Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Build-A-Bear with Grandma Molly

Molly was nice enough to invite us to a day at Build-a-Bear. The guys went to the FSU game, while we spent the day at the mall. It was really great spending the day with Molly. We hope to do it again soon.

The bear is stuffed, and it's time to promise to take good care of her.

Grandma Molly helped the girls clean their bears.

And dress them.

Perfect! Aubrey loves her bear!

Then it was time to wait for the guys to return from their football game.

This is Buster, the horse dog.

Hmm... a purse to search through.

Lip gloss! Can I eat it?

Friday, December 26, 2008

December pics

These are just a few random pics from December.

Aubrey and Taylor.

Aubrey, Bailey, and Santa!

I think Aubrey is getting serenaded by Grant! I'm SO jealous!

Decorating the tree with Daddy.

Hard work!

This took two days for Keith and my dad to assemble. Keith said it was made of sweat and blood. Lovely, eh? But, it's true. Keith was hit in the head with a piece of wood, then he drilled his finger, plus it was 80 degrees here in Florida! It's just too hot to be December.

Outside fun!

Santa gave the girls a play set. Today, Keith and my dad finished assembling it. I guess Santa ran out of time.

It has two windows.
A swing just for Bailey

A slide.

A picnic table.

and a swing for Aubrey.
And a rock wall and rope ladder that somehow disappeared in the pictures.

Our Families.. more pics.

Time to clean up! We have to get ready for the grandparents and uncles!

See she doesn't always look half asleep.

Bailey loves opening gifts! She's becoming a pro!

Bailey loves her air baby.

and tissue paper

Our Families

Keith and I invited our families over for Christmas Dinner. Here are a few pics. There will be more to come in the next few hours.

Aubrey and her Uncle Bret playing with the puppets.

Aubrey, Uncle Bret, and Uncle Michael playing with the puppets. The girls really enjoyed spending time with their uncles.

Santa Came!

The stockings are ready. Where is everyone? Still sleeping?

Ahh... there are our two sleepy heads. Good morning sunshine!

Santa left this for me!?!

I think they love everything. But wait! There's more!

What's so exciting?

Yay! A Barbie Jeep! What more could a girl want?

Christmas Eve

We decided to make a Disney Princess Gingerbread House

Before we got up from the table the house fell over. So sad.

This face... so pitiful.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Leah has given me permission to post this on my blog. Thank you Leah, I couldn't have said it any better.

Most who know me also know that if they use the "R word" around me, or any derivative of it, I'll probably say something about it. I may, or may not, be nice about it, depending upon my mood at that particular moment. Some people I know, even family members, think it's silly for me to be irritated about it. "It's just a word...figure of speech, I don't mean anything by it." I even had one family member call her own son that, while Angela and I stood right there. Still...they think I'm overreacting.

No..I'm not. When you use that word, you're using my child as an insult. You're saying to be like her is a bad thing. That whomever you're calling a "r-d" surely would never want to be like Angela, or any other person who carries a MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS of mental retardation. That, my friends, is some incredibly insensitive thinking.

You wouldn't call people a "n-word", or a "fa**ot", or any other socially unacceptable slang term because you know they're wrong. They are words that can get you fired from a job, or sued for racial verbal harassment. Yet the "r-word" lives on. It's sickening.

Imagine my child walking through school. She will never hear one of her classmates call their friend of color a "nigger, and in her extremely racially diverse school she'll never hear someone call a friend from the middle east a "towel head", but it is EXTREMELY common for her to hear someone walk by and refer to each other as "retard".

Why is this ok? Why is it ok for you to model it for your children and why is ok for your kids to do it at school? Why is it ok to have what my daughter is be the butt of a joke every day of her life.

You may say, "Oh get over it. Grow a thicker skin." But if you're one of the people who use that word, what will you do the first time you hold your own new baby with Down Syndrome? Or your new grandchild, niece or nephew? Or you meet your boyfriends brother with Down Syndrome. Will you still use it anyway, regardless of how hurtful it is? Will you tell your own child "Grow a thicker skin child! You're going to be hearing this your whole life!!!!"

My child doesn't need to grow a thicker skin. She's been through more in her short 11 years than most adults will go through in a lifetime. What she needs is for people to be as respectful of her as they are of those of color or different religions. After all, the only difference between her and you is one tiny chromosome.

Monday, December 22, 2008

John Halgrim

There is an article about this young man in our paper today. He was an amazing person. It's nice to see his wish granted.

Why Can't I Say Something?

We had a sales meeting at work last Thursday. It was a "fun" meeting. A few games, a little serious stuff, and a gift exchange. There are 4 of us sitting at a table. Two of the people sitting with us have met my little girls, so I would think they would be a little more sensitive. One makes a few comments using the R word. How they and others are R's and then they both start making short bus comments. I become very sad. I wish I could stop wanting to cry when I hear these things, but I just think about Bailey and how she will face comments by people as she grows up. I know people use these words, I know people make jokes. No, I don't feel it is acceptable, but I know it happens. However, I would think people would be a little more sensitive around me. This isn't the first time this has happened at work. I've heard comments made several times before. Never by my employees, but usually by my equals. Last December I lost my previous job because it was purchased by another company and they did mass layoffs. I think I was spoiled there because I knew everyone very well and they were all there to see what we experienced with Bailey's birth and multiple hospital stays during those first few months. They witnessed our fears and struggles, and I think that made them more aware of just how strong Bailey is and how strong other children like Bailey are. Now, I just need to find strength to speak up when this happens.


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Sunday, December 21, 2008


We had another trip to the ER due to Staph on Friday night. This time it is at the sight of her button. A few weeks ago it was on her bottom. The incidence a few weeks ago was treated very aggressively. Every member of the family had to wash with special soap, we had to scrub the entire house, plus Bailey was medicated with multiple antibiotics and ointment.

Now... we have it again, and they've confirmed it is MRSA. The ER doctor was very positive it could be treated with Septra, however that method has yet to work in the past. Her pediatrician also called the hospital and explained her past. In tears I explained to him this would get worse or happen again, and I was treated like the crazy lady. The ER physician contacted her pediatrician, and I spoke with him on the phone. He also agreed with the method of treatment. So, here we are two days later and she now has a large oozing bump on her button.

I just hate that she has to continue dealing with this, especially since we aren't using the tube anyways!


The Mom Song

The Mom Song from Northland Video on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Conversation With Aubrey

Me: Is Santa bringing a gift for mommy?

Aubrey: No, you're too big to sit in Santa's lap.

Keith: Aubrey, I think you mean mommy is too old.

Aubrey: Mommy, don't kill daddy.

Me and Keith: Laughing uncontrollably.

I'm not sure where that came from. I guess Keith will probably be sleeping with one eye open tonight.


Let There Be Peace On Earth

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Prayer Request

Sarahs's mom put information about this little girl, Lily, on their blog. Please visit the blog set up for Lily. She is such a beautiful little girl who is going through more than she should. She has had two heart surgeries and will now need a third. She's only 6 months old.


It's Hot in Florida

So, the girls wore shorts and skirts today. It's December, we should be wrapped up in coats, wearing jeans and boots. Instead the windows are open and it still isn't cool enough in the house. Well, enough of my complaints about our weather. I'm sure those without electricity due to their storms would be happy to be in my situation.

Keith and I went to the Carrie Underwood concert Friday. It was great. The opening band was Little Big Town. We, not being country fans, actually enjoyed them. Then Carrie Underwood came out and she was great. I especially enjoyed All-American Girl. She had this adorable girl from the audience come on stage and sing with her. Later that night I received a call from an employee that she was in the hospital, so I ended up working much of the weekend. So, a few of our other plans didn't quite work out.

Saturday morning I worked, then we shopped. We spent most of the day trying to find a swing set. We knew what we wanted. We had been researching for months. However, it seems the opinion of the retail industry is that swing sets don't sell in Winter. Finally, we found one. $200.00 MORE that we planned to spend. But, anything for our girls. So, we loaded up both boxes, came home, unloaded the boxes, and went to sleep.

Sunday, I went to work. Received a call from dad that the swing set is on sale for $100.00 less that what we paid. So, after I get home we go shopping AGAIN. This time with both girls. We get our $100.00 back. Yay! It was so easy! We turn in our gifts for the angel tree, shop more, and I buy myself clothes! Yay! Then, I decide to be brave and take the girls to the Christmas program at church. Bailey was wonderful. She loves music. Aubrey, however, wasn't so great. We sat in the back row so we could make a quick escape if necessary, but this nice lady came to the rescue with books and items to color. Then, after talking to the lady I realize she has a granddaughter with Down syndrome. So, after the program we spent a little time talking, and she spent time loving on Bailey. It was great, I just love sharing her with others.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Aubrey and Her Friend

These are a few pictures from last weekend of Aubrey and her friend Colby. I planned to post them with the other pics, but I was waiting for his Mommy to give the okay. Enjoy!