Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Keep on Walking the Walk

Hi everyone!

There are days when I feel overwhelmed with life. Having 3 children under 3 is challenging sometimes- okay, a lot of the time. Don't take that as a complaint- it's not, it just is what it is. I love every moment I have with my babies and I am so glad to be fortunate enough to stay home with them. I live such a wonderful life.


To make up for the challenging days, God blesses me with fantastic days. 

Yesterday the boys and I (and my mommy) went to Akron Children's Hospital for round 2 of med student lectures on Down syndrome. I call it a lecture because I can't think of a better word for it but it is really a small group setting where I get to tell my lame jokes and share stories about how Casey and Connor are amazing little people. The first week there were 2 students and this past week there were 4. I have really loved meeting all 6 of them.

Sometimes, you meet people that just make an impression on you. In our group yesterday there was a young man we dubbed Dr. Matt. He was instantly comfortable with the boys and with me- asking great questions and he really seemed to try to get as much out of the session as possible. I was really impressed with him. 

I always tell people about Casey and Connor's FaceBook fan page ( because I want them to follow the boys and continue to see what they are accomplishing. Both students from session 1 became fans before I got home. Session 2- Dr. Matt became a fan. (Did I mention I really like this guy??) Tonight I logged on to the boys' page to see what new stuff was happening and I was greeted with a comment from Dr. Matt's mom. She told me that her son called her after his shift at the hospital to talk about the boys!!! Awesome. 

The ENTIRE reason I do things like talking to these students or writing this blog or doing the guys' page on Facebook is to touch lives. I do it to touch hearts and change minds. It is my life's mission to share the message that Down syndrome is a gift- not a curse. Dr. Matt showed me that I get it right sometimes. God bless him.

Learning that I am impacting lives (well, if we are being honest, learning that Casey and Connor are impacting lives) makes me so happy. It makes every single challenging moment of raising 3 under 3 seem much easier. I can look at my angel's sweet faces and know that they inspire me to go out and tell our story and I know I am doing it to make this world a better place for the 3 people who make me a better person.

I am inspired to spread our story even further! I will be spending time nearly every Tuesday until next July talking with the small groups of med students at ACH. In September, I am fortunate enough to be one of the parent speakers at Case Western Reserve University's med school during their Genetic Anomaly Correlation Conference. I did this last year and enjoyed the experience immensely.

I would love to have more opportunities to share my sons and our lives with more people. I have spoken at my church, to new parent groups and to med students but I want to do more. I am driven to continue this path to changing the world. I would love the chance to reach out to as many people as I can. I feel like God is calling me to continue walking this path. It is my dream to speak at schools, more churches and to other groups. I will continue to seek out these opportunities. If you hear of anything- keep me in mind. (It's my blog- I can shamelessly plug myself!)

Ok, friends, that's all for tonight. Right now I am debating between sleep and getting a few projects completed without 4 extra hands trying to help me. Thank you again for reading. As always, comments are welcomed and correspondence is appreciated.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2 announcements and a request!

Well, I didn't get to do a post yesterday so I will combine the one I planned for last night with tonight's post. As I said before I have some announcements that are rather exciting!
First, Casey and Connor will be in a new children's book about Down syndrome. The concept of the book is to show how typical children and adults with DS truly are. It is a book of pictures showcasing the many hobbies and interests that our kids have. Casey and Connor will be in the book along with several other children and adults including our good friend Toby.

I have never written about Toby before so I feel like you all deserve to know about him. He is 24 years old and absolutely outstanding. My family skydives. It has been a family hobby for more than half of my life. My big brothers are professional skydivers (sweet, right??) and my mom is a coach and used to teach first jump courses at the drop zone where they jumped. I never got the bug like the rest of them but I do have a respectable 7 jumps under my belt. A few years ago Toby came to make his first skydive. Having witnessed several hundred first jumps I was not all that impressed with 99.9% of the people that came to jump. Toby was different because he had this personality that grabbed your attention, a smile that melts your heart and he was just so JOYOUS about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Toby also has Down syndrome.

I had no idea at the time that someone with Down syndrome was capable of jumping from a plane. I had seen a quadriplegic jump but never someone with DS. WOW! Toby did amazingly well and I saw more than one person shed a tear as we all gathered around to watch the video of his jump. Now, several years later, Toby also has 7 jumps and will pass me up next year in July.

Not only is Toby incredible but his family is as well. We all fell in love with them- all of them. I am a firm believer that God brings people into your life at the perfect time and this was no exception. Meeting Toby and seeing what he was capable of blew me away. When my boys were born Toby was one of the first people that popped into my head and it made the diagnosis just a bit easier.

As I mentioned earlier Toby will also be in the book with Casey and Connor and I think he will make more people see how much kids like mine can really do. It's such a blessing to know him and to share this cool experience with him.

So that was the first news.

The second news is another great opportunity for us to share the miracle men with the world. C&C will be going to Akron Children's hospital to participate in medical student lectures about Down syndrome. This is cool because we have the opportunity to speak with future doctors about what our lives are really like and we have their ears to share what we need them to know. So, I need your help, friends. I want to know what one piece of information or one piece of advice you would like the physicians of tomorrow to know about Down syndrome. Please comment on the blog or email me at I will compile a list and copy it to give to the students at the next sessions. I will also post the answers here so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take a moment to respond. This is a huge chance for us to make our voices heard.

Alright, that's it for tonight. My littlest miracle is waking up to eat and then hopefully she will sleep for a solid 6-8 hours so I have the energy to chase those little monkeys around tomorrow! Thanks to my new followers!! We are up to 92 now! Only 8 more to hit my first goal. Also, please make sure you visit and like Casey and Connor at They are over 450 fans!


Monday, August 20, 2012

These are the Days!

Hello again!

First, let me just say WOW! My little blog is well over the 21,000 hits mark and has 89 followers. I am ecstatic! Thanks to everyone who reads and shares my thoughts. Most recently, thanks to those who keep checking to see if I have written anything new and finds that no, I am still far, far behind on my posting. Life with 3 kids under 3 is a lot harder than I expected!!

Let's start there.

Casey and Connor are surprising us every day. They are getting faster, stronger and crazier! Casey went from walking to running and then to climbing on everything. His new favorite game includes standing on things to leap onto the furniture or standing on chairs and benches to give speeches. He is "talking" like crazy but not using any form of English with which I am familiar. It's hysterical.

Our little family at the 2012 North East Ohio Buddy Walk

Connor is up and going, too. He has outgrown his second pair of Sure Steps and we are using Casey's Cricket inserts in Connor's shoes now as their feet are all but identical in measurements. The Crickets really seem to make Connor walk a lot more steadily and that makes him faster. I so love seeing my boys THRIVING!!

Checking out their pool with their shoes and socks on.

Reagan is going to be 11 weeks old on Wednesday. She is such a beautiful baby. She is very strong and very interested in everything. It is such a difference having a "typical" baby compared to one with Down syndrome. She is just so STRONG. Connor was very floppy as an infant. He had very poor muscle tone and was unable to really hold his head up until 3 months old. Reagan has been picking hers up since week 5. She is also trying to roll over, babbling and smiling. She has laughed once and it was just outstanding! With the boys we waited so long for smiles and laughter. It seems so odd that everything just happens on its own with a typical baby. I am learning how to parent all over again. It's different and wonderful all at the same time.

The fact that Reagan is progressing so quickly leaves me with a whole new set of anxieties. I find myself wondering if she will be the one that says "momma" first. And I worry that I will be sad if she does. I have been waiting 32 months to hear that word. I suppose it doesn't honestly matter who says it first but I think that word represents the many things in which Reagan may surpass her brothers. I am trying to learn how to celebrate her accomplishments without comparing her to her brothers and without feeling sad that she has such an easy time with new milestones.

I'm being silly.

I know this.

No two children are on the same timetable and comparing any two children is not advisable. I know this. I do. So why do I find myself doing it? Because I am human and I can't help myself.

I am proud every day of my Miracle Men. They are doing so much and excelling. I look at them and I think that if everyone had the chance to meet them in person, to see them playing and to get to know them there is not one person who would fear Down syndrome. They are such typical toddlers. I never would have expected this when Dr. Feick first uttered the words Down syndrome to me in the recovery room. I never could have predicted how much my life would mirror my friends' lives and how much my boys would behave like any other 2 1/2 year olds. Someone should have warned me! These boys are crazy!

All in all life is great. I don't get enough sleep and I am still fighting the battle of the baby weight and struggling with breastfeeding and I am trying desperately to figure a way to get my guys to eat something other than crackers and dry waffles but I am happy. Sincerely and overwhelmingly happy.

That's all for tonight. But please check back soon because I have a lot more to share and I am hoping to get new posts up tomorrow and Tuesday. I have some exciting announcements to make!

Thanks again for your patience while I settle into being a mom to 3. I hate that there is so much time between posts.

Oh, one more thing before I go!! Can you please encourage your friends and family to follow my blog?? My goal was to hit 100 followers before the end of 2012 and I am only 11 away. It would mean so much to hit that milestone. I'll tell you what! I'll do a give-away at 100 followers. I don't know what yet but I'll keep you posted!!

Take care!