into a teachable moment and will help with the Special Olympics movement to end the R-word on 3-31-09. I also hope that the President's apology is truly heartfelt and that he, along with our nation, can see the value in each and every person.

"The comment during the taping of the show prompted Obama to pick up the phone on Air Force One and call Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver to preemptively apologize for the remark before it hit television screens. He also reportedly invited Special Olympic athletes to Pennsylvania Avenue to hit the lanes and give him tips or shoot some hoops.

The president "expressed his heartfelt and sincere commitment to work with our athletes and make this country a more accepting place for people with special needs," Lum, the organization's president, said." (Special Olympics takes on use of 'R-word http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/03/20/obama.special.olympics/index.html)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Whitney eating cereal + a visit from "Princess Anne"

Whitney is getting better and better at eating cereal + we have also been working on green beans & rice stage 1 baby food. She still has some trouble keeping the food in her mouth and swallowing, but for the most part she is doing great! I can't wait to see how well she does with something that tastes GOOD :) Here is a little video clip of her eating...

Also - Santa brought Anne some princess dress up clothes, jewelry, etc... and Anne LOVES to dress up! When she puts on her princess outfit and you call her "Anne" she will say, "No, I'm Princess Anne". This morning she was "Princess Anne" - complete with slippers, dress, crown, magic wand, jewelry & attitude :) Here is a picture of "Princess Anne" talking on the phone to Aunt Sassy (my sister Melissa).
We hope everyone has a good weekend!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Anne sings the Indiana University fight song

Mike and I like to sing the IU fight song (encouraging in-state tuition) with the girls (along with other songs like pat-a-cake, baa baa black sheep, etc...) One of Anne's first words was "I.U." and now she sings along with us when we sing to Whitney. This afternoon I was singing to Whitney (not a pretty sound, but she enjoys it) and Anne joined in. I then thought it would be cute to capture on video. I told Anne if she would sing to the camera we could watch it on the computer... this is her rendition of the I.U. fight song:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Aunt Jill & Jacqui

I just realized that I did not include any pictures from all of the February birthday celebrations of Aunt Jill & Jacqui... sorry guys... here are some pictures:

Aunt Jill & Whitney

Jacqui & Whitney

Friday, March 6, 2009

We are still alive!

Hi from the worst "blogger" ever!!! You would think this past month would not be nearly as crazy as the previous 5 months, so really I have no excuses (except for at least a week without internet partly due to me not turning on the computer and later due to technical difficulties with our cable internet provider and then our wireless router... but I won't go into that here... )

A recap from the past month (I will also post some corresponding pictures):
My grandma (Mamoo) turned 91 on February 10th and the girls & I went to Lafayette to take my Mamoo to lunch for her birthday and visit for the day. We had a great time!
Saturday the 14th we headed to Lafayette again to celebrate our month of birthdays (my brother, mom, grandma & sister.)
The following weekend (20-22nd) we drove to Chicago and stayed with my sister at her new apartment in Lincoln Park. Why does it require so much packing to take a toddler & baby somewhere???!!! Our car was jam packed and we were only going away for the weekend!?! We went to Chicago to celebrate my sister Melissa's 30th birthday. She knew our family was coming for the weekend but she did not realize there were going to be two surprise parties for her as well... In the afternoon on Saturday she was surprised when our family along with 5 other friends (and one friend's parents) were waiting at a restaurant to have lunch and see Melissa. Friends who flew in for the surprise wanted to be able to spend more time with Melissa while they were in town + the 2 friends who planned and organized it... so we all had a fun time getting together for lunch and visiting a little in the afternoon. The second surprise took place at a restaurant (Mambo Grill) downtown. This time Melissa was not expecting anything at all, since she had already been surprised in the afternoon! There were probably 30 people waiting in the downstairs part of the restaurant and she was so surprised! We had so much fun!!! Happy 30th Melissa + Thank you so much Amanda and Kiley for all of your hard work to make such a special and memorable 30th birthday for Melissa!!!
In the midst of all of the birthday celebrations we have been working with Anne more on potty training (2 steps forward and today it seems 3 steps back!) + Whitney has started solid foods! Yeah! This is the little girl who had a feeding tube until a month & a half ago!!! We are working on cereal and have started green beans and rice!!! Yeah Whitney!!! Whitney has also turned 6 months old. I cannot believe it has been 6 months since she was born and we began this new "normal" life. It has been a challenging 6 months but things are only looking up from here and we are so lucky to have both of our girls healthy & happy now!!!!!!

Here are some pics - have a great weekend everyone!!!

Mamoo's 91st birthday


First bite of cereal
February birthday groupSURPRISE (#1)
More Chicago Pictures...

Amanda, Laurie, Melissa, Harmony, Whitney & Kiley
the "Aunt Sassy" salute (we call Melissa "Aunt Sassy")Grandpa Jimmy & WhitneyGrandpa Jimmy & Anne

Aunt Peg, Anne & GGLaura, Melissa, Tim & Nicole

Aunt Beth & Whitney
Aunt Peg & AnneThree generations of sisters
6 months old