Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Picture Perfect Wednesday

Climbing up
Here are just a few pictures of Lil miss Stella and her "mad" climbing skills.


opening door

think I'll climb down now

Yeah, perhaps you should help mom

Mmmmm, nothing like a good tasting wall in the morning.

Stella has books in the Ottoman and this is how she gets to them.

Stella loves books.

Stella signing "hat"

Here are a few pictures from today at Stella's playgroup.

Minutes before going into playgroup. "I'm really not sure I wanna be here mom."


Walking out after playgroup.

Clearly she had a good time.

Check out my walking skillz, yo.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Another Road Trip to Cow Town

Today Mickey and I took Stella to Calgary (Cow Town as some people call it).  She had an eye appointment with an ophthalmologist.

The ride up was very uneventful. There was a snowfall warning in effect but we did not see much snow till we were almost near Calgary.  Stella sat in her car seat sucking on her suckie, cuddling her blanket and her feet while she wasted the hours (2 1/2 to be exact) away watching Dora.

When we got there we had 40 minutes before our appointment so we walked across the street to Wendy's for a nice healthy lunch.  Stella sat in the highchair provided by Wendy's (thank you Wendy) and took bites and threw (thankfully only some and not all) of her lunch on the floor.  She'd turn around every now and then to wave and say "Huuu" (hi for those of you that don't speak toddler).

Then with nice full, burpy bellies we waited to see the eye doc.

We saw her assistant first who asked us a few questions, one of which was "Is she Downs?".  (ugggghh) to which I replied "Yes, she HAS Down Syndrome."  She was a very nice woman even with her poorly worded question.

Then the doctor checked out her eyes.  She was short, to the point, but very nice and Stella responded well to her. 

Stella then had drops put in her eyes to dilate her pupils so the doc could examine her eyes more.

We sat in the waiting room for about 20 mins while we waited for the drops to take effect.

Stella Bella was quite tired by then and passed out on Mickey's lap only to be woken up 10 minutes later.  But what a good sport she was! No crying, no fussing.  She cooperated and even allowed the doctor to press this big eye machine thing against her face while Mickey held her arms down; all without a peep from her.  Really she is such a cooperative little girl....for now....

Her eyes are perfect.  She is farsighted like most young children so we will be back yearly for check ups.

And off we were again! The looonnngg trip back.

This time there was snow on the roads.  A sprinkling really.  That type of snow that is light and blows around everywhere.  Our visibility was greatly reduced but nothing to cause me too much stress.  Ok, I was a tad bit stressed which is why I am glad Mickey was driving and not me.

Because Stella didn't have any nap she was a tad bit crankier on the way back.  She was hysterically laughing for a while which I knew meant she was really tired.  But, wow! What a trooper!

A long day filled mostly with driving, but having such a patient, calm natured child made the trip a very enjoyable one!

Makes me almost look forward to our trip to the paediatric dentist in January!!


Picture Perfect Day.

The post below was written exactly one week ago today and I am only now just getting around to publishing it.  I have been trying all week to download a really cute video that I have of Stella dancing, but I have had no luck in doing so. 

I have given up.

Enjoy the pics!

So I was planning on making Wednesdays a day for just posting photos of all or some of my McG girls.  However, I did not make my deadline and I am fearing that I will not make this deadline often, so I have decided to post just a picture blog one day during the week.  It will be any day I find time to do this.  So this week, Picture Perfect Day is Friday.  Here are some pictures from this week so far.  Ok, really most are just from yesterday.  But you get the idea.

Cuddles after a nap.

Such a busy bee, my Stella Bella is.


Using her fine motor skills to open up a package of goldfish crackers....

and to put on her sister's sock!
Yeah, I don't have many.  Next week I will make sure to have more! 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A Work in Progress

Am I doing Enough?

I ask myself this question at least once a month (ok, probably more).  I go through moments of panic where I feel so overwhelmed with all the "things" I need to be doing with Stella to help her to reach milestones and reach goals that we have set up for her. 

I am not alone in helping her.  She gets developemental aide. This means she has a very lovely woman come by twice a week to "play" with her.  They work on specific exercises to help her to reach the goals that we feel she needs to reach.  For example: standing against a wall, while reaching across her body for a toy. This is to strengthen her core.  A strong core assists with helping her to be able to walk.

Stella has a play group that she attends once a week also.  While there she uses her signs to communicate, interacts with other children and gets to practice her gross and fine motor skills.

And then there's me.  When I'm not busy juggling household chores, homework with Olivia playing with Sophie and spending quality time with each of my girls,  I play/work  with Stella. But I always feel so stretched and I feel like I just don't do enough with her.

I love each of my children individually for who they are.  They each learn differently and have reached milestones at different times.  Yet,there are times that I have to remind myself not to compare.  I'd say I do a really good job of NOT comparing.  But sometimes I fail. 

I am a part of quite a few Facebook groups for parents who have children with Down Syndrome.  Like all parents, we love to post pictures and announcements when our kids acheive big and not so big milestones.  I see pictures of children walking at 22 months, or read on a blog about how their child is 2 and can recognize letters and colours. 

And then I start to feel like I am not doing enough.  Stella  is doing none of those things.  I mean, she is starting to walk, but colours? Letters? Nope and nope.

I start to compare.  I forget all the things that she IS doing. 

At those times it seems as if Stella can read my mind, or perhaps my body language because usually a few days later she does something new as if to say "You are doing enough mommy. I AM learning...on my OWN timeline.  Accept it Mom".

I will learn on MY timeline mommy! Accept it!

She has started picking up more signs, plus putting together 2-3 signs more often!  She has started standing more often and taking steps all on her own with no prompting.

Yesterday she crawled over to me and said "Mmmm" while reaching for me.  Now if that's not the beginning sounds of her saying "Mommy", I don't know what is!!

We are all individuals. Stella is her own person.  I love her as she is, but I am human and I am weak and I break down at times and compare. Compare me to other moms, compare my kids to other kids. 

I am a work in progress too.

Just seeing her in this picture, so cute,  so perfect.  A reminder that I still have a lot of work to do on ME.

Friday, 2 November 2012

My Two Cents

"That is so retarded!"
"She makes me so mad. She's retarded, just retarded."


Every time I hear someone use this word it feels like I have been slapped in the face.  My mind reels from the sting and I can't seem to think straight.  I want to run far, far away. I want to grab Stella, and Olivia and Sophie and place them in a bubble so that they may never be exposed to hearing that word being used in such a negative, demeaning and derogatory way!

What does this word mean?

Here are some definitions

re·tard 1  (r-tärd)
v. re·tard·edre·tard·ingre·tards
To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.
To be delayed.
1. A slowing down or hindering of progress; a delay.

In other words retard means to slow down.

But now it has become a slang word.  A word used to replace stupid, or idiot.

I know there are people out there who are tired of hearing about how hurtful and offencive using the r-word is.  They get all pissy and claim how tired they are of all the PC crap that they are constantly having to hear.  They claim freedom of expression. 

Here's the thing, why use a word that has such negative connotations? Why use a word that continues to encourage ignorance of those with developmental disabilities? Even if someone is using the r-word to describe their car, their sock, themselves;  it is still continuing the cycle of ignorance.

How about we all try and become more empathetic? Sure, we can use whatever words we want. But how about, we all try and think about how that word would make us feel if we were the ones with a disability?

I am all for freedom of expression, but not at the expense of another person.

How about we stop and take the time to think before we speak?  Let's all try and be mindful of what our words say about us and how those words affect people around us.  If we all tried every day to do that, perhaps words like retard would become a word of the past....


Please THINK before you speak. Thank you.