I had the privilege of connecting with Taylor Gardner, Founder and CEO of @thegardenfoundationlv Please follow all of the amazing things she and her team are doing to provide meaningful opportunities for individuals with special needs in her community. It was a pleasure getting to hear all she has planned for this foundation. Truly impactful!!! It’s always a great conversation in talking with another sibling!
We had such a pretty weekend so we spent most of it outside! Adley loved it! She is definitely an outside girl! Swipe >>> to see Adley holding the cutest baby turtle!! 🐢🤗😍🌞 .
Onesie from @countadventuresnotchromosomes 💙
Bow from @alohabowss use code baseball10 to save 💗
We do lots of free play around our house, but I also try to set aside time each day for working on target goals for Hazel. I can usually sneak this work into play but sometimes it looks like flash cards and sitting still for a bit. This is hard for me - as an early childhood educator I’m all about PLAY and lots of it, and doing flash cards and having a two year old sit to work goes a bit against my instinct as a teacher! BUT!! Hazel makes some big strides during structured therapy time - both with me and with our in home and outpaitent therapists! We recently started a new at home speech program and these photos are from our session this morning working on blending sounds. I try to keep things fun, with lots of high fives and praise during tough activities, and breaking them up with things she likes - like putting cards in boxes and singing songs. I’m still struggling to find a good balance of messy hands on play and more structured activities and I think that’s ok! .
My friend Emily shared this speech program with me. She is a speech and language pathologist who also has a toddler with Down syndrome. She’s been sharing tons of speech tips at @togetherweebloom - and if you are working on speech with your little one, I highly recommend following her! . .
This pregnancy was much different than my son, so the early arrival was a welcomed familiarity. I was very sick with Aurora for five months, unable to keep down sips of water, landing in the ER at times. The doctors reassured me everything was normal and not to worry. The prolonged sickness gave me new perspective on what a blessing good health is and the perceived control we have over our bodies being an illusion. Little did I know this would be a reoccurring theme. #rorysbirthstory
On Saturday, Gracyn asked me why I used to cry when we went to doctor appointments while I was pregnant with Baker. I’m not sure what triggered those memories but she definitely remembers those moments. We’ve always talked a lot about Down syndrome and heart defects with her so I told her she was right. I did cry. I had a rough couple of weeks when we first learned of Baker’s diagnosis and often times those emotions played out in front of the girls. I cried because I was scared about our family’s future and Baker’s future. I was worried about his heart. I was sad, thinking our life would be drastically different. I also told her that it was okay that I cried, that it was okay to have all the feels because look at us now. Almost a year has passed since we learned of #BakersHeart ❤️ and his Ds diagnosis. I’m not worried about our family’s future. Baker’s heart is fixed. Sure, I may have moments of feeling discouraged when I see him working hard towards the next milestone that hasn’t quite clicked yet but deep down I know he’ll get there. I look at pictures like this one and am instantly reminded that our life isn’t that different at all. One of the best big sisters reading to her baby brother while the other one plays nearby. I still cry every now and then but mostly happy tears knowing he’ll be all right. They’re all gonna be all right. 💙#TeamHeartBaker#downsyndrome#everythingsgonnabealright
Ahhh Happy Monday!!!! 2 more days till vacation!!!! 😄💖
Ya'll this little girl cracks me up... swipe to see what its like to try and get a picture!?! And how cute is this outfit and headband my aunt @one_craft_queen made addi.
12 months later finding the words to describe Rory's birth experience still feels impossible. So, I want to start out with this. There are no words to describe the love, pain , losses, gains, confusion, hope and fear we felt and will continue to feel when reflecting on this day for the entirety of our lives. As badly as I wish we could rewind time, allowing us the chance to welcome her in the appropriate way we can't. This fact will forever be the heartbreak of my life. Nevertheless, we move forward. We advocate for future families to have a better diagnosis experience and we celebrate this child every single day. .
As with all things in life there are far better stories and far worse stories than ours. We are forever grateful to Our Heavenly Father for the favor he has shown our sweet Aurora. .
Let me begin.... On May 2nd I woke up at 2:30am in no pain, checked my phone and proceeded to the bathroom just like every morning before in my 9 months of pregnancy. Within 30 minutes of waking I started to have back pain, the pain intensified and lasted 60 seconds, dissipating for 3 min to start back up again. I was in Labor, Rory was 7 days early just like her brother Owen was 3 years prior. #rorysbirthstory
Oh. My. Goodness. Tank can put full weight on his legs. It's not all the time, it's not for long, but he can do it!!! Proud is an understatement lil guy. Have I mentioned how much I love weekends with my boys?!?
Say an extra prayer for this little girl. Tuesday morning she goes in to get tubes put in her ears, FINALLY! One of them has finally grown enough and the other is close enough. Praying it takes care of the infections and she passes her hearing tests afterwards.
In honor of 🎉Rory's 1st Birthday🎉 I've teamed up with @ra_rosealexander for a giveaway. omne trium perfectum holds special meaning for the Down Syndrome community. It's translation means: everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete. Our Little's have a third copy of the 21st chromosome. I couldn't think of a better description for our sweet girl and all her friends with a little something extra. To be entered in the giveaway LIKE this photo follow @roryblakeisgreat + @ra_rosealexander. Comment below letting someone know what makes your little one so special. Giveaway ends May1st. ❤️
Life with a baby in the hospital is hard. We were all so worn down. The kids were a mess. We were a mess. Everyone kept commending us for being so strong, but I didn’t want to be strong. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be home soaking in the blissful newborn days. Instead I was empty. I’ve never felt as empty as I did those sleepless nights at home while Estelle was away in the NICU. In those agonizing hours that we were forced to be apart from her the attacks would come. All of the fears, doubts, and the why me? why us? questions would send me spiraling into the darkest places I’ve ever been. But then the sun would rise, and eagerly I’d get up and begin the routine that would eventually lead to that NICU room. Being with Estelle was peace. None of the fears or doubts existed in that room staring down at our beautiful girl. She was the strong one! She was enduring so much, yet her sweet spirit radiated through like a beacon of light. Through her God sent us the strength we needed to endure the longest thirteen days of our lives. -
Sunshine + baby wearing = very happy boy during church this morning. I was able to hear the entire sermon out on the back deck at church, and he did so amazingly well. It's been awhile since I wore him because his gtube site has been more sensitive and irritated lately, but we've been able to resolve that issue, thankfully. The smiles and eye gazes this boy gave me...we need to wear more!! He loves to gently stroke my hair and play with my necklace too. Such a sweetie. 😍😍 #babywearinsundays#wecouldhavemissedthis