Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Future

This is hard for me to write, so I'm sorry in advance if it seems a little scattered brained and doesn't make sense, but i posted a status on Facebook last night saying that I was feeling sad. I just need to let my feelings out and just let everyone know that I am okay.

So last night we were in bed and Jude brought his Curious George doll with him. He was hugging, kissing and cuddling him like he was a little baby. It seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen. He is so sensitive to other people and even his little George and I felt happy for the moment. and then my happiness turned into sadness. I thought to myself wow how cute he thinks George is a baby, oh but he probably won't have a baby of is own in the future. and for one of the first times, in a long time, I went back to that place where I haven't really been since Jude was born. I went back to this place of mourning. Mourning the future that I thought my precious baby would have, to fall in love get married and have a family with little babies. and right now my heart just hurts for him. I just can't get over that he might not know that unconditional love that I feel for both of my kids. that bond that cannot be broken by anything. Just that feeling like wow I cannot believe I created something so precious, pure and beautiful. 

And I know that even Noah might not even be able to have children of his own, because who truly knows what the future holds, but he will have other options to consider like adopting and he will have that bond with that other little person. but with Jude he will not be able to do that. and i know that me being sad about Jude's future is being selfish because those are my dreams that i want for him and he might not want the same dreams as me but i cannot help and feel pain right now.

my precious baby Jude, I am so sorry that your life is not the easiest road to be on, and i hope that you never feel like you are missing out on something like have children. and if you do I am so sorry and i wish i could take away your pain. I know that the future is not certain for anyone but i truly hope that you find something that truly makes you feel alive and you never have to feel like there is anything different about you. you are the my most precious gift and i am so blessed that you are here, my world is so beautiful because you are in it. and I love you so much. I will always be here for you and i hope you never have to feel an ounce of sadness

Monday, April 30, 2012


Yesterday, the boys and I took a day trip out my cousin Krystal's house to see her and her boys! We haven't seen the boys since Noah's first birthday and I haven't seen Krystal since I think Halloween. So this was a much needed trip. I love family and I think its important that my children are as close to their cousins like I was growing up.
Mason taking a nap...isn't he adorable

When we got to their home, we were welcome with hellos and "Hi Juju" from Krystal's boys. One of the reasons why I love visiting Krystal is because it reminds me so much of me growing up. Big family, big doggies and so much love for each other with the right amount of craziness. Her place always feels cozy, a place that is actually lived in, a place where i can put my kids down and not have to worry about my boys grabbing something and breaking it. Her walls are filled with pictures of her family and her kids art work. She is such a proud momma and you could feel it being at her home.
my cutie Noah 
 Aunt Autumn and Jude

Another reason why I love visiting them is after saying hellos, we pick up like we saw each other yesterday. I think that's mostly help from facebook but I am thankful for it. It really helps to keep families in touch and see what everyone is up too. Even though we went to Krystal and Christian's house we still get to see everyone! Aunt Autumn, Aunt Kasie, Christina and Jimmy its like a huge family reunion and everyone is excited to see each other.
 why so serious Noah Bear!

oh my gosh Krystal's boys are growing up so fast. I remember when they were little babies and now they are like little men and maturing, especially Peyton. Peyton and Jude were little buddies yesterday. He made sure that he included Jude in everything. He was giving Jude hugs and asking Jude what he wanted to do and just paying extra attention to him. I don't know if Krystal told her boys about Jude having down syndrome (and I'm totally okay if she did) or if Peyton just knows that Jude is a little different but her boys really do not treat him any different from their brothers or their other cousins. Peyton has such a big heart and he is growing up to be a wonderful little person.
 cousin time watching a Bug's Life
Peyton relaxing
 Peyton holding Noah's hand
 Noah Feed the dog french fries
 Everyone was singing Skinnamarink-e-dinky dink

Most of the day we had spent inside of Krystal's, the boys watched movies and played together and Krystal, Aunt Autumn and I caught up. Krystal is one of those family members where i can really open up and tell her how I feel about certain things. She also had her babies at a young age and she understands where I am coming from and she doesn't judge me. Krystal also has a huge heart and a soft spot for kids. and when we are together I love how she shows off my kids to other people, like she is their momma and she is proud of them. She showed Christina and Jimmy how Jude can sing Skinnamarink-e-dinky dink and the wheels on the bus and that he could do the hand movements. It was a great feeling seeing my baby showing off his moves and smiling and hearing our family sing along with him. It made him feel so important and special.
 Jude and Peyton
Christina and Jimmy came to visit too
Everyone walking to go get ice cream 
 Best buds for the day
 Mason eating and Iron Man ice pop
Hunter is such a cutie 
Peyton eating his ice cream

In all we had a great day spending time with our cousins. I wish that they lived closer to us so the boys could spend more time together. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing, supportive family. I hope that Jude, Noah, Peyton, Mason and Hunter grow up to be best friends and will be there to support each other. I love those boys so much and I cannot wait until we get to see you again!

"Cousins are those childhood playmates who grow up to be forever friends."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Calm Before Chaos

So there is nothing currently going on right now in our lives and Im okay with that. But I know that is going to change in a matter of weeks. and I'm trying to just relax and enjoy the time I have with my kids before things start to change rapidly.
rainy day calls for the bouncy house!

So next week Jude has a eye doctors appointment, that will go over everything that will happen during and after his surgery. Jude is having Nystagmus surgery. Nystagmus is a condition of involuntary eye movement, acquired in infancy or later in life. Jude's eye movements are from side to side. And the reason why he is having the surgery is to not stop the eye movement but to help with how Jude holds his head. in order to stop his eyes from moving Jude has to tilt his head back and since the last time we saw the doctor his head tilt has gotten worse.

nice place to catch up on a good book
and yes Jude is wearing Christmas pjs its cold outside!

So what they are going to do is reattach the eye muscles to make them tighter and to make the position of where the eyes stop moving to a normal head position. in the long run this will help with jude's vision. he will be able to see things that are far away for example when he is at school he will be able to see the blackboard without having to tilt his head back. According to this website about 10% of children with down syndrome have nystagmus. His surgery is scheduled for May 11th. if you have the stomach here is a video on youtube showing how the surgery is done.

Noah is so excited
Jude will then have a follow up doctors appointment after his surgery. and he will also have a sleep study done on June 9th. the sleep study is to see if Jude has sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is not something that we think Jude has its just something on the check list that we need to get done. 
I am most worried about the surgery. the surgery is outpatient and its only an hour long and i trust the doctor. the Eastern PA Down Syndrome Center speaks nothing about amazing things about him. I am just nervous about the anesthesia and that my baby has to get surgery and the what ifs'. for me, sometimes, the future can be scary and i cannot wait until his surgery is over and he is awake and I am holding him until then i will be worried. Once its over i will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
 And during this whole time Jeff and I have to start job hunting because the T-mobile call center will be closing their doors on June 22nd. I have a head start on Jeff. I accepted a position that is an hour away from home and the shift is 11:45 to 8:30. this is not my idle situation. But I will not start with them until June 18th so this gives me more time to find something that is closer to home and maybe with a better shift. I recently had a interview with a hospital in the area and i should hear from them in the next 4 business days telling me if i got the position or not. and if i did i would start my 12 week training the 3rd week of May. the shift works so much better for us. it would be from 3-11. so jeff would be able to get a job during the day and the benefits with the hospital are amazing. this would be such a blessing if i received this job.
I love how well they play together
My happy little baby
And besides doctors appointments and new jobs and interviews, Mother's day is right around the corner,  My dad's birthday, Allix's birthday, and Father's days. so even though the weather right now is dreary and cold, I am preparing myself for the hecticness that is about to come my way. And during this time i hope that Noah doesn't feel left out. since most of the attention in the next couple of weeks will be on Jude and his recovery, I still want Noah to feel like he is my baby and Jude's little brother. Noah is one of the best things that could have happened to me and i am so blessed to have an amazing kid. Please keep my family in your thoughts these next couple of weeks. 

Mommy loves you so much Jude and Noah

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Siblings

Happy Birthday Kaitlin!!

Yesterday was my baby sister’s 20th birthday! It's another birthday that we had missed. My sister took a trip out to Pittsburgh, with my parents, to visit my other sister Dannielle. But I cannot get over that she is 20! I can remember like it was yesterday, when she was 5, that she was dancing around in our living room in the house on George Street. “Look! I’m a river dancer!” and then she would keep her arms nice and straight to her sides and start slamming her heels to the floor.. as annoying as it was to me at the time, looking back on it she was an adorable little girl. I also remember the 5 cent movies at Wind Gap Movie Theater on tuesdays that we never made it to! Oh and what a daddy’s girl she was and currently is. All she has to do is bat those pretty blue eyes and my dad is putty in her hands. She is a sassy, outspoken, and sensitive; and I adore her!
 we pretended that we were at the beach
I know growing up, being 7 years older than Kaitlin, I wasn't always the nicest older sister to her. Looking back on it, I feel awful for some of the things that we put her through, like picking on her, and making her feel bad about herself. She is a little ball of sunshine and I am so proud of the woman that she is becoming. 
Spending time with daddy 
 When I was little I was a gymnast for about 10 years. When I did gymnastics I would get out of school early and then stay at the gym until late at night. Most of the time, my brother and sisters would be stuck at the gym having to wait for me to finish practicing before they could go home. In the end, I ended up quitting gymnastics and I feel bad for all of the hours that they spent at the gym. I feel like they wasted so much of their childhood sitting around and waiting. I wish there was a way that I could give them back the time they missed out on.

 Once I quit gymnastics, that's where my relationships with my siblings really started to blossom. I wanted to be around them all of the time because I felt like I missed out on being with them and I felt like I truly didn't know them. It would get to the point where if they went to hang out with a friend I would feel jealous because I wanted to spend my time with them. I loved taking my sisters shopping with me or going out to eat when I could drive. I loved watching my brother play his sports and be his little cheerleader in the stand. For once, I was able to wait and watch and I truly enjoyed every minute of it.

Now that we are older and we are starting out our lives, once again I feel like I’m missing out on something bigger. Dannielle lives out in Pittsburgh and recently got engaged! When Dannielle lived at home, I would pack up the boys and we would go up and see her no problem but now she is 5 hours away. It's not as simple to just pick up and go anymore. I am so happy that she found a career and found someone to start a life with. But with my own selfishness, I want her back and closer to me. I feel like I need her to be around. She is the grounded one. The one that tells me like it is and doesn't have a filter. My heart hurts. I miss her so much !

 I love his little smile
My brother Dirk has been married for over a year now to my sister-in-law, Jessica, who is more like a real sister to me. They live only 30 minutes from us and I don't get to see them as often as I would like. But I hope that they both know how much I love them and if they ever need help with anything I will always be there for them. I would like to be an aunt soon so please start working on that :-) 

 talking to the kitty
rainy day calls for Chinese food 
I am so accustomed to celebrating everyone’s birthdays all together with all of the smiles and inside jokes. The celebrations and get-togethers makes me feel complete. But, right now, pieces of my heart are spread across Pennsylvania. Wherever time and fate brings us, I hope that it makes the distance feel a little less distant and brings us closer as a family. I love you all so much and I hope that I get to see you soon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Zoo

Happy birthday Mom!

This past Wednesday was my Mom’s birthday! Unfortunately, We didn't get to spend the day with her. She got an extra special night out with my Dad at a Yankee game. So in celebration of my Mom’s birthday, since the boys didn’t get to see her, I got them all dressed up in their yankee gear and guilted Grandma a little. The Yankees didn’t win but I hope that my Mom had a great time! She truly deserves a break. She has been helping my Grandfather by taking him to Chemotherapy treatments and she is working full time.

Nap time is a magical time!

That pouty lip is how we got Grandma to feel guilty...We love you
Beautiful sunset
I wanted to say thank so much to my mother! She has always been there for me no matter what im going through in life. She helped me get past the darkest mourning that I have ever felt. She is my rock. She is the life of the party and the comedian of our family. And she is one of the kindest, smartest, most loving person i have ever met.  I have some pretty big shoes to fill and I hope I am at least half of the mother that she has been for me. I love you so much mom. Happy Birthday
My little Angels

Philadelphia Zoo

So today we headed to the Philadelphia Zoo! This was the boys first time to this zoo but this was Noah’s first time he has ever been to a zoo. I was excited to see their reactions to the different animals and things that we would see. Jude recently started watching Curious George and he loves the 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed song. We thought that he would adore the monkeys. but it turns out Jude only likes the fake monkeys and not the real monkeys
One of my favorite things to do as a family is go on spur of the moment day trips. I want to make sure that the boys are exposed to different places, people and experiences. I want them to learn how to act out in public places. I feel growing up my parents use to the do the same things. and I feel that they taught us as kids how to behave and use our manners when we were out in public. And I feel like its working for my kids too. the boys are generally good when we go out to different places and if they are misbehaving its our job as parents to make sure that we correct them or take them out of the situation. 
beautiful wall painting
Jude is bored while we wait to buy our tickets
Jeff and I waiting in line
So this was the first stop at the zoo. this is a monkey exhibit and Jude was excited to see the monkeys that were far away. there was no fear when we were looking at these monkeys.
After that we went into ,I think, the rare primates building. Noah was my little monkey all day. He want to be held the whole time that we were at the zoo. He didn't really notice the animals because they were far away but he was happy to be outside and enjoying all the people around him.
And then we get to this little monkey and when Jude and this monkey lock eyes, Jude starts to freak out! he would scream "DAD!!!!" and then he would claw at Jeff's neck to try to get away from the monkey. Jude has this fear of puppets (he gets that from his Aunt Dannielle) so I'm not sure if this monkey reminded him of a puppet or if he was just scared of it. but then the rest of the time when he saw a monkey, Jude we freak out. poor Jude. I don't know where the fears comes from and we try to comfort him, but it didn't work so we took him out of his scary situation.
Then the cutest moment. Jeff and Jude were looking at the gorilla. Jude put all of his trust in his dad and Jeff was trying to comfort Jude so he could enjoy himself. Jude wasn't afraid this time. He was talking to his dad and making monkey sounds. I felt proud for Jude

My little nose picker in action
Lunch time
Let me tell you something about Noah. Looking back when Jude was his age, Noah is definitely the easiest out of the 2 of them. when he is playing you just need to say hi to him and he will smile and go back to what he is doing, or if Jeff is playing a video game he just want to hold a controller like his dad and he will be content. He is such a happy baby and I'm so happy he is the second. he's going to be such a good little brother when he gets older.
At the zoo you are not suppose to feed the animals while you are there but when you have kids that is kind of impossible. The kids throw stuff and drop stuff on the ground, its just gross. well birds at the zoo made some best friends today and they were my kids. we had 2 ducks, a couple of pigeons, a robin and 2 peacocks come and visit us during lunch. Literally not afraid of us, just taking whatever the kids were throwing on the ground. I was just scared that i was going to get attacked by them.
 Here's one of our peacock friends.

Noah started to get cracking towards the end of the day
Poor Noah was without his binky when we were at the zoo. Jude must have thrown it when we were standing in line
The nastiest thing that i saw at the zoo. The one giraffe was peeing and the other giraffe was drinking it. i have it on video I will have to upload it when i have a chance. Nasty
Jude fell asleep right towards the end of the day.
I love the flamingos 
Noah got a little alone time with mommy and daddy while Jude took a nap in the stroller. We were in the small mammals house. he really enjoyed looking at the little monkeys and squirrels living the trees and he was all smiles. 
Noah pointing out the crocodile
At the end of the day we were ready to head back home. the boys were exhausted and so were Jeff and I. On the way out i saw my favorite Dr Seuss quote "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better its not." Its so true. unless you care about what going on around you things will never get better they will just stay the same. either with the way people are destroying the environment or how people treat each other. I hope that I raise my boys to care an awful lot and are passionate about what is going on around them so they could also make a change. I would love for Noah and Jude to become activist for Down syndrome supporting each other if not I just want them to be passionate about something and change the world. I want them to follow their hearts and do what ever makes them happy.