Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Perfect 10.

A milestone was hit today.  My oldest turned double digits.  10 years ago today, my sweet, loving, smart, tenderhearted Nicholas was born.
Nicholas made me a mom 10 years ago today.  I was born to be a mom.  I am blessed to be a mom.
Happy birthday Nicky.  I am so proud of you.  I love you.  Thank you for making me a mom.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Chicago was fantastic.  I had a brief moment of panic when I pulled out my camera to take pictures on day 1, only to find out that my camera card was full.  I quickly discovered that there were numerous pictures of carpet, ceilings, and eyeballs.  The following picture revealed the culprit.
Case solved.

We headed to Chicago on Monday and made our first stop at the Museum of Science and Industry.  All 3 kids loved it. 
Some days we're still trying to figure it out.

l-r, Soldier Field, John Hancock, Lego Store, and the view of Willis Tower from our hotel room
I was a little worried/disappointed/irritated when I asked Blake early on in the trip, what his favorite part was so far.  His response was, "The Lego store!  It's just like the one at home at the mall!"

Shedd Aquarium


I was really excited to see the Willis (formerly Sears) tower.  As many times as I've been to Chicago, I'd never been up to the top.  It did not disappoint.  We all ventured out onto the glass ledge and the view was fantastic!


Willis Tower
Once we were done in downtown Chicago and ready to relocate to a different hotel, we had a few hours to kill.  We decided to check out the GiGi's playhouse in Chicago.  We had no idea what to expect, or if they were even open.  We lucked out because not only was it open, I got to talk to a board member, a tutor, and a couple of parents.  This was definitely the highlight of my trip.  I've been so excited to bring GiGi's to Indy, but now that I've actually been to see a GiGi's, I'm ready to ROLL!  (Notice the GiGi's donation link I added to the top right of my blog?)  I was also glad that my family could experience what it is that I've been talking about so much these past few months.

We relocated to our other hotel on Wednesday and it was a surprise to the kids that we were going to a hotel with a huge water park.  They loved all of it:  the wave pool, the many different slides, hot tub, kiddie pool, basketball court pool.  And an extra bonus was that it was so deserted, especially on our first day.  The hotel also had multiple shops, restaurants, snack bars, ice cream and candy shop, spa, arcade, duck pin bowling, and a kids craft and activity room.  The hotel was a big hit with all the kids.
When we got home, I asked the boys what their top 3 things were in Chicago.  Nick ranked his top 3 as the Willis Tower, the Shedd, and the water park.  Blake said that he couldn't decide because it was all so fun.  His answer was perfect, and much better than saying the Lego store that's just like the one in our mall.
Glad to be home.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Down syndrome in the news. Here's my hope:

I’ve seen several articles and news stories lately about people with Down syndrome who have been voted into their homecoming court.  I love these uplifting stories.  Usually when I think of Alexis’s future, I worry about inclusion or the possibility of being bullied, where she’ll eventually live, and what kind of college experience she’ll have.  These stories give me hope that her future will include late night YouTube chats with her BFF, school dances and boyfriends, just like her peers.  I love these stories, and I really do love that people forward them to me regularly, but for me, the one thing that would be better than all these newstories, would be for these stories to not be newsworthy.  I don’t expect it to eventually be common for kids with Down syndrome to be voted as homecoming queen, or to be a cheerleader, or to make the winning shot for their basketball team, but I can’t wait for the day when none of these things is such a newsworthy surprise.

But if Alexis is ever voted homecoming queen, somebody call Channel 8.

Not exactly homecoming material.  Yet.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BW 2013 and a not-so-hidden gem

23 family and close friends (who are also family!) gathered at the Buddy Walk this past weekend to form Lexi Lou's Whos 2013.

About 5000 people gathered on Saturday to participate in the Buddy Walk and over $200,000 was raised for Down Syndrome Indiana.  We are so grateful for everyone's support for Alexis, our family, and for the community of people who have Down syndrome.  We are blessed.

The kids are currently on a 2-week fall break.  Alexis had an appointment in Indy on Monday afternoon and when we were headed back home, we passed Coxhall Gardens.  My friend Julie told me about C.G. after I admired some pictures she had taken.  In one of the pictures, her kids had climbed up a hill, and Julie took their picture from below as they were jumping and cropped it so it looked like they were flying.  Not one to have many original ideas of my own, we copied.

You get the idea. 
 And then there was Blake.
Take 1                                  Take 2

Finally, he got the idea:
Coxhall Gardens was beautiful!  The kids loved walking along the paths, over the bridge, and around the water as much as I did.  From the road, it looks like a simple, grassy park with a clock tower.  I had no idea how beautiful it was after you drove in.

They have an adorable little children's village
The jail was my favorite.

My babies.


One of the 2 clock towers


I love finding a (not-so) hidden gem.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy October!

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!!!