Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Real Life Post

I'm not sure about everybody else, but sometimes I log onto Instagram, and immediately feel defeated.  It seems like everyone is leading picture perfect lives.  From the outfits of the day to the pretty centerpiece arrangements to the elaborate child crafts to the posed "real life" scenes to the gourmet meals to the perfectly applied makeup to the model-like selfies to the ridiculously expensive shoes that cost more than my seasonal clothing budget...everything seems so perfect.

Life can't be that perfect, right?!? Or am I just doing it wrong? We're all guilty of only posting the perfect moments.  I'M guilty of it. However, I try to add a bit of realism to my feed, too. 

I'm not ashamed to admit:

*I'm blogging at 12:51 AM because it's the only time I have to blog.  I have 4 little humans demanding my attention from 7:15 AM until 9:30 PM, then my husband needs (and deserves) my attention.  That doesn't leave much alone time for me.  So I stay up way past my bedtime.

*I finally scheduled Liam's 12 month ENT appointment/hearing screen today.  He's 14 months old.  Partially because I kept forgetting, but also because I do worry his adenoids will need to be removed or that he has some sort of hearing loss.  We have been SO lucky so far, and I keep waiting for something to come up. 

*I just realized my cable bill is a few days late.  I'll pay it tomorrow.

*I'm waiting for the antibiotic poos to begin.  They happened when Liam was on his first antibiotic last winter, and now that he's taking one again, I'm anticipating the same reaction.  Just in time to kick him back off the growth chart. You know, because he FINALLY made it on.  Under the 3rd percentile, but he's ON it.

*Oh yeah.  Liam has an ear infection.  One great thing about having a child who is so happy and content is that you absolutely know when something is wrong.

*Lily has been throwing epic tantrums at home the past 3 days.  Dylan and Lexie didn't have tantrums, so this is new territory. I mean, she cried for a half hour over the fact that we didn't have spaghetti for lunch.  What is up with that?!?

*I tried to take a picture of my dinner so I could post a recipe.  I'm so not a food blogger.  I prefer taking pictures of children! But here's a crappy picture of a really yummy meal that my entire family loves.  I'll share the recipe, too. Not a precise recipe, because I don't measure everything!

Easy Chicken Fried Rice:

1. Cook your rice and set aside.  I use a 1 lb bag.

2. Steam a bag of carrots and peas.  While I would love to use fresh vegetables, I prefer quick and easy, so frozen it is.  If you prefer to use fresh, by all means, do it! Once steamed, mix in garlic salt to taste.

3.  Cut thawed chicken breasts into tiny cubes.  Mix with 2 TBSP sesame seed oil and 4 shakes of garlic salt (shakes is my measurement). Cook chicken in heated oil (whichever you prefer), in a big pot, over medium high heat until the chicken is cooked through.

4. Push chicken aside and scramble 4 eggs in the same pot. Add a tiny bit more oil and mix in the veggies and rice by the spoonful.  Add a bit more garlic salt if necessary. 

5. Enjoy!  Add some soy sauce if you want.  I don't, but my husband does!

*I get semi-dressed to take the kids to the bus stop when it's cold outside.  I pull on jeans and boots, and put on a coat over my sweatshirt.  It looks like I'm completely put together, but don't look under the coat!  This obviously doesn't work when it's warm out.

*I do put on makeup before the kids go to school.  My entire hair/makeup routine is approximately 5 minutes long.  I figure get it done then before Lily and Liam want all the things.

*I try to love coffee, but I just can't drink an entire cup.  I start gagging halfway through. I think morning sickness with Liam ruined it for me. So no pumpkin spice lattes for me!  Pass the hot chocolate with whipped cream!

*I didn't leave the house today.  I didn't want to.  I came in from the bus stop, changed back into my pj bottoms, changed back into jeans to get the kids OFF the bus, and immediately changed back into my pj bottoms.  I require days like that!

*I bought a new diaper bag over a week ago, and it's still sitting on Liam's bedroom floor, with the tags still on it.

*I have a bag of items to exchange in my car.  A sweater for me with too short sleeves (darn long arms!), a 9-12 month winter outfit that Liam will never grow into, and newborn sized shoes and a one piece outfit that are just a bit too small (from Liam's August).  I'll get around to it.

*I didn't buy Halloween costumes for Liam or Dylan yet.  SLACKER!

*Our dog is really old and her health is declining.  I know her end is near, and I know we need to visit the topic of assisting her, but I don't want to deal with it until after Christmas.

*Speaking of pets, I haven't made it to the stable to visit my horse in weeks. I feel awful.

*I don't like crafting.  I want to love it, but I just don't. I prefer to have things made for me!

*Grant and I haven't gone out on a date since our anniversary.  Which was September 9th.

*Grant has a bit of a commute, so I'm on my own with the kids from the time they wake up until 7:00 at night.  By the time he walks in the door,  I feel like my eyes are bulging out of my head.  SO MUCH NOISE! SO MUCH CHAOS!  To be honest, they really aren't bad, but when you don't get a break, it seems so much worse!

*This means that I take them out in public. Alone.  And often. Dentist, doctor visits, grocery shopping, errands, all with four in tow. Thank God they're really well behaved in public. And when I go alone?  It feels like a VACATION.

*I miss Dylan and Lexie like crazy when they're at school, but the after school rush is a lot to handle at times. Homework times two, cooking dinner, straightening the house, cleaning up dishes, packing lunches,dealing with a cranky toddler and a tired baby, and making sure all 4 kids are clean and ready for the next day is a lot of work!

*I have too many toys in my living room. And my kitchen. And my basement. And my attic. And my sun porch. And the bathroom. And the bedrooms.  Heck, my house is a toy store.

*We still need to finish our basement and our bathroom.  No time. NO TIME!

*I'm slacking on my exercise routine.  I need to get back into it.

*We need a bigger house.  Like yesterday.  But we make it work.

*The street we live on is getting way too busy. I hate it. I really really really want to move, but the thought of saying goodbye to the house that all my babies came home to makes me want to cry. 

*We can't get out the door on time.  No matter how hard I try or how much I prepare, I can't do it.  It really is like a traveling circus.

*It's now 1:45 AM.  The alarm goes off at 7.  UGH!

Even though I said all that, I love it. I love (almost) every moment.  I have an amazing family, wonderful friends, and the best people living under this roof that I could ever ask for. 

Here's to all the perfectly imperfect real life moments!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dash for Down Syndrome 2014

On September 27th, we headed into Pittsburgh for the Dash for Down Syndrome!


This was our second year attending the Dash.  We attended last year's Dash when Liam was just 1 1/2 months old.  It was a last minute decision, but I'm so glad we went. It was our first real experience with the Down Syndrome Community.  These families are amazing!

This year, the Dash was held at a different location.  It was a hot, sunny day, and so many people showed up.  It really is a wonderful community!

Liam just wasn't his usual self that day.  I couldn't figure out why he wasn't smiling much and was acting so sleepy. A few days later, I found out why.  He was cutting his upper molars!


I'm going to admit, my heart wasn't in it this year.  I refuse to let that happen next year!  I need to learn how to let go of disappointment and focus on those around me. 


Liam was completely enthralled with the soccer field.  He refused to look at anyone!


He even refused to look at the Pirates Parrot!


When I picked him up, I couldn't figure out why he was covered in black dots.  Turns out the field was covered in shredded tire for better cushioning!


While we waited for the walk to start, I took the girls to meet the Pirates Parrot and we stood in a LONG line (technical difficulties) for a bounce house. 


Finally, we lined up on the hot field and got ready to walk!


We walked for our sweet Liam. 

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We also walked for my dad's cousin's son, Joey, who passed away way too young.  He, too, had Down Syndrome.

After the walk, we went inside for a snack.  We didn't expect it to be so hot, and Liam needed to get out of the sun.  He was chowing down on his sock, so we swapped it for his very first Smiley Cookie (it's a Pittsburgh thing)!


We are so thankful for our family and friends who joined us to support Liam and the Down Syndrome community!



Until next year, Dash!


There's no doubt about it:  We love this kid SO much!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Liam at 13 Months

Liam Dayne
13 months old
15 lbs 10 oz
28 inches


Milestones:  It was a big month! Walking behind a walker, first tooth, pulling up to a stand in the bathtub, started speech therapy, and scooting around on his bum!


Tooth Count: THREE!  Liam cut his first tooth 2 days after he turned 13 months.  Two weeks later, his top molars came in!  I was shocked!  He's definitely teething out of order!


Eating:  3 meals a day plus snacks, drinking from a straw cup, and nursing twice a day. 


Favorite Foods:  Yogurt melts, mandarin oranges, yogurt, macaroni and cheese, pasta with marinara sauce, bananas, tapioca pudding, and Gerber Graduates Lil' Crunchies.


Sleeping:  Liam sleeps 12-13 hours a night, takes one long nap every day, and takes one short nap every day.  He tends to fall asleep in the Ergo or in the car.  He's a great sleeper!  I lay him down, say good night, and see him 12-13 hours later!


Sounds/Words:  Mama, Dada, Baba, NumNum, Ooo, Ahhh, and lots of growling and babbling. This little dude talks constantly!


Likes:  Eating, nursing, being carried in the Ergo, playing with his toys, ripping apart his foam play mat, standing, going for walks, playing in the grass, swinging, taking baths, reading books, and playing with family and friends.


Dislikes:  Poopy diapers (must change IMMEDIATELY!), getting his faced wiped, and running out of food on his highchair tray!


Favorite Toys:  Books, foam letter mat, play kitchen with pretend food, Fisher Price Learning Birdbath,  Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car, and Leapfrog Cook and Play Potsy (a pot filled with vegetables that has a spoon and a lid). 


Nicknames:  Miam and Little Dude.


Health: Liam is perfectly healthy!  He had roseola for a few days at the beginning of September, but no other health issues to worry about!


Early Intervention: Liam  receives Occupational Therapy once a week, Physical Therapy once a week, and speech therapy once a week.  All therapies are in our home.  We love his therapists!  He just had his yearly IFSP meeting on Monday, and set new goals for him!


Wearing:  3-6 month clothing, although 0-3 month onesies and a few 0-3 months sleepers still fit!  He has tiny feet and is still wearing size 1 shoes.  Size 2 diapers. 


Personality:  Liam has quite a personality!  He is sweet, cuddly, charming, and FULL of joy!