Wednesday, December 28, 2011

1 Year Ago Today......My Life Would Be Forever Changed.

1 year ago today........ God gave me the child that I was destined to have.

1 year ago life was sent into a whirlwind.

1 year ago today........I thought that my life was over.  But, what I have since learned, is that my life is just beginning.

I can hardly believe that it was a year ago that Madi came into our lives.  It seems like yesterday.  But, in some ways too, it feels like forever.

My emotions and feelings about Madi have changed so dramatically in this last year that I feel like it HAS to have been a long time.  There is NO way that I thought those thoughts just a year ago.

When Madi was born.......I saw those eyes with their distinct almond shape and her limp and lifeless arms and legs......I thought my life was over.  There was NO WAY that I can have a child with Down syndrome.  I CAN NOT do it!!

I have to be honest, I had horrible, horrible thoughts when I first learned about the Down syndrome.  Most of them all revolved around me.  I was very selfish in my thinking and all I could think about was how this was going to affect ME.  Don't get me wrong, I was concerned about her health.  But, when I thought about the future, I was more concerned about how this was going to affect MY life and MY plans.

Well, a year later, Madi is MY life.  And everything about her is in MY plans.  And I wouldn't change it for the world!

Madi truly was destined to be my child.  I have mentioned before that I think that I got breast cancer to help me become a stronger person and to prepare me for Madi.  Now, for those of you that know me very well, you know that I am not a super religious person.  But, I really do believe that God has given me Madi to help me become a better person.

And really, she's not just changing me.  She affects everyone that has the privilege of getting to know her.  I wish that everyone could have the opportunity to be in her presence.  There is something about her that is different.  And I'm not talking about that extra chromosome.  When she smiles, those almond eyes of hers crinkle up and turn into little slits, and the light that emanates from them changes the room.  I know that it sounds totally cliche.....but her smile literally lights up the room!

Many people wonder how we are doing on a day to day basis in regards to the Down syndrome.  I can honestly say that I don't think about the Ds or dwell on it anymore.   Yes, our lives are different because of the Ds........we are doing different therapies all the time and working on goals with Madi but we don't dwell on the Ds.  Do I get sad about it every now and then?  Yes, of course.  But, what I am sad about has changed.  I am sad that she has to face medical challenges (who wants their child to have tests done on them!)  and I am sad when someone looks at her funny.  But, I am not sad for the reasons that I had before.  I am not sad for her future......because I KNOW that she is going to be amazing!  Do I get frustrated sometimes with her lack of progress?  Of course, but she is teaching me that patience that I have never had.

Every parent has to go through struggles with every child.  Some deal with it when they are teenagers, some when they are, I get to deal with it while Madi is young.  I will certainly take the medical and physical struggles we go through with her any day over the struggles I KNOW that I will face with Taylor when she is a teenager!

I hope that through my blog, I am helping a few people change their opinions of what a person with Down syndrome is all about.  They are just like everyone else......just with that little extra something!


Here's a look at the past year!

Birth Day!

Coming home from the NICU.

She's been a hard worker since day 1!

Whatchu lookin' at!?

Thanksgiving time.

Eating her birthday cake!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Fun ~ Christmas!!! ~ Part 3

I am finally to the best of the Holiday Fun ~ Christmas and Christmas Eve!!!

We actually celebrated everything a day early because Mark had to fly out on the actual Christmas Day.  The girls are too young to know the difference so it really didn't matter.  I was just thankful that he was home at all and not working for the whole thing.

Christmas Eve!

The Christmas Eve tradition for my family has always been to eat appetizers for dinner, open up one present and then go to an evening Christmas church service.  Well, since we celebrated a day early, we couldn't really do the church service but the rest of the tradition remained the same!

Last year we started the Elf on the Shelf craze tradition.  The Elf got a little hungry before heading back to Santa that night!

Grandpa and Taylor relaxing watching the Rudolph movie.

The next couple of pictures are of Taylor's doll house.......seriously, I wish that I could have had one of these when I was growing up!!!!  This thing is AWESOME!!!!

Last year, we also started the tradition of leaving some cookies and milk for Santa and veggies for the reindeer.  Although, after hearing about the whole Reindeer Food Parties, I think next year we will be doing that!

We tend to go a little bit overboard with our tree!  We always get a 10-12 foot tree......always a GREAT idea when we are decorating it and we are excited for the Holiday season.....always regret it when we are taking down the decorations and the thing is dry as a bone and sticking you to death as you are trying to take it down.

Christmas Day!!!

We started the day out right.......left over cookie crumbs and reindeer "poop" trail......

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this picture!  The classic "just woke up, don't quite know what to think, is that what I think it is, did Santa really come" look that only a child can have on Christmas morning!!!

Madi checking out her new flashcards!

Madi acted as what was to be expected for a baby's 1st Christmas.....could care less about the toys......just give me the wrapping paper!!!

A new bed for my babies!

I don't know what we were thinking in having Santa Clause bring Taylor roller skates?!?!  She had been talking about them since last summer so how could we not!  I just know we are one fall away from visiting the local emergency room!

Last year, we started another new tradition of having a small cake and singing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus!  Madi sure LOVED the cake and it was good practice for her birthday celebration coming up!!

Just chillaxing in my babies bed!

Overall, it was a great Christmas!!!  Madi woke up not feeling well at all, so I was kind of worried that her 1st Christmas was going to be a bust.  But, after a couple of hour nap, she was feeling much better and obviously ready to dig into some cake!

I just remember last year on Christmas Eve......I was having on and off contractions and was wondering whether or not we were going to be spending Christmas Day in the hospital having a baby!